Hello Readers, today I promised a post discussing funny things I did to my father as a child, however I changed that to 'we' to include both myself and my sister as some were a team effort.
Not a day goes by when I don't think of my Dad. Even if it's just a memory, or a reflection on an event, or even a place we went together, he is often on my mind. I don't feel sad as such, because he wouldn't want that. He used to say, don't be sad when I die, I'll be OK. He also used to say, don't buy flowers and put them on my grave, it's a waste of bloody money, pick some daisies. He didn't like to part with anything - money, tools, bits and bobs, in fact, we used to call him Steptoe.
1. My dad often had naps. He was a plumber, worked for the water company and was often on call so he would often fall asleep in the chair. For as long as I can remember my sister and I used to put bobbles in his hair. He would wake up, go to the mirror to comb his hair and shout his favourite saying 'Bloody Hell!'. A bit like Victor Meldrew.
2. Sometimes, when he was asleep we used to play tricks on him, and sometimes we took things to a whole new level - my sister added blusher, painted his toe nails. She wouldn't give Dad the nail varnish remover so he chipped it off with his chisel. OK I didn't do this one but I had to add it. I often tied his shoe laces together - learnt that one from my sister too!
3. When I was four years old, I asked my father if I could cut his hair. He was watching the TV and had soon nodded off to sleep whilst I was scissor-happy. He used to comb his hair back-over at the front, and I cut this. He woke up, went to comb his hair and just had a little tuft at the front. My Mam nicknamed him tufty the squirrel!
4. When I was 16 years old, I went to college away from our home town so I had to travel by bus. The bus drivers had been striking, and my dad was worried that I wouldn't get home. Mobile phones had not long became affordable and my dad rang my phone but I was in class, so he left me a message about the bus strike ending. He was very old fashioned in some ways and he hated people swearing in front of my Mam, my sister, and me. It was embarrassing because if we were in public, he used to ask people not to use foul language in front of us. At the end of the message, he didn't realise that the voice mail was still recording and said 'F@ck*ng B@st@r* carry on!'. I made sure I saved the message and let all my family hear that the man who told people off for using foul language used it himself. He was not amused! Ironically, the rest of us were also accustomed to using foul language, as he referred to it, and probably used it more than he did.
5. My dad used to say things like 'put'em up' and 'I'll give you that!' holding his fist up if we cheeked him. One day, we made it into a game as my sister and I used to do kickboxing so we thought we would show off some moves. My sister said, 'I'll give YOU that' in retaliation and uppercut him with her elbow - totally accidental she meant to show him a move, but pounced too far forward. He was OK. He rubbed his chin and said 'By, your a queer bugger our, Sal.' I always remember him sitting with me later at the kitchen table telling me he wouldn't like to get on the wrong side of her really. He nick-named her Rambo! - again, not technically me but I was involved!
All of these memories are important to me, because my dad had a fantastic sense of humour. He was always making jokes and carrying on. He had his serious moments but these memories remind me of my childhood as this was our family 'craic', this is how we were. My dad always had a story to tell - like when he was in the Army and visited Libya, and a hamster ran in his sleeping bag. He always had a funny song to sing like Peter Piper in my ear, really emphasising the P, or funny nonsense poems like:
I went to the pictures tomorrow,
I got a front seat at the back.
A lady she gave me some chocolate,
I ate it and gave her it back.
As well as being wheeled around in his wheel barrow in the garden, riding on his back because he had to be my horse, having to run to school because he walked quickly - well he didn't walk, he strode (three of my steps = one of his strides) but these are my memories. These are my happy times and memories of my Dad.
In my teenage years, I struggled to connect to my Dad. But this is how I think of him.
Memories are everything when your Dad isn't here any more but this is a celebration because this is who he was and these memories are happy. He took it all in his stride because he had a good sense of humour. To be honest, I realise we must have ganged up on him as I wouldn't appreciate my children doing any of this.
So, ssshhhh, it's a secret!
Maybe I'll tell them when they're older...
Do you have any funny memories of shennanigans with your Father when you were young? Or have your children done anything to their Dad? You should share these below, I am always happy to hear comments and share experiences from my fellow readers.