Life without children a Dud

Life without children a Dud

In every group of friends there is usually one couple that seems to have everything. They take a luxurious or adventurous holiday each year, buy a new car when the old one reaches its three-year expiry date, and enjoy meals at fine restaurants that have proper cutlery and breakable plates.The one thing they don't have is children - by choice.And although I do not envy them for the most part, I sometimes see the green-eyed monster rearing its head. It's usually when I'm driving and find myself dreaming of the days when I could hear my own thoughts rather than the yelling from the back seat.I find myself wondering what that couple would be doing at that very moment when I am negotiating a peace deal over who can sit in the front seat this time. Or picture them having a calm start to their morning while I try to diffuse a potential international incident because one child used the "rude finger" on another.And at 10pm, as I'm trying to create a masterpiece of edible art out of a damper that was supposed to look like a didgeridoo but now looks like road kill for the annual NAIDOC Week cook-off, I imagine them snuggled in bed reading a work of literary genius to further broaden their expansive horizons.When I was growing up, my father would often wonder aloud what "Bev and Dud" were doing.He usually muttered their names when one of us started to complain about another, or when he once again found the torch batteries were dead during a blackout because the kids had been using it for something rather than its intended use, or when the toilet paper ran out before shopping day had come around because little hands discovered the joy of unraveling the roll while no-one was looking.As teenagers when we argued about parties, or clothes or the usual things growing adolescents complain about, we'd hear the mantra "I wonder what Bev and Dud are doing now?" before he quietly vacated the room and left Mum to sort out a solution.With my own kids now flexing their independence muscles, the musings of my old man are beginning to make more sense.But the things we pushed our parents on back in the old days seemed so much simpler - a curling iron to create the ultimate Farrah Fawcett flick, or a pair of desert boots to replace the black lace-up Bartons that were bought because they'd last the whole school year.This week I had to take away technology - the ultimate sacrifice for any modern child and a punishment that created a situation where I was myself wondering what Bev and Dud may be doing. It was bad enough that I confiscated the mobile phone but when I also banned the use of Facebook things really took a turn for the worse.Although I myself would feel incomplete without my phone or email, the effects of technology deprivation on the young adult today can be catastrophic.Being unable to regularly update a profile or check which new pages have been liked by your peers is tantamount to being left in isolation and the backlash on the perpetrator of this inhumane crime is devastating.The silent treatment from your offspring can be deafening and, coupled with the blank stares and icy shoulder, can send the weaker of us back to the trenches where reneging on the sentence would seem like the easier option.But by week's end, the situation was resolved and I was once more delighting in the pleasures of parenthood. Bev and Dud may have never had their days disturbed by a sullen teen's rant, but they also never got to bask in the glory of reaching a milestone in the journey to adulthood.