Lindsay Woods: 'Kicky cow, kicky calf and all that'

Lindsay Woods: 'Kicky cow, kicky calf and all that'

We have a variety of Broom in our garden. Potted, due to its unruly nature and capacity to spread like wildfire. 

It yields delicate yellow blooms just prior to May Day, which belie its sturdy and obstinate nature. 

We place it at our door on the eve before May Day; an old piseog which decrees that the act of same wards off any evil or harm for the coming year. 

During the summer months, seed pods from on the spines which explode with the heat of the sun producing a clear cracking sound. 

It was this point of information that I imparted upon my husband as he mournfully intoned, “I don’t know what’s wrong with her. I don’t know what I did.”

“Maybe she’s like the seedpods? Blistering and exploding in extreme temperatures.”

“Right, yeah. That’s a bit reaching isn’t it?”

“Maybe. But you’re the one bothered by it all.”

Lindsay Woods: 'Kicky cow, kicky calf and all that'

It transpired what had so stoked the fire of rage within our daughter was the following. He had dared to brush her hair.

During increased temperatures, kids have a knack for acquiring an extra thick layer of crud which clings to and coats their skin. 

An accumulation of sun-screen, sweat and remnants of ice-pops which leave snail-like trails of juice the length of their arms rendering their epidermis to that of a baked lizard coated in cordial. 

I’ll spare you any descriptors in relation to the aroma.

The above thereby necessitates power hosing the layers from their bodies with more frequency than normal. 

Our children would probably choose walking over hot coals faster than agreeing to showering. They literally relish sitting, eating and sleeping in their own filth. 

Last summer, our daughter had her hair in a just-so bob. It was low maintenance and negated the need of a hairbrush post washing as it simply fell into place. 

Then, she decided to grow it. Due to her proclivity towards dirt, it caused her newly acquired mop to matt and tangle daily. 

We came to an agreement that it would be secured by two braids during the day so as to minimise the howls of anguish each evening as I attempted to extrapolate the debris she would accrue daily, tangled within the stands of her hair.

It was during one of those exceptionally hot and sticky evenings we have had of late, those muggy and overcast ones where the sky teases rain but stays its hand, that the fracas ensued. 

We heard the shouting first. The voices increased in volume until a slammed door put paid to any further negotiations. 

My husband appeared downstairs flushed and somewhat bothered. I advised him to let her stew but he was noticeably distracted by what had just occurred.

You see, this was their first big falling out so to speak. Our daughter idolises my husband and he duly returns the appreciation. 

Meanwhile, she bucks and rails against me so therefore I am used to such incidents. Kicky cow, kicky calf and all that. 

File photo
File photo

But it appeared they were both bothered by their exchange. My husband blustered about the kitchen before climbing the stairs to put an ear to her bedroom door. 

Meanwhile, drawers and boxes could be heard being angrily opened and banged shut from the confines of her room. He returned looking despondent. 

“She’s put a sign up,” said he, with an expression of a wounded dog.

“Right! That’s it now. I’m putting an end to this.”

She had indeed stuck a sign to the outside of her door which read, in angry scrawled lettering, “Dad! Don’t come in!!!!!”

I could see why he was put out. For all her guff towards myself, we both knew that she would never dare to attach a sign to her door in respect of me. 

For the simple reason, she knew as well as I, that I would karate kick that door in before shipping her off to a closed order situation.

Her face was swollen from crying as in ragged gulps she attempted to justify her actions.

“Right. If you don’t stop this nonsense and apologise to your father, I will put you back in that shower and wash your hair again because you have worked yourself into such a state. Do you understand me?”

She scowled and uttered her acknowledgment as I removed the sign from her door.

Himself was away the following night. She had been cool in her ‘Goodbye’ but failed to settle that evening in his absence. 

On his return the next day, she was once again his shadow and all was right once more.

“See now? Didn’t a night away from each other do you both the world of good?”

@thegirlinthepaper

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