Slippery Grip: Irresponsible parents 12



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As you hit middle age and beyond, the conversation eventually gets around to who wants what when you are dead.

It’s best to get these things sorted and who is getting the wide screen television is a lottery and the juice extractor is anyone’s guess. But I was musing on what would happen if the husband and I had a terrible accident and ‘just like that’ we shuffled off this mortal coil.

The horrifying thought was not that we weren’t ready, but that our children would rummage through our personal belongings. Not so bad you say, until you remember one summer day with nothing much to do and a new digital camera we took some, let’s just say, Fifty Shades of Grey photos. OMG just doesn’t cover it.

Overhearing your parents having sex is like an extreme sport. Not for the faint hearted. Finding ‘those’ photos is like, well, you just don’t want to go there.

So the obvious thing to do is to destroy the evidence. Burn baby burn. That would be easy except I don’t know where the printed results are exactly. I know I put them somewhere safe.

I’d had a scare a few weeks back with a new mobile phone. We were testing the video facility and I managed to take 20 seconds of the husband dancing…au naturale.

Not that we make a habit of this sort of thing, but variety is the spice of life they say. It was a silly little thing (he’s heard that from me on several occasions), and then I found I didn’t know how to delete the video. I didn’t want to send it to my contacts by mistake or anything so I had to ring the manufacturer and ask for instructions. It was a tense moment as I pressed delete which just happens to be right next to export.

We did get caught out once when the children were still small.

“What are you doing in there?” is a question that can only be answered with, “Moving the furniture, won’t be long”.

And there was a horrifying Saturday not so long ago.

We were replacing a bit of wall on our boat and as we measured and marked the graffiti nazi took over and we wrote things…naughty things, knowing the wall was soon to be in pieces. Why is it the phone rings, a crisis is born and the job in hand is forgotten?

I don’t know who was more mortified. My 16-year-old son or me when we came home to the smell of paint thinners and I innocently asked what he’d been doing.

I barely had the words out when the enormity of the situation hit me. How do you keep a straight face, let alone stop your eyeballs from popping out like organ stops, knowing his education included a substantial amount of learning to read. Sometimes I can’t believe we actually did these things. We are responsible adults for heaven’s sake.

So I’ve looked and I can’t find the photographs. And I guess, why should I care. I’ll be dead. I’m not sure the kids will be scarred for life. They just might think their parents loved one another and knew how to have fun. Although it might be a bit off putting to know the last image of you they have, looks like a turkey lying on its back before it goes in the oven.


Have you ever been caught out by your kids? What happened?

Hettie Ashwin

My short stories have been published in America, United Kingdom and Australia in magazines and online. I have published a number of books over the years, all of which have been successful here and overseas. I write a humorous column for the Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette called Slippery Grip.

  1. On my knee when 12yr old daughter came into the kitchen…..hands on her hip and said ‘he’ll want sex next’……instead of laughing like we do now 30 yrs later my reply ‘I’m over 21!!!!’…..laughable now

  2. Cool! I recently threw out a very expensive sex toy because I am scared of my grown up kids finding it when I die!!! LOL! And I hope they don’t look under the bed and find hubby’s naughty books. Oh dear!

  3. No family so don’t care.
    Heritage wise, my cousin in England uncovered a letter from our Grandmothers house dating back to the 1940’s. This was a house she had been renting whilst our Grandfather was at war in the Royal Navy. To make ends meet to feed the 4 children she rented out rooms, but unknown to all, she was renting them out as a ” Madam” to ” Ladies” who would like to bring their Gentleman friends back for an hour or two!! Somebody dobbed her in & she was evicted from that property.
    Undetered she went on to purchase a house ( with my parents as guarantors) & carried on exactly the same. As a child I spent all my school holidays with her as my parents were working & often wondered why I had so many Aunts & Uncles with strange smelling breath who went to bed during the day @ her house. I was strictly told never to ask by my parents but I suppose as I grew up that I did really know but as it didn’t really affect me, was never bothered by it.

  4. Do not think you are alone with this dilemma. What about all the toys that older couples are buying? Bet they make for some raised eyebrows!!!

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