- BIRTH. When I was born my dad wasn’t allowed in the birthing suite. He took this a step further and left the hospital.
- NAPPIES. Apparently, in the sixties, nappies couldn’t be changed by men. My mother went into hospital to have her tonsils out when I was five, my sister was three and my brother was one. Dad didn’t change a single nappy all week. He’d walk my siblings next door so our neighbour lady could deal with it.
- DRINKING. Mum wasn’t allowed into the pub. Dad would bring her out a lemonade while she sat in the car. He was a responsible drinker too. Yessiree. Drink driving was firmly frowned upon so Dad always made sure he took the back streets.
- KIDS. I did what I was told. My kids, not so much.
- WIVES. Wives did what they were told…..yeah, I’m not so sure about this one. My mum might have appeared to do what Dad suggested but I’m pretty sure he was only suggesting what she’d suggested, if you know what I mean. My wife? Don’t even ask. Sometimes I think she does the opposite of what I suggest, even if it was her suggestion originally, just to show me who’s boss.
- DENTISTS. Dad’s always been a stickler for regular check ups. Every twenty years, whether he needs it or not, he gets a check up. When I was fourteen, despite my solid argument it was six years too early, he sent me for a check up. The dentist took one look at my surname and burst out in hysterics. Seems my father was the only patient he’d ever had to bring in an anesthetist for a few simple fillings. I did ask if this was still an option but it wasn’t.
- FOOD. My Nanna had seven meals she’d work her way through every week. If it was Sunday, you ate roast. If it was Monday, you had cold cuts from Sunday. Visitors tended to avoid Monday. My Mum, on the other hand, was cutting edge. She was cooking spag bog back when you went out for that kind of fancy schmancy food.
- FASHION. I’ve seen the family photo albums and I’m convinced there wasn’t any. In my father’s hay day everyone in Australia wore the exact same clothes and that’s not fashion, that’s communism. When the seventies arrived, and people discovered the colour wheel, my Mum dyed all Dad’s white shirts vibrant colours rather than buy new ones. He even had a pink shirt which, she assures me, was the seventies equivalent of a metrosexual.
- ROAD RULES. Back when Dad learned to drive you didn’t need things like indicators or an understanding of how stop signs work. My Dad is very nostalgic and to this day he still drives like it’s the sixties.
- GENDER SPECIFIC ROLES. Dad worked hard while Mum only had to clean the house. Or that’s how he saw it. What actually happened was Dad went to work and Mum stayed home and cooked, washed, shopped, mopped, vacuumed, swept, helped with homework, mowed, weeded and did all those other irksome little woman’s duties. Dad was so good at his work some of it could even be done while drinking beer: none of Mum’s was. Dad has finished his work and retired now. Mum isn’t as efficient and so hasn’t stopped yet.
When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes
Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page.
’raising a family on little more than laughs’