My Dad

11 Nov

I asked my Dad if he would write a few memories of his childhood. The idea was that I would then compare it with mine and Max’s to show how radically attitudes towards parenting have changed through the years. But when I read it I liked it just the way it was and didn’t really want to change anything. So here it is, my brilliant Dad, Christopher Michael Ross, who I miss so very much, picking out bits and pieces from his childhood.

I was born in 1950 and England is still recovering from WW2.

My earliest memory was being wrapped up tightly in blankets and put in a large pram for long afternoons of sleep!

I was one of 6 children

Dad was a major in the Royal Marines, strict at times but I loved him dearly. He was warm and tactile. Up on his shoulders, thrown into the air always trusting his catching skills.

I remember the words “a damn good larruping” which were usually directed at my elder brothers. I don’t remember getting more than a smack on the bum!

Most of my clothes were too small for Nigel or Jamie so I usually finished them off!

I was 3rd to get the water in our old tin bath in front of the fire! I loved my father drying me “in the nooks and crannies” after my bath then lots of nursery rhymes and songs.

We took a candle up the stairs to bed.

I had a large red wooden train that I enjoyed sitting astride and pushing myself down the sloped drive. We also had the morning ritual of pushing dad’s old Austin 4 down the same!

Dad once built a little fire place in the garden out of loose bricks he put a grate in and then let me screw newspaper up and put on the kindling but best of all he let me light the fire!

My mum preferred the hairbrush as her weapon of punishment, to help her control 6 strong willed kids.

Mum was a master when it came to feeding us, lots of dishes to fill us up. Milk puddings, junket, bread pudding, tapioca and one of her favourites was Pobbies (really just bread cubes, hot milk and sugar). She chose this name wisely as we thought it was special!

Savoury examples included brawn; we got to watch the pigs head bubbling away for hours on the stove and also endure the smell. Stews and soups to use up odds and ends. Cheese sauce on toast or cold cheese sauce on bread. Tea was often sandwiches and if we were lucky a piece of cake or cold bread pudding. We had daily doses of cod liver oil (vile). Treats included packs of sweet cigarettes, 4 blackjack toffees for a penny, crisps with a blue paper twist of salt and if back late a bag of winkles and a pin!

We had a dog called Mac who we took for walks to a pond we called” lilly of the valley”. We threw stones in and he would dive down and always appear with the stone in his mouth. Mac was attacked and killed by farm dogs , I remember sitting with him and hugging him, he was dead the next day. I recall a fox hunt ending near the house and the tail being hacked off and red coated toffs daubing themselves with blood, some things never change!

We would walk 3 miles to school and back every day and that was at 5yrs old!

My father died in 1957 and as a 7 yr. old I had to pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again!

I dearly love my family and my handsome wee grandson. I am also proud of my son and his lovely wife Anna, little Max is in safe hands.

For more on my Dad and his eccentric parenting ways check out an earlier post I wrote, back when I was a young scamp of a Blogger, where I looked back on my own upbringing. As a parent I often refer back to it and ask what would Dad have done?https://daddownunder.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/chip-off-the-old-block/

Advertisements

12 Responses to “My Dad”

  1. Reservoir Dad November 11, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    Great idea Matt. And great write up and memories Granddad Down Under!

  2. daddownunder November 11, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    Thanks RD, I will pass on the compliment

  3. coloursofsunset November 11, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    That was beautiful to read. What times must have been like back then…my dad has been gone 2 years now. I wish we’d talked more about what it was like for him growing up.

    • daddownunder November 11, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

      Me too, most of that was news to me to be fair, I was fascinated.

  4. Kelly HTandT November 12, 2012 at 3:01 am #

    Awesome idea! You look like your dad. And how sweet he sounds!. Must have been something about that time, my dad was one of 6 who lived on bread pudding and walked much further on a daily basis than I EVER have. We’re a lucky bunch! I wonder if my Nan would write a post on raising 6 kids… hmm…

    • daddownunder November 12, 2012 at 3:10 am #

      Thanks Kelly, hands up on my part though it wasn’t really an idea, but how could you tamper with any of that? Get on Nan’s case!

  5. Lipgloss Mumma (@LipglossMumma) November 13, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    That is so lovely. I asked my Dad (who is now 82) to write his autobiography. He has had such an interesting and worldly life that I wanted to be able to have it all written down for myself and my children and grand children. He updates it every couple of months still.

    • daddownunder November 13, 2012 at 2:39 am #

      Thats fantastic, its amazing the difference between each generation. Thanks for commenting

  6. Kevin November 13, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Damn Reservoir Dad and his using the same gag I was going to use. Well done on getting your dad to contribute,. I’d be concerned my dad would start up a Monty Python style “in my day we used to walk to school barefoot, uphill – both ways” tirade

    • daddownunder November 13, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

      Thanks Kev, there was a little bit of that I think, but all true he tells me. And yes damn reservoir dad ; )

  7. Alicia - One Mother Hen November 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading that 🙂

    • daddownunder November 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

      Thanks Alicia, so did I, news to me too

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Dad Down Under

Just another WordPress site

Smaggle

Be your best self.

BIG FAMILY little income

Raising a family on little more than laughs.

New Here

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

Life Love and Hiccups

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

Tacklenappy - Tacklenappy - Home

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

edenland

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

Woogsworld

| Mrs Woog | Making the most of the mundane

Home

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

With Some Grace

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

BabyMac

Wearer of Labels: Stay at Home Dad, Blogger, Fitness Junkie, Foodie, Follower of Fashion, Nomad

the illiterate infant

An Aussie Daddy blogger that's figured out the kids haven't read the books either

%d bloggers like this: