Sometimes, things stick in my memory for no apparent reason. This one was brought to mind by a recent episode of the comedy ‘Outnumbered’, where a similar incident was alluded to.
We were staying at my Nana’s house in Lancing – which, for the uninitiated, is on the south coast of England, not far from Brighton. My guess is that it was the late 70s, simply because of how old my sister Lisa would have been.
Nana lived in a bungalow which had a toilet separate from the bathroom. For some reason, she had both rooms carpeted (she also had one of those dolls with a big skirt that you hid toilet rolls under, but that is another story).
It was, therefore, slightly unfortunate that someone missed the toilet whilst using it. Or, to be more exact, when Lisa announced “I just wee-ed standing up, like Daddy”.
Now, I am sure that none of the rest of my family remember this, but the reason that it sticks in my head is the way that Mum reacted. Her exact words to Dad were “This is your fault, you go and clean it up”.
I’ve often wondered what she meant. Was it just a joke? Did she really mean that he had somehow failed in teaching his youngest daughter that she really wasn’t built for that sort of thing?
I’ve also wondered why Dad didn’t just point out that it clearly wasn’t his fault, perhaps even to the extent of emphasising that any failure in teaching my sisters ‘girl skills’ must surely be attributable to her.
Not, I hasten to add, that I have ever felt that any of us failed to learn any of life’s essential skills from our parents. I can’t do any of the important things as well as they can, but I can’t say that I was never told.