From the moment I woke I knew something wasn’t right.
This last appeal to me from Miss6 was louder than the previous ones and had managed to drag me out of my shallow slumber. I was napping, you see, because we were in that sweet spot in the late afternoon between having picked the kids up from school and needing to snap at them to come eat dinner. Tracey had even been the one to suggest we lie down to reenergise our batteries because we’d had some late nights lately preparing for some mini-sessions she’d booked in over the next couple of weeks. Although she was disappointingly insistent we leave the bedroom door open.
I don’t know how many Dad’s I’d missed prior to these but immediately decided to draw on years of fatherhood experience and knowhow.
I lay very, very still.
I gave no indication I’d heard anything. This is my superpower.
Breathe, Bruce, I reminded myself. Nice and slow. Keep the rhythm. Eyes rolled back into your skull.
When pretending to sleep you can’t look anywhere, even under your eyelids, or they can tell because the outline of your pupils show and they move around. Told you I’m next level good at this.
I waited eagerly. This is where Tracey usually loses the game. She’ll toss and grunt in a huffy manner, much like she does if I’m having trouble sleeping at night so I rollover and accidentally prod her suggestively in the small of her back.
Something was wrong. We were back to the slightly softer shouts but at a slightly quicker pacing. Unusually, there was no pretend disturbed sleep movement beside me.
So far I could tell Miss6 hadn’t moved more than a head into our room, although I knew her too well to assume this would continue. She wasn’t about to give up and go away. But any minute now, I told myself, Tracey would take care of this like she always does.
Slightly shorter pause.
Slightly shorter pause.
It was a battle of wits now. Just me, Tracey and Miss6. Who would be the first to break? My money was on my wife.
Thirty-six times she said my name. Thirty-six! In my mind I could see Tracey lying prone beside me, eyes squeezed tight with a cheeky grin on her face. Like me, the indignation at being woken up would have dissipated by now and she’d be loving this and wonde-
I had no intention of giving up my farce at this late stage of the game but this last dad was screamed into my ear from a distance of her-lips-were-touching-my-lobe.
“WHAT?!” I squawked as I landed with a thump back on my bed. I may have cussed.
I was seriously peeved I lost the game but credit where credit is due. Momentarily ignoring our daughter and rolling onto my side, I decided to congratulate sleeping beauty on suddenly developing steel framed will power and maybe stick a wet finger up her nose.
At which point Miss6 blurted out what she’d been trying to get my attention to ask – which just so happened to be the same thing which was going through my mind at that exact moment.
“Where’s Mum?” Miss6 asked me.
Turns out Tracey had power-napped and long ago tiptoed off to the library with Master13 (because apparently she’s some sort of supermum).
From the moment I woke I knew something wasn’t quite right…in true Bruce form I was just totally wrong about what it was.
We’ve spent eighteen months exploring parts of Australia only to come home and realise how much we haven’t seen in our own backyard. We’ve decided to make the most of our time before we head off again and check out the local sights. Less than an hour away from home is Rainbow Beach, and a short ten minute walk brings you out of the trees into this incredible sand blow where you can stand in awe of nature or run around like silly buggers and even slide down walls of sand on cardboard or boogie boards.
Afterwards we had a swim in the ocean. Miss6 is so good at modelling for her mother she’s been coming up with her own poses. Not sure what she calls this one. Wounded gazelle?
Raising a family on little more than laughs
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