Pumpkin wasn't the only one to grimace after kitchen horror show

By david looby

Published 10/11/2015 | 00:00

David Looby
David Looby
A scene, like the one which greeted my wife after I was looking after the pumpkin seeds.

There are things the finer sex do that drive us of lesser qualities SPARE.

They are the stuff of full-throated arguments, grovelling apologies, long silences. Irrational stuff! The real stuff.

Things like spending hours cleaning the house before the cleaner arrives.

'Sure we can't have the place in a state before Betty comes!' was what I had to grapple with, during the three months when we had a cleaner in every fortnight for two hours, to save us tearing each other from limb to limb over the cleaning.

'What do you think of this dress?' is another clanger, up there with will you find the hairclip in my bag and will you watch the pumpkin seeds in the grill while I go off trick or treating with the kids.'

The latter proved my undoing on Hallowe'en, as, having cooked dinner, the lazy devil on my shoulder was telling me, 'that's it for you mate, relax now with a cool beer and let the worries of the world pass you by'.

And so I retired to the sittingroom and chatted with my brother-in-law, a long overdue chat on everything from football to an upcoming wedding, when The Good Woman and the children arrived home, along with cousins and my sister-in-law, full of cheer after a successful round of trick or treating.

The joy was short lived as I entered the kitchen to the acrid smell of burning pumpkin seeds.

The Good Woman's face, which had been affixed with delight, changed, metamorphosed even, into something quite frightening.

Silence, followed by some pointed words was what I had to digest, but I knew this was only the beginning. I'd have preferred the seeds! In a typical man-like attempt to extricate myself from my predicament, I put some pumpkin seeds I had in a pack under the grill and burnt them as well!

Around this time, after the horror of the burnt pumpkin seeds was forgotten about, I saw an article in which TV personality and journalist Claire Byrne celebrated the role her husband plays in doing lots of important parenting, for which he gets no credit from society.

This struck a chord as there is an expectation that women do everything when it comes to children, and are supposed to, as far as society is concerned. Up until recently the notion of any paid leave for fathers after the birth of a child was a pipe dream. The government has grasped this thorny issue and it looks like things are finally changing for the better.

What Claire Byrne was saying was that she is always getting credit for managing a busy career with raising her children, whereas her husband, who does the creche runs and looks after the children equally gets feck all credit.

This goes, in some small way to explain, a generation gap, whereby many men above a certain age, from a certain generation, who never had to contend with an up-the-back dirty nappy, or walking the corridors at 4 a.m. and again at 6 a.m., with a baby, don't have clue what it's like for modern men.

Their life was work-centred, and in some cases, pub-centred. Today, the only time a guy sees a pub is at a wedding, funeral, or on a stag. That's not to say that the previous generation of men had it easier. Far from it. It's just to say that society has changed and there are increasing expectations on men, expectations like finding things in black hole-like handbags and doing chores like watching pumpkins roast when all you want to do is catch up and socialise for once!

Wexford People

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