Here’s another of my, ‘It’s my life columns’ in the Examiner’s feelgood. This one stars yer man.
As a family, I think we’ve been resilient to date, surviving decades of arguments and evolution.
The older children survived the arrival of siblings, who changed yer man and myself from parents who gush, “I love you sweetheart,” into ones who shout, “go watch the television and give me five minutes’ peace.”
The younger children survived the trauma of watching fun-loving, older siblings, morph into teenagers who rarely left their bedroom caves and spoke only to remind us that we are hated.
Through it all yer man and myself clung to parenting life by our fingernails, endeavouring to remember which child might be prone to murderous attacks and which still likes us.
Yer man has been preparing for this emergency for years.
“Must you spend so long in the shower?”
“Why are you running all that water to clean a few dishes?”
Recently I’ve taken to wondering if re-incarnation was a possibility? Was there a chance, once upon a time, he lived in the desert? Is there a part of him which has always feared one day the wells and reservoirs of Cork city would run dry?
Unfortunately, if re-incarnation is a thing, it’s safe to say my children and I never lived a life without water. Thus, we are struggling somewhat with water rationing, each of us in our own way.
I’ve watched my flowers wilt and felt a pang of guilt filling the kettle for way too numerous cups of tea. My children have cut back on the length of their shower, or so they tell us.
However, it was none of the above which led to our most recent exhausting argument. It was in fact the dishwasher!
We were driving from Cork to Killarney, yer man, myself and two of our children. Yes, four of us, in close proximity, in a roasting hot car. The fact yer man’s window was jammed shut only added to the fun.
For some insane reason, someone decided it would be a good idea to raise the topic of conserving water. Over several miles an argument ensued over who among us was and wasn’t making a reasonable effort to save Cork city.
There was a collective groan in the car. To be honest, if there was a chance I’d have escaped serious injury, I’d have opened the car door to eject myself, as this was a pet argument between these two which had been going on for months.
“That wash takes two hours,” said yer man.
“Yes, and uses less water and energy than any other setting,” countered our son, as the rest of us looked out the windows envying the cows in the fields.
“Are You Listening? My wash takes thirty minutes.”
“Yes, but it uses more water and energy.”
“How? Yours takes two hours!”
And so it went, on and on and on. Our son used science to back his argument, to which yer man countered every time with,
“But it takes two hours!”
Finally, just before we lost the will to live I intervened with a Google post backing the scientist. Yer man did a lot of muttering but the argument appeared to have ended.
Later that evening I heard the dishwasher starting up in the utility room. Minutes later yer man emerged.
“Aw, did it kill you to put it on the eco wash?” I said, feeling a little sorry he’d finally lost the argument.
“You must be joking. It actually says it takes three hours, not two!