Growing up with No.1, God Sakes and Granny was as entertaining as it was educational and iDad’s influence over his children was profound. As a fledgling golfer I was forever talking to my boys about the three or four good shots I made out of the one hundred and thirty it took me to get around the course. Needless to say they were suitably impressed by my prowess with the Ping and would happily inform all those who would listen, and many who would not.
“Wotcha doin’ Aunty Ba-Ba”
“I’m going to show you how to play golf.”
No.1 began to laugh.
“You don’t know how to play golf Ba-Ba.”
My Aunty stopped mid back-swing.
“Of course I do. I’m a very good golfer.”
In fact she was! The hall stand, book case and lintel over the fireplace all bore trophied testament to the fact that my Aunty was an accomplished A-Grade golfer.
Regardless, No.1 continued chuckling.
“No you’re not. Only mans play golf.”
Thus endeth the lesson.
Running an IT business when the Internet was a newborn, Netscape was still a browser and Windows was only 95, iDad always managed to keep up to date with the latest technology. I still have my first mobile phone, complete with the monster battery pack that hung over your shoulder like a five kilogram acid-filled satchel. We use it as a doorstop. My boys however we suitably impressed with my ability to work in the car, the backyard and even the toilet. To them the black brick with the twisted cord and battered handset, meant that dad could come home early to spend time with them, and finish his job after they had gone to bed.
The evolution of cumbersome telecommunications to a more compact format did not lessen the mystique and my boys always enjoyed the ever-changing midi ringtone my Nokia spouted forth. One afternoon as we sat by the shores of Lake Macquarie, the sun setting in the west and the children splashing about in the shallows, Aunty Ba-Ba pulled out her mobile phone to place a call. No.1 was stunned.
“Where did you get that Ba-Ba?”
“This is mine sweety.”
No.1 burst out laughing.
“No its not. Only mans have mobile phones.”
Later that night No.1 would zap my beautiful Aunty once again as she scooped a dollop of hot English mustard onto her plate.
“You’re so funny Ba-Ba.”
“Why’s that sweetheart?”
“Only mans eat mustard.”
Aunty Ba-Ba passed away shortly after Granny was born. Cancer is a terrible disease.
As I had mentioned before in an earlier story, our closest friends had had a baby girl in between our No.1 and God Sakes. She was a beautiful little blue eyed tomboy who could scale fences, climb trees and escape through windows. On top of that she had made it her personal mission to send her parents grey; and she was succeeding. Her nickname ‘Cake’ had been earned during God Sakes first birthday party and she has had a lasting influence on my boy’s development into adolescence.
From Church to MTV, no part of life was immune to Cake’s touch. She would rally the boys together to sing the latest hits at the top of their lungs, usually whilst bouncing up and down on our couch. The sight of three little pre-schoolers exuberantly vocalising the words to the Bloodhound Gang song,
…is permanently seared into my retina. As are all the church bulletins upon which God Sakes and Cake had scrawled sacrilegious slogans such as ‘I am farting’ and the classic, ‘this is my butt.’ All of which were expertly illustrated before being placed onto the collection plate. I never found out what the old priest thought of the pencilled profanities but hopefully he had a sense of humour.
Finally our friends had their second baby and balance was restored to their Universe. So-See was an angelic little girl with blonde bubble curls and big blue eyes. She liked Barbie and ponies and all things pink. She was the first girly girl my boys had ever known and, frankly, they were nonplussed.
“What do you think of the baby?”
Blue Eyes was trying to engage her boy’s interest in their new friend. No.1 feigned a slight interest.
“Its ok I guess.”
God Sakes remained unusually quiet.
“What’s wrong honey? Don’t you like the baby?”
His mother was shocked.
“It hasn’t got a doodle.”
iDad fell on the floor laughing as Blue Eyes tried to explain the situation.
“This is a girl baby. Girl’s don’t have doodles.”
God Sakes turned on his heels and walked away. What’s the point of life if you don’t have a doodle?
Postman Pat and the Gobbellin.
Like most Australian kids, my boys grew up watching the vast array of children’s shows on the ABC. Play School, Sesame Street, Bob the Builder, all got a fair amount of exposure; but the favourite for a while seemed to be Postman Pat and his Black and White Cat. Little God Sakes face would light up as the theme song started and then he’d sing a long at the top of his high-pitched little lungs which, for him, was to be expected 😉
One day however, I decided to pay attention to the words as my little angel harmonised with the tune from the television. Something wasn’t right.
“Postman Pat. Postman Pat. Postman Pat and his black and white cat.”
Only he didn’t say ‘black and white’.
My brown eyed, sunny faced cherub had replaced the words ‘black and’ with an f-bomb.
What Jess had done to become known as an f***ing white cat I’ll never know, but God Sakes offensive mispronunciation was quickly corrected before he started pre-school.
Obnoxiousness is not a personality trait of any of my children. Unfortunately though, forthrightness is and telling it as they see it often became a cringe-worthy experience.
I’ve mentioned before about a shopping trip where Granny received his nickname. Sitting in the trolley batting his big blue eyes at all the passers by when one kind lady with a Rubenesque physique stopped to pinch his cheeks and comment on his cuteness. Granny replied in a voice that seemed to channel the Cookie Monster,
After much apologising Blue Eyes attempted to educate our little boy on good manners, respecting elders, and overall acceptable behaviour. With remorse written all over his face Blue Eyes ceased the lesson and began to clean up the drink that God Sakes had spilled. As she collected the last piece of broken glass she heard the biscuit eating muppet fire up the voice box one more time for the elderly couple that had stopped to say hi.
So-See and Cake had a little baby sister arrive not long after Granny learned how to talk. As per usual, our friends had produced another beautiful blonde girl with a gregarious nature and bubbly disposition. As we sat around admiring the newborn I noticed Granny squinting at her and cocking his head to the side. Then he spoke in that unmistakably deep voice.
“What’s wrong wiff her ears?”
The adults were perplexed.
“What do you mean mate?”
“They’re funny lookin.”
“What are you talking about son?”
“She looks like a Gobbellin.”
Ok, so my lovely goddaughter had slightly pointy ears due to the process of being born. Trust Granny to give her a nickname that has lasted forever.
iDad © Matthew Green 2010