How One Dad Made Us Spend His Day

21 Jun

Yesterday was a big day; one Spud and I had looked forward to with real dread: annual gardening day.  Every year there comes a point in the Laughing Housewife’s household when we open the back door and find ourselves re-enacting The Day of the Triffids. It is the day we realise that if we let Toby out to do his business, we may never see him again. In a post-apocalyptic future a modern Livingstone will be hacking through the jungle that is our tiny back yard and come across a forlorn four-legged skeleton, clinging to a weed and with scratch marks on the grass around him, as if he was desperately trying to find his way out and failed somewhat.

It being the third sunny day of the year and Father’s Day, and the Hub being the Father of the house and thus claiming seniority in a feeble attempt to wrest control from my delicate hands, he put his foot down with a firm finger in the direction of Stockport’s equivalent to Birnam Wood and declared that it was No Longer Need To Feel Ashamed At The State Of The Garden Day, and made us clean it up.

I say ‘us’ but he got stuck in as well. Trouble is, he will insist on being in charge and that leads to a few cross words and a few bundles of weeds being chucked across the garden and into his face. His CFS/ME means that he can’t do as much as he’d like to and he has to stop; it makes him frustrated and irritable with Spud and me. He knows – and we know – that he could do things better if he could do them at all, but that’s how he ended up getting ill in the first place. No danger of that for Spud and me, who did what we had to do but don’t care enough to do it to the Hub’s exacting and illness-inducing standards.  Particularly once the slugs showed up.

That reminds me of my Mum and her first garden; she had always lived in homes with no gardens until she was 37 and we moved to Runcorn. It was a small garden but she was excited to get out there. She bought herself some little tools and a hat and bubbled over with the joy of it. We watched her dig happily with her little trowel for a while, then went to watch telly. A few minutes later, Dad found her standing in the kitchen with her trowel, looking around as if she didn’t know what to do. ‘What’s the matter?’ asked Dad. Mum blushed a little then said, ‘I found a worm.’ She had run into the house in a panic, and never gardened again.

2 Responses to “How One Dad Made Us Spend His Day”

  1. musings June 22, 2010 at 07:26 #

    Oh no! That’s so funny! I’m afraid if she lived in Hawaii, she’d find more than worms.


    • tillybud June 22, 2010 at 13:55 #

      Poor Mum!


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