One Big Little Problem

 

“Here’s the thing,” I told my kids tonight at the dinner table. “Your mum is due back in half an hour and I want you all bathed and in bed by the time she walks in the door. Got it?”

With my lovely wife away this afternoon shooting a wedding and not due home until around 8pm I was determined she should come home to children fed, bathed and in bed.

It was especially important I pull this off because my recent attempts at giving her a sleep-in have been less than well executed. To sum up, I needed to score some points or my chances of scoring anything else would be extremely unlikely.

“Can we have showers?” asked Miss9 on behalf of her and her brother.

“So long as you’re quick,” I told them.

This should have been a cinch, however there was one tiny little flaw in my plan – Miss1. She’s about the same height as Chucky and nearly as destructive.

My two littlest girls had begun undressing when I turned from starting the bath and noticed someone had unraveled the toilet roll onto the floor.

“Who did this?” I wanted to know. Miss1 just grinned at me. “Did you do this?” I asked her.

“Yep,” she said, meaning I was torn between being a frowny daddy and wanting to congratulate her on such a clear word.

While the bath kept filling I kneeled and started the  task of winding the loo paper back on. I was nearly done when I realized my knees were getting wet. For a split second I thought it was loo water, but it wasn’t.

I spun around and couldn’t help but notice the water wasn’t going into the bath anymore – the tap attachment we use for washing the kids’ hair was, as always, attached and someone had been playing with the hose and then left it facing up, creating a lovely, if poorly located, water feature. Again, it wasn’t hard to work out who did this as she tried to wrestle it back off me while I removed it so the water could return to going in the bath.

Several minutes later the floor was mopped and the bath was ready and I was genuinely missing the hell out of my wife. She was due home in twenty minutes now and, except for feet, not a single child was wet.

Protesting at a quicker bath than usual, I took Miss1 and Miss3 to their bedroom to get them dressed, leaving Miss6 with instructions to soap herself down then remove the toys and pull the plug when she was done. We had some serious time to be making up, people.

Because Miss3 can take days to decide which undies she wants to wear, I dressed Miss1 first. I was just doing the zip up on Miss3’s onesie and thinking we were going to make it when I heard a yell from the bathroom.

“Get out! Get out of the bath!” Miss6 was saying loudly.

“Come on, guys. Your mum will be home in a few minutes. Help me out, would you?” I called out. “And didn’t you want showers anyway?!”

“Yeah,” said Master8, appearing at the bedroom door. Miss9 was behind him.

“You want us to have them now?” she asked.

Okay, so if it wasn’t them, I thought, that must mean….uh-oh…

Sure enough, there was Miss1 having her second bath for the evening. She hadn’t even bothered to remove her clothes for this one.

Maybe she figured that would save us time?

As for scoring, I’d say: Miss1 THREE and Dad NONE.

And as four of the five kids were still awake beyond their bed time when Tracey arrived home, my score is unlikely to change this evening.

When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’  Facebook Page.

 ’raising a family on little more than laughs’

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