Happy Birthday – A Dedication to My Dad

Happy Birthday Dad. Have a look at me in that photo to the left. Forget for a moment that I look like a Penis wearing sunglasses and focus on the fact that you’ve done a pretty decent job with me. That’s what this post’s about. I am a happy, Geelong Football Club obsessed fully grown man who has stopped dropping mice into boiling water ever since you showed me how much easier it was to simply stomp on their heads. Archie thinks that’s great too. And that’s how these things work – great ideas and skills get passed from one generation to the next. But teaching me how to killl mice is not the only thing you’ve done for me.

I remember when I was a drowning kid in a fast flowing river. The fact that you had to let go of your favorite fishing rod and lose it to the watery depths to pull me out by my long blond hair really said something to me. Made me feel like I was worthwhile. And when I was diagnosed with a significant illness in my teens the doctor told you to stop smoking and you did that very day. You didn’t start again until I moved out of home and bought you a carton of cigarettes to say thanks.

It was a great learning experience for me when you found my first porno mag in my desk and had a stern word with me. ‘If your Mum found this there’d be hell to pay’ you said. When I found it in your cupboard a few months later under some science-fiction paperbacks I understood how important effective hiding spots were. Now, even though I never read them, I always make sure I have several science fiction books in my cupboard (wink). I remember how you told me where lamb chops come from. You made it sound so tasty and normal and probably saved me from my brief stint as a crazy vegetarian.

I’ve taken your There’s a time and a place for everything mantra to heart and remember clearly when you first took me camping with some mates. I saw you live the mantra, transforming from a reliable, gentle, non-swearing, feminism-supporting Dad to a drunk, farting, swearing, sexist, mate who I could often use to roll over and extinguish the campfire with. Simply awesome Dad.

By forcing me to work with you during the long hot summers – crawling through roofs, under houses, digging trenches, etc – you unknowingly taught me a valuable lesson about hard work that I still live by today. It can be summarized thus – Work is hard, avoid it at all cost.

In fact I remember sitting on the porch and saying ‘Dad, why do you enjoy working so much?’ You choked on your Port, laughed and said, ‘No one enjoys work mate. It’s just something you have to do.’ What? I thought, my Dad, who has worked his arse off since his mid teens doesn’t like working?’ It drove me crazy initially but was the beginning of a long search for a professional woman with big earning potential that culminated in my marriage to Reservoir Mum. I am now a living example for men everywhere and I will soon be writing an instructional self-help book titled ‘Work is Hard, Find Your Queen.’

These days I often hear you speaking through me when I talk to Archie, Lewis and Tyson. Like when I tuck them in at night and say, ‘There you go mate. Snug as a bug in a rug.’

So thanks for everything Dad and Happy Birthday. Had great fun with you at the final last week watching the Cats kick arse. I hope (dear-god-please-oh-shit-please) we can see another Geelong Premiership in a fortnight’s time.

The kids say ‘Happy Birthday Pa’. I’ll leave you with a picture of a mud cake the kids made for you yesterday. Ingredients used – sand, dirt, slugs, water and their heads.

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‘If David Sedaris had got married and had kids, he would have been Reservoir Dad. Fall-on-the-floor funny, sharp, witty and just a little bit sexy.’ ~ Kerri Sackville, Best Australian Blog 2013 judge

A sharply funny, fresh and irreverent chronicler of real life in today’s parenting trenches, Reservoir Dad is a stay-at-home dad whose award-winning blog has already won hearts and minds all over Australia and beyond for telling it like it is and making us laugh out loud – and sometimes cry, but in a good way.