When I was growing up there were not many real arguments around the house that I remember. My dad was the disciplinarian for us kids and we all had rules to follow. When we didn’t follow the rules mom always said: “Just wait until your father gets home!” That would put fear into us.
Then the long wait, whether it was 30 minutes or 3 hours until dad came home from work. It gave us plenty of time to think over whatever wrong we had been crazy enough to do. I heard that statement many times when I was growing up and I knew when he got home I was really into it then.
I can’t remember ever arguing with mom about anything either. I am sure I did some grumbling and complaining to myself but knew that what she said was going to be how it was. If I didn’t believe her then dad would back it up when he got home because they went by the same rules for us kids.
During the years when I was real little and Brownie and I would run off down the street for cookies he never stopped her from switching my legs all the way home, but that changed as I got a little older. Guess he figured I deserved it then when I ran off.
When I was still young and in grade school my cocker spaniel Brownie protected me from my mother when I got in trouble with her. My dog Brownie wouldn’t let mom spank me, he would get between us and keep me safe. He wouldn’t however challenge my dad. I would have much rather had her spank me than my dad. Wonder if it was a male thing or he just knew better than to get in my dad’s way.
The arguments between mom and dad were always short lived. If she began to fuss at him about some thing (which wasn’t often) he wouldn’t argue with her. If she got louder and more insistent I remember him putting on his ball cap and heading out the back door.
Dad could always find something to do in the yard or his workshop for about an hour. By that time she had calmed down and then he would come back in to see if she still wanted to argue. She was usually over it by the time he came back in the house and he could go to his chair and read the paper.
Some people do better if they don’t have an audience and lose their reason to argue pretty fast. It worked with mom. It was no fun for her to yell at the wall or the empty room. It didn’t take long for her Irish temper to cool and the starch to go out of her. Then she would be back to her carefree self and we could go around her again.
One day after I was married my mother told me about him leaving her by herself when she was mad and wanted to argue with him. She said by the time he came back in she had forgotten what she was so mad about. Then that made her mad because she couldn’t pick up the argument from the point that he had left the house.
Arguing with my dad when I was a kid was a one sided affair. There was no arguing with him! What he said was the law around our house. I may have tried to argue once or twice but the consequences were too painful to try it again.
If I started to argue and before I could get one sentence out of my mouth I was spanked, if I was young enough for him to still spank me. The last spanking was when I was in the 8th grade for sticking my tongue out at him when he told me to do something that I didn’t want to do.
During high school he just grounded me. It seemed like the only number that ever came out of his mouth when he grounded me was 6 weeks. I was not about to argue with him or I would have been grounded longer after I expressed my opinion. I don’t think most kids of my generation, the baby boomers, had an opinion when it came to their dad’s rules; at least we didn’t voice them to him if we did.
I usually ended up complaining to mom about being grounded but that never did me any good. She never took our side against dad so the punishment always stood. So, arguments at home were few and far between or non existent between my parents and non existent with me and my parents. To contact Sandy: [email protected]