“Owww!” Tracey exclaimed when Miss11 came up and gave her mother a painful hug. “Have you been riding your bike?”
Our daughter was wearing a bike helmet and in executing the hug had managed to headbutt her mum.
“No,” said Miss11, and left the explanation hanging as she closed her eyes, slumped against Tracey and looked all set for a power nap.
The oddness of it was sort of typical of the day Miss11 was having. She was home with a cold and the chemist had recommended a syrup which would make her drowsie.
“You can read in bed and sleep,” Tracey suggested.
She fought it the whole way.
If I was given a sleeping draught by the chemist and told I would sleep I’d be hard pressed not to hump his leg in excitement.
But eleven year old girls have different priorities.
She moaned about being sick. She shuffled between rooms. She raided the fridge. She plundered the pantry. She petted the dog. She flicked through a book. She followed her mum about, almost but not quite, helping with the housework.
Then, after school had finished for her classmates, she phoned a friend on the pretext of asking what homework they had, but probably more realistically to have a chat. Tracey said she could only hear one side of the conversation, but it went something like this:
“What? Yeah… Okay… What was that again? Right…….. No, wait. What?” And then after a minute of this, “Yeah…maybe I should go to sleep and call you back.”
Which was unfortunate, because straight after school is the one part of the day when sleep isn’t possible. I know. I’ve tried. The trouble is everyone is home and in a mood to jump, wrestle, annoy and whine.
And like a pack of lions on the Savannah, young children always attack the weakest member of the herd.
Which was why Miss11 was attempting to fall asleep standing up against Tracey.
Her head still smarting from the thump, my dear, sweet wife shrugged her shoulder, jolting Miss11’s eyes open.
“So why are you wearing your helmet if you’re not going to ride your bike?” she asked our daughter.
But Miss11 didn’t answer.
Our youngest came out of the house, saw her big sister, grinned, ran up and smacked her in the head with a stuffed toy.
God, how I love our big, ruthless family.
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs”