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Prole1 has been given some DJ software by our good friend.

He passed this on to us because Prole1 was invited to DJ in a tent in a festival when he was five.

While Prole1 was perfectly capable of specifying which track he wanted playing, and certainly had a confident if mildly verbose microphone style, he was not really coordinated enough to select tracks from my I-Tunes listing and found it hard to read quickly enough.

The software was a brilliant tool and with the addition of a controller with buttons and knobs for Prole1 to twiddle he would sit for an hour at a time, selecting tracks on the headphones and playing his favourite music.

His favourite music was a disc of tunes we danced to in the kitchen.
As the years have gone by this list has warped and evolved but he remains a slightly camp, disco fuelled, indie-rock DJ.

There is nothing like seeing your tiny son, still at primary school, dancing behind the decks while a pyramid of semi-clad men gyrate and stage dive to YMCA next to him, to make you see your offspring in a different light.

He is better at it than I am.

Recently the same good friend supplied us with a new controller.

It’s lovely.

It shines darkly.

Now I don’t want to be one of those pushy parents.
Metaphorically or physically I don’t want the Proles in sparkly top hat and hot pants doing jazz hands.
Not unless they really want to.
I don’t want to stand on a touchline and bellow at my kids, even artistically.
I don’t need to see him back on stage with semi clad men again.

But I have to say the new controller looks good….

But.
It has to come from him.

This can be difficult.
If you ask a child a question to which there is a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ answer the answer seems to often be ‘no’.
Do you want to get out of bed?
Do you want breakfast?
Do you want to brush your teeth?
Do you want to go to school?
Do you want to play outside?

This means there are ways of ‘placing’ a question that give it a better chance of consideration.
We all fear change and if we are comfortable doing what we are doing then why bother changing?
Why take a risk?

So the questions become more loaded.
‘I am about to leave the bedroom now, it’s a bit dark in here, would you like to come with me?’
‘We are seeing the dentist soon and I don’t want him to pull any dirty teeth out, shall we clean them just in case?’
‘I have to go to work and the law says I can’t take you with me or leave you in the house, would you like to see what your friends are doing at school today or should I leave you in the garden with the cats?’
‘I will double your pocket money if you go out into the garden and don’t come back for ten minutes, what do you think?’

Loaded questions are tantamount to lies in that they obscure the truth somewhat but I still feel it helps if your children feel they are making informed decisions.

Sadly, the mental bargain I have made with myself and the Proles is that I am not actually allowed to lie to them on any subject except Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy.
This is a long term plan.
I have added the mental challenge to never actually admit the “truth” about Father Christmas or the Tooth fairy as long as I live. This adds a bit of pepper to the game.
I can’t do the Easter Bunny.
I draw the line at the Easter Bunny, though I am willing to tolerate the Proles own beliefs.
I must now live the rest of my life perpetuating the legend of Father Christmas but I am damned if I am hiding eggs around the garden in the rain for the next forty years.

This not lying extends to empty threats.

Never make an empty threat.

If you lay down a consequence then you have to be sure you can carry it out.

Not following through leaves children confused over boundaries.

As a parent I find always following through means you very soon get fed up of laying down consequences and having to follow them through so you get very selective about what you say.

I try not to lay down the law too often these days but it is hard.
I often trip myself up.

So the promise not to be a pushy parent and the necessity to ask open questions that can be answered in a neutral and open hearted way come to a head as we look at the DJ Controller in it’s box.

I really want him to use it but he has not played any music for a few weeks now.

Perhaps he has grown out of that phase?

Me: Shall I set this up for you?

Proel1: Gosh…yes.

Me: I think it looks great.

Proel1: Me too. Look at it.

Me: Do you like it?

Prole1: What is it?

Gifted and Talented my arse.

Me: It’s a DJ controller.

Prole1: Nice, can you set it up?

Me: Of course I can.

Because I am Dad and dads can do anything. And because he has shown enthusiasm.

To this end I began to set up the controller.

Which comes with it’s own software.
Which needs my operating system to be updated.
So I made tea and while they ate I bought the software online.
I received a code.
The code unlocked a PDF.
The PDF had a different code.
I had to go to the Mac App Store and click on a quick link and enter the code.
I went to the Mac App Store but I could not enter the Mac App Store.
I cleared away the dishes and wiped down the table.
I tried another way in.
I could not enter the Mac App Store.
And another.
I could not enter the Mac App Store.
Time passed.
Finally I got a message saying I could not enter the Mac App Store to upgrade to my recently purchased operating system because the current operating system I am using needs upgrading.
I was then asked if I wanted to purchase an upgrade.
Which I could redeem at the Mac App Store.

I told Prole1 this may take some time and perhaps he should stop staring at me from the other end of the table.

Prole1: That’s a shame, I was looking forward to trying it out.

Me: Really?

Prole1: Yes, I love being a DJ, one day I want to be on Radio2.

Radio2.
Brilliant.
Chase that dream.

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