“I’ve got to go to the shops!” I called out to my wife last night. “We’re out of milk.”
“We can’t be out of milk,” she called back from the lounge room. “I bought 5 bottles yesterday.”
“We’re going to Coles! Won’t be long!” I grabbed the keys and hustled Miss2, Miss4 and Miss7 out the door before Tracey could ask any more questions.
I have a confession: I didn’t even look in the fridge.
“Listen up, guys,” I said to my three youngest daughters once we were on the road. “Tomorrow is your Mum’s birthday-”
“-YAY!” came a cheer from behind me.
“-and we need to buy her a present.”
That’s right. We were headed for the supermarket to buy my wife a birthday present. That ‘husband of the year’ trophy was in the bag. But in my defense, it has been a busy
week month year life.
“Mummy likes chocolate,” suggested Miss4. She’s right, but actually I suspected this was coming from a place where Miss4 likes chocolate.
“White chocolate,” said Miss7.
“Done,” I said. “What else?”
“That yucky cheese,” said Miss7, making a face. She meant marinated goats cheese. We were on a roll.
By the time the girls and I left the supermarket I felt a bit relieved. I suspect the supermarket did as well because the noise in the store could return to a level where people could hear the music and announcements over the PA. We had clutched in our hands a large box of Raffaello, Meredith Dairy Goat Cheese, a $13 bracelet from a Mix and Match stand which all three girls insisted their mother would love and everything I needed to make the sort of breakfast usually reserved for visiting royalty, including sourdough bread, pine nuts, prosciutto, organic eggs, basil, olive oil and garlic.
Obviously I was relying a lot on the breakfast.
But I must say Tracey’s birthday morning went off even better than I’d expected.
“What’s all this?” Tracey asked when the kids started pulling out their presents. Then she whispered, “Bruce, you didn’t have to buy all this. You’ve already spent so much on the other stuff.”
“You’re worth it,” my mouth said while my brain tried to make sense of what she’d just said. What other stuff?
Tracey indicated with her eyes the wardrobe behind me and I opened it up and sure enough there was a very gift-like bag there. I took it out and handed it to my wife.
“What’s this?” she said, feigning surprise and looking in the bag. Which was funny because she was clearly the only person in the room who knew what was in there. “These are the photography books I’ve been wanting! Oh! And receipts for the three photography courses I’ve been talking about all year. This must have cost you hundreds and hundreds of dollars. You guys!”
Random words from a vague conversation a week ago floated up through the murky grime to the surface of my consciousness and I recalled there was talk about Tracey wanting to buy this stuff. Suddenly I felt much better about myself as a husband. This was, I accept, unjustified because, let’s face it, despite how things panned out I’d still forgotten to buy her a present until the last moment, but then I’m a results focused sort of bloke.
Twenty minutes later I presented my wife with the ultimate in breakfast fare.
“This is amazing,” she told me.
“I know,” I said. “Anything else before I start yelling at the kids to get ready for school?”
“I’d love a coffee.”
“Sorry, I can’t do that.”
“We’re out of milk.”
Happy Birthday to my long suffering wife 🙂 We love you xxx
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