Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why you can't neuter your own cat.....

So as previously noted Grandpa on the Go used to be a surgeon. This meant that he was the kind of dad that went 120 miles per hour during the week and then ran around after us on the weekends (the ones he wasn't working).

When he did have a few precious moments we went to a small piece of land we shared with our aunt and uncle just outside of Narre Warren. (which for my overseas readers is like owning land 60 kms outside of Los Angles, back in the 60's before Orange became cool). It was here that we dug holes, chased the few cows that grazed peacefully and learned to ride a horse.

Grandpa decided that we had a slight cat problem (after getting rid of another litter of kittens ) and that we would neuter the only male cat present.( That was dumb enough to hang around )

image courtesy of funnymadworld.blogspot.com

"Its simple" he said, "I'm not paying some vet to do something I can teach even you to do..."

So off we headed to the shed that backed on to the main concreted yard. It was pretty dark, but had a nice high bench that we used to mix the feeds and medicines. It was battled scarred from cutting up apples and carrots and the whole place was more like a morgue than a sterile surgical room.

So we laid out the tools we were to use and he starts to measure out the anesthetic. He looks at me and says "How much do you reckon it weighs?"

In my eagerness to impress him I blurted out a number. And with that the die was cast. The cat went out quickly.

Truth be told Dad was right it's not as difficult as it looks. ( I won't describe it here). The issue is when the last stitch is in place and it's time for the patient to wake up.

As we both looked down at the limp and motionless body, the only thought going through my mind was "how do we explain this to Grandma? "

It seemed like an eternity before the cat stirred. It opened its eyes and was so surprised to see the both of us staring back at him, that it tried to jump off the bench to escape. Problem was the back half of the cat still hadn't woken up yet so it just rolled once and flopped on to the ground. (I can tell you they don't always land on their feet)

We were so relived that we just burst out laughing at the cat which was now trying to walk out of the shed with its front legs going one way and its back legs going the other.

Three hours later it was sitting upright with out the aid of a wall

Five hours later it had stopped falling over

We never did it ever again.

Dad and I still laugh about it when no-one else is around.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why boy humor is different

The Family on the Go is a male dominant household. Three blokes in residence means the domestic goddess is going to struggle some days.

And before you all start yelling at me about how we should all help out and do our fair share, I'm talking about the stuff we find funny that she just doesn't get.

Boy humor does not appeal to women or girls for that matter. It's like they have a  filter pre-installed that, when hearing the joke or comment, automatically sets them to just look at us with a confused and slightly disgusted look.

image courtesy of realsimple.com

This woman may have just been subjected to a boy joke.*

So where do we start ?

Well firstly boys find everything to do with the body funny, from "why do we have nipples?" right through to bodily functions, which provides a substantial library to work from.

Nudity is next up, which is basically defined as any piece of flesh that is displayed by anyone other than people in your family. So for instance, the merest inference of the nether regions send us in to fits of giggles.

Eg  "Hey guys, why do squirrels only swim on their backs?"

"So they don't get their nuts wet!!"  Gales of laughter and high fives all round follow straight after.

Or the serious conversation after a parent teacher meeting, when the Goddess says " Your teacher is so impressed by your diction."

3...........2.........1........ and there it is - snigger's all round followed by

 "Hey , Hey I've got one - Dictators !", now its a full on race to see who can get the biggest laughs.

"Dictation !!"

"Dictionary !!" and on it goes.

I am sure that psychologists through the ages have analysed the male humor psyche and will have some deep and profound interpretation on what's happening and why at completely inappropriate times we will laugh. Quite frankly I just don't care.

I will laugh when the boys are told it's shower time and they get completely undressed right where they are standing and walk off to the shower.

And I fully reserve the right when someone passes wind, to yell " Carbon tax  !! "

I know that I'm supposed to be teaching the boys proper decorum, Grandma reminds me constantly, but the thing about life that I see is - Have a laugh when you can. You can't be too serious all the time.

Now if you don't mind I'm off to develop a joke about removing the cheeks from a mango.....

* This woman may not actually have heard the joke but just assumed we someone said something equally stupid.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Things you should teach your kids (as a Dad it's kinda your responsibility)

As a Dad there is a whole range of things that you know and are (probably?) expected to teach your kids. Depending on what your dad taught you will depend on how you see the responsibility of passing on what knowledge and when.

So for example, I have found it very hard to teach the kids how to change a car tyre but very easy on how to start a fire ??!!

Also, Grandpa on the Go was a surgeon and I have assisted him with operations, but that doesn't mean I'm teaching the little dudes what I was shown. *

It's stuff that I was shown as I grew up, that is not only useful but actually helpful. Lets face it, you shouldn't have to ring a plumber every time a tap starts leaking.

I compiled this list because I know that schools today often don't teach this stuff and that's OK. The schools have to focus on forcing the minions kids into neat little bell curves and ensuring their university entrance rates remain over 80% and their NAPLAN scores are high, so I know it's up to us as Dads to get this vital knowledge passed on.

So here is part of a list that I will be teaching my sons, that I know that will help them get though life and that they will be able to pass on to their kids:

To Juggle
How to cook Spaghetti Bolognaise
Some self defense
All the different types of farts
How to pitch at Tent
How to catch fish and more importantly, how to clean a fish
How to play poker
How to change the oil on a car
How to light a fire
Some basic carpentry
3 clean jokes to tell
How to change a car tyre

How to change a tap washer
Basic bicycle maintenance
BBQ meat properly and know the difference between rare and medium !!
Apply a field dressing (important for my kids as I bleed a lot)
That's its Ok to lose (sometimes)
Iron your own shirt
Carve a roast chicken
And the most important thing - Family comes first.

The list isn't here in its entirety but you get the idea. We as Dads need to make sure that our kids don't get to their 20's and be unable to perform what I consider to be basic life skills.

* Especially after the incident with the cat. (I will write about this  later)

Image courtesy of paintingpetsandpeople.com

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chicken does not come from a plastic packet

I was talking to a manager at work the other day and she was chuckling at the fact that whilst growing up in the country they used to decide what they wanted for dinner and then went and hunted/gathered it. Where as several of her nieces had thought that chicken etc - just came from the supermarket.

Grandpa on the Go has some land in the country and he has chickens. I know first hand they don't come ready to go on a plastic tray.

I'm going back about 20 years now, and he tells me he has two roosters, which is apparently one too many and he says to me "you gotta kill one and we'll eat it."

I figure he means go in there and shoot one of the roosters. No, not at all , he hands me the metal handle off the car jack and says just stun it and bring it out here and we'll cut its head off.

In the mean time, I'm having this internal discussion with myself

"Great, so I have to get it ?!! "

"How many Roosters have I killed to date ?" 

"Including this one ?"

"None, you idiot".

So in I go and single out one of the roosters. He sees me trying to push him into the corner and he knows something is up in chicken land. 
He picks up one foot slowly and flexes it and then puts it down, then picks up the other foot slowly and flexes it and puts it down, he did this carefully so I could see the dirty big spur on the back each of his legs.

He warily circled around me keeping his head slightly tilted and one baleful eye on me at all times. We dance like this for several minutes until I finally get it kind of cornered and I'm waving this metal bar like a flyswatter at it, then all of a sudden he jumps up feet first wings flapping and I'm flinching and swatting.

I open my eyes and he is lying on the ground stunned, unconscious and Grandpa does the rest.

As I plucked the feathers off the bird I was feeling pretty bad until I realized that wasn't guilt I was feeling, as his final hurrah the rooster had passed fleas on to me.

So spare a thought for your kids and do them a favor - show them where vegetables come from by planting  some in a pot and watch them grow.

And do it before some crazy relative tries to show them where steak comes from.........

Image courtesy of ebookee.org

Monday, August 1, 2011

Stop and Enjoy the Scenery (that's an order)

So it's the school holidays and the cult clan has decided we are going on a driving holiday to visit friends interstate. After that we'll take the long way home along the coast, stopping at all the scenic/touristy places. It'll be fun I was assured.

Right now most of you are probably thinking to yourselves "Are they serious?" and I don't blame you. A holiday is meant to be just that - a holiday for all members of the family. Also remembering, I am a cyclist - so I don't do a lot of driving and therefore am a pretty bad driver......... but they were insistent and it was all go.

After I flew into Canberra to meet up with the family, we stayed for a few days with close friends. We went to the War memorial and Questacon during the day and at night we redefined the way you cheat at UNO. Then after parting ways, drove all the way down to Bemm river via Cann river.

Now anyone who has spent any time with  the minions children in a confined space such as the family car, knows that its not just a case of sit back and watch the scenery go by whilst talking maturely about the Australian economy and the impacts of monetary policy.

You actually have to engage with them or they will amuse themselves and not in a way that will assist your blood pressure. Their expectation is that everything will be interesting and worthy of their precious attention span.

We still laugh about the time the kids went to the Dog on the Tuckerbox and when they finally saw it, uttered " Is that it ?" followed by " That is just sooo disappointing"

"You dragged us all the way here to see this ?"
"It's not even the real one !"

So back to our trip.

We ended up stopping about every 2 hours to run around, look at, touch and generally experience this great country we live in and  I actually really enjoyed it.

This was because we didn't do the one thing that all parents have done - "The rush to get there and start holidaying ASAP" - trap.

You see it all the time, people driving/travelling huge distances in a single trip to hurry up and get to where they are going. Everybody is stressed and no-one is having a good time.

So next time you are going somewhere, I highly recommend stopping constantly to look around and who knows what you may find out.

Like we found out that the that the real Ned Kelley suit of amour is actually in the State Library (which is a 15 minute tram ride from our house) and not in his hometown of Glenrowan.