“You’re going to Nanna’s, b!tch!”
One afternoon, many years before we had kids, my wife and I decided to spend an afternoon at Scienceworks in Melbourne. It’s an awesome day out, fun for the whole family even if you don’t have one yet. Anyway, as we wandered through the carpark we passed a family on their way out. The kids were looking suitably inspired and intellectualised by a day of science-type stuff.
The family included a young boy of about five and his older sister who was about eight. Cherubs they were. So you can imagine our delight when the little boy turned to his sister and snarled, “You’re going to Nanna’s, bitch!”
My wife and I lost it, ah the joy of not having kids, and those immortal words have become a catchphrase in our house ever since.
To be honest, I kind of get where the kid was coming from. In my day (I can use that phrase, I’m a dad), going to Nanna’s was a whole different cup of tea to the holiday camp our kids currently enjoy. In my day (I can use it twice if I like, I’ve got two kids), Nanna’s had a certain smell about it: musty and weird. The towels were scratchy, the beds lumpy and the mood was dusty and grim.
We only had the choice of four TV stations. Four?! There wasn’t even an SBS back then, not that Nanna would’ve watched that foreign nonsense anyway. Being a country girl of an older generation she was still coming to terms with all the ‘darkies’ playing cricket on the television. It wasn’t just the TV that was black and white.
There was an old piano that hadn’t been tuned since mum was a kid, an old shed where you could play with the asbestos and a strip of weeds that Nan would let us mow with a blunt push-mower if we ate all our dinner.
Speaking of dinner, I once stayed with my Nanna for an entire week and she fed me crumpets for every single meal. I still don’t know why. I guess someone told her that I liked crumpets. She worked in mysterious ways my Nan; she used to dye her hair purple to disguise the fact she was going grey.
In my day, going to Nanna’s was a whole different cup of tea to the holiday camp our kids currently enjoy.
These days a trip to Nanna’s is a one-way ticket to paradise. Computer games, hand-me-down gaming consoles with all the best games and cousins who are old enough to drive you around, buy you stuff and teach you all the things you won’t let your dad teach you. There’s a special cupboard full of treats, chocolate ice creams in the freezer and crumpets are restricted to one meal a day.
There’s grass to run around on, a trampoline to jump on, netball hoop, skateboard ramp, puzzles, games and a park down the road. The beds are comfy, the towels are soft and everything smells fantastic.
It’s probably why our kids love going to their Nanna’s so much. When the school holidays come around and the kids ask us where they’re going, my wife and I smile at each other before answering in unison, “Oh, you’re going to Nanna’s, bitch”.