seven ten days, it will be Father’s Day. But June 17th means more to my family that a generic occasion. June 17th is also Speedy’s birthday. In celebration of Speedy’s birthday and Father’s Day, from today until June 17th, I will post father stories. Not just stories about the father of my two wonderful daughters but about my father and late father-in-law as well.
What triggered the idea? Speedy did. He is keeping a couple of blog entries in draft mode and one of them is about his dad and Father’s Day. Speedy gets rather sentimental when remembering loved ones who have passed away. Me, I like to remember happy — funny — memories. Hilarious even. And when I read Speedy’s draft, I couldn’t help but recall, with lots of laughter, the Gerber baby bottles incident.
After we were married, we lived with Speedy’s family. We moved to my family house six months after Alex was born. So, we lived with my in-laws for almost three years.
We didn’t have house helpers. There were no yayas. There would be a handy man on and off but nothing permanent. And since water supply was scarce in Quezon City during those times, we had to schedule everything — washing clothes and baby bottles, most especially.
Mothers will understand that it is no joke taking care full time of two young children. Sam at one-and-a-half years old and Alex at a few months old… it was exhausting. So, Speedy and I had an arrangement. We did the laundry and washing the baby bottles alternately. Since Speedy was working, he could only do his baby chores at night.
Now, my father-in-law was a notorious busy-body. My mother-in-law used to slap his hand, affectionately with a tinge of cattiness, whenever he interfered with the cooking. He was like that. He would stir when no stirring was necessary. He would turn up the heat when something was simmering. He would turn off the washing machine when someone else’s laundry was in it… He and my mother-in-law used to have funny exchanges about all that. She would accuse him and he would just smile at her. Maglalambing lang after being such a pest and expect to be forgiven. He was a big baby in that sense (told you, all husbands are big babies). See, he was restless. For someone who wasn’t used to staying home day in and day out, retirement was a tiresome affair.
We complained all the time mostly to my mother-in-law. Speedy was especially adamant about his dad’s interference with the laundry. He had limited time for baby chores and he really didn’t like getting delayed because someone decided to turn off the washing machine or drain the water or stop the washing cycles. And, of course, Speedy was at the receiving end of my bitchy complaints so he had to pass on the complaints to his mother who was really the only one who exercised any influence (control) over her husband.
So, anyway, we had a baby bottle sterilizer. You know, the large pan with a rack inside where the baby bottles are boiled to sterilize them. One night, Speedy washed the bottles, put them in the sterilizer, poured in water and turned on the stove. Then, he fell asleep.
At around six the next morning, Speedy woke me up to say that he left the sterilizer on the stove overnight. I sat bolt upright and asked what happened. He showed me. All six bottles were deformed, melted in places so they were stuck to the rack. The sterilizer itself was warped. I was speechless. Of course, we had an emergency supply of disposable baby bottles but the kids didn’t really like them.
Fast forward to a few hours later. Speedy had left for work and I was having breakfast with my in-laws. Sam was on her high chair; Alex was still sleeping in the bedroom. For some reason, my mother-in-law was blaming my father-in-law for the baby bottle mess. At first I couldn’t understand. Then, my mother-in-law relayed the story.
Like I mentioned earlier, my father-in-law saw the sterilizer on the stove even before Speedy woke up but didn’t touch it. Apparently, my mother-in-law felt that he should have checked and turned off the stove. It wouldn’t have been unexpected since he was an interfering busy-body like I said.
Here’s his version. Gosh, I will never forget his words, addressed to my mother-in-law, for as long as I live.
“Ang supla-suplado ng anak mo (meaning Speedy) pag pinapakialaman yung ginagawa nya, eh, di pinabayaan ko.”
Shucks. The one time when his interference would have been happily welcomed, he decided not to do anything. LOL But then who can blame him, really? Everyone would tell him off every time he interfered. And when he didn’t he was still getting blamed. :razz: