‘Is anybody–else absolutely fr–fre–eezing?’ I asked, wrapping the blanket around my shivering frame.

‘Of course, we are,’ my wife snapped, from somewhere under a pile of her own blankets. ‘And it’s your fault!’

‘My fault?!’ I asked. ‘How?!’

‘You’re the one who couldn’t be bothered looking for a company that does ducted heating repairs near the Canberra area,’ she scowled at me. At least, I thought it was a scowl – hard to tell when all I could see was one of her eyes.

‘In Dad’s defence,’ my daughter cut in, making me jump – I hadn’t realised she was also under a pile of cushions on the couch next to me. ‘This cold did come out of nowhere.’

‘Out of nowhere?!’ my wife asked, shocked. ‘It’s winter! The calendar tells you when it’s going to be cold!’

‘Who gets their heating fixed during summer anyway,’ I rolled my eyes.

‘People who know that their ducted heating needs repairing before winter!’ my wife exploded. At least, I think she exploded, because suddenly I could see slightly more of her face.

‘If I remember correctly,’ I countered. ‘You didn’t even want gas heating! “Canberra” will be hot, like the rest of Australia”, you told me! So confident!’

‘It is hot,’ she sniffed defensively. ‘Most of the time. And besides, that doesn’t change anything about what we’re talking about. Fixing the ducted heating so that our gas heater works for winter has always been your job!’

‘Where is this always coming from?! We’ve never had to fix it before!’

‘Fixing things is your department!’

‘Well, if that isn’t some backwards–’

‘Woah, woah!’ my son walked into the room, taking his headphones out of his ears and frowning at us. ‘What’s with all the yelling?’

‘Mum is mad at Dad for not fixing the heater,’ my daughter explained with a sigh. ‘Dad has just tried to evade responsibility via a sudden understanding of how patriarchal norms negatively affect men too.’

My son nodded along.

‘Cool. Carry on,’ he said, as he put his headphones back in and left the room.