Flashback Friday

On Monday. I know I know, but regardless, here we are.

Flashback Friday – Waratah Park, 1976

Me and my brother, 1976

The most important part about Waratah Park was that it was the home to Skippy, the bush kangaroo. For those not in the know, Skippy was a highly intelligent kangaroo who constantly saved the day when things went wrong by various tsk-tsk-tsking to his best friend, Sonny Hammond, who was conveniently the son of the Park Ranger who looked after Waratah Park Reserve.

Basically he was Australia’s answer to Lassie. Or Flipper.

Anyway, there were 91 episodes made and I reckon Channel 9 milked them to within an inch of their collective lives throughout the 70s and even the 80s.

To a three year old, Skippy was a very very bid deal.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember anything about this day, but I do know this:
Anodised aluminium drinking cups would have been there, along with a tartan-print thermos and the scratchy picnic rug. Dad would have been cranky about getting us in the car/the traffic/where to park/the cost of park entry or something me or my brother did or all of the above.
And see those red shoes? I hated them. They were a hand-me-down from my eldest cousin who I always had a love-hate relationship with. They were really hard and incredibly uncomfortable.
So I did a poo in them.
Not on this particular day, but at some point in their life.
Clearly, after we’d been to Waratah Park.
I remember doing it. I remember putting them neatly beside the toilet. I remember hearing mum’s screech when she found them.
I don’t remember if I got a smack or not.
But I do know I never ever EVER had to wear them again.
The pooing anywhere but in the toilet is a myth story my Mum and indeed entire extended family love telling. It got another airing on the weekend when Jasper – who has been telling me when he is doing a wee for about the last four months – insisted on taking all his clothes and nappy off to sit on the toilet. This was apparently “just like me” in that I hated having a nappy on that was wet or dirty and so and therefore it seems from birth I simply took the nappy off. That’s right. It was a rare form of giftedness I displayed, but there you have it.

The family outings of my youth are a mixed bag but something I do realise now is just how stressed everyone was. I don’t recall an outing where we all just had fun. There was always dad yelling at traffic, mum yelling at us for running too fast, eating too much, fighting, breathing too loud. It’s funny you know, because that stress level was only cemented by Mum and Dad’s separation and divorce. Only when I started going out with Chef did my tendency to operate on Anxiety:High start to dissipate. I still lapse back into it, but having lived with Mum has only served to highlight was a useless, health-damaging, energy-sapping exercise operating on that level is.

So yesterday, when we took the boys on an outing! to the city! did I work ever so hard to not curse the traffic in the carpark, not get stressed at Oscar’s dawdling, not yell with that get.back.here.this.instant.who.knows.who.could.grab.you. tone at Jasper who just squealed with delight at being allowed to run all over the Wildlife World we explored and to actually just chill out and enjoy it for what it was. Our family. Together. Doing something.