“What’s that smell?” Master11 asked me this morning as he stumbled into the kitchen.
“I don’t care,” I answered honestly. I was standing at the coffee machine repeatedly pressing the go button and willing the damn thing to start.
“You can’t smell it?”
“I can’t smell anything until I have a coffee. That’s basic chemistry.” The fact I’ve spent most of the weekend in bed blowing my nose didn’t help either.
“It was here yesterday too,” he continued before being interrupted by his youngest sibling.
“Something stinks,” Miss4 announced as she joined us. She was holding her nose but also, for some reason, not wearing anything. She’d definitely been in pjs when she went to bed. “Did you fart, Daddy?”
First thing in the morning? Of course I did. But it was a few minutes ago by now.
“If you can still smell my pop then I need to change my pants,” I told her as I turned her back around and suggested if she grabbed her undies & uniform out I’d help her dress.
“Is it Mum?” whispered Master11 discretely.
We’ve all agreed the six or seven meters of small bowel they removed from Tracey’s tummy late last year must have been the air filter bit. I lived for four years in a room with 15 other boys who were often served a side of boiled cabbage or stewed onions for dinner, and I look back on those nights as aromatically pleasant.
“Coffee first,” I mumbled, taking a sip because all my button pressing had finally paid off and the machine had finally warmed up enough it would allow the glorious liquid to be extracted from the pod.
We’ve been cutting out sugar this week so my coffee didn’t float my goat like it would have last week. But at least I could feel the cogs being oiled in my mind. I turned to Master11 and matched his volume. “It’s not her.”
“How do you know?”
Same way I know everything around here.
“Because she would have told me.”
Which left the bin, the drain or the cats’ tray around the corner. None of them were an issue as far as I could tell from Master11’s reactions as he checked them all out.
“It’s worse than those,” said Master11.
The rest of the family slowly made their way in for a hug and a bowl of porridge, including a still naked Miss4 with an armful of bright clothes for me to choose from. I bent down and began to help her, firstly, into her undies and pants. Not because I’m overly prudish about nudity but the fact is she’s only small so her air filter isn’t very long yet.
Which was when the mystery of the smell in the kitchen was solved.
“Gak! I know what that smell is,” Miss4 announced to the family sitting around the table. They all turned. “Hrk! It’s Daddy’s breath! Gak!”
I’m guessing the sugar in my coffee usually sweetens it up.
“It’s not, is it?” I asked the group as I tried to catch a handful of this apparently foul breath for a exploratory sniff. It didn’t work. My nose was still blocked. “Worse than the bin or a heap of cat poo?” I asked, walking over to them and deliberately saying hi a lot.
With their mouths firmly shut they all nodded vigorously, meaning I was going to have to give serious consideration to buying some sugar free mints. At least while I’ve got this cold.
“Worse than Mum,” Master11 whispered at me so softly I was effectively reading tight thin lips.
The kids are pretty clued up on not making Tracey feel self conscious about her bags. There’s also the very real concern we’ll attract the attention of the UN who’ll want to investigate the toxic stinks bombs their mother keeps dropping around the house. Not that Tracey really cares. To give you an idea, you can tell if she’s napalmed the car because we’ll have the windows down and heads out, but Tracey will be sitting in the passenger seat grinning and giggling with pure unadulterated pleasure.
So it was nice to sort out the mystery without bringing her gloating into it.
Or so I thought.
“Hey, Bruce, ” said Tracey as I walked into our bedroom a minute or so later, “I think you stink too.” Then she gave me a cheeky kiss.
“Hi love you too,” I said straight to her face.
She looked such a lovely blend of happy and ready to vomit, maybe I’ll put off getting the mints for a day or two.
Raising a family on little more than laughs”
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