“Go back to bed,” Tracey encouraged me. “You have to be up early.”
It was tempting. After all, the annual BaconFest BBQ Smoke Off wasn’t going to judge itself and I owed it to the 42 contestants to have my tastebuds well rested and in peak condition. But it wasn’t going to happen.
A few minutes earlier I’d been roused from a newly obtained slumber with my wife loudly instructing someone to, “GO TO THE SINK !!”
We were parked up at the Kingaroy Show Grounds for a couple of nights to enjoy the festivities before my official duties began. Friday night Tracey and I had gone to the Wine & Swine dinner and Saturday was spent walking around the stalls with the family buying pig in all it’s most edible forms to sample, and basically having a great time. Only a couple of hours previously I’d returned home from watching the Kevin Bacon classic, Footloose with the kids.
Which was the main reason I couldn’t take Tracey up on her offer to jump back into bed. My good wife had stayed home on the bus with Miss7, who still has swollen lymph nodes in her stomach from a recent onslaught of bugs, meaning, at the film night, I’d been in charge.
It can’t be a coincidence many of the more disastrous stories I write about start with that premise.
I’d been in charge, meaning every time the kids asked if they could go back to the free buffet for more hot chocolates and sugary snacks, they were allowed to.
I’d been in charge, meaning when the movie started each kid had a large cup of their soft drink preference shoved into their eager hands.
I’d been in charge, meaning while we were walking home we stopped at Maccas to grab ourselves a one dollar frozen drink.
I’d been in charge all night, meaning even as I lay there emerging from sleep wondering why my wife was yelling instructions it quickly occurred to me the sound of someone dumping bucket after bucket of water up the bus hallway from a great height this was unlikely to be the case.
Climbing out of bed to help clean things up, it further occurred to me Miss12 had attempted to do exactly as her Mum had instructed. She’d vomited her way past the toilet and shower (with its foot deep bath-like almost-made-for-spewing-into base) and, despite a valiant effort, not quite made it to the sink.
In fact, against a backdrop of white cupboards, tan fabric dividers, dark grey floor tiles and light wooden benchtops, the sink was the only thing which didn’t appear to need cleaning.
While Tracey helped clean our daughter up I got down on my hands and knees and started scooping. I’m not going to show you photos of the ‘splatter zone’ or over describe the crime scene beyond mentioning from the brown hot chocolate colour to the bits of candied bacon, all my parenting sins were visible.
Not only my sins though. It was now disgustingly obvious to me who’d eaten the entire wheel of brie from the fridge this afternoon.
While I worked my way through a whole roll of paper towels I thought maybe I’d gotten away with it. Maybe Tracey hadn’t realised the reason we were both slipping and sliding our way up and down the centre aisle of our bus.
In fact, as sunrise edged closer I got a bit cocky. Some sleep deprived synapses decided it might be possible to make up for the previous night’s parenting failings by giving Miss12 a piece of my mind. Specifically some a-grade, top shelf, stellar Daddy advice about something which had been bugging me for at least half a bottle of disinfectant.
“You need to chew your food more,” I said as I scooped up yet another near pristine chunk of cheese.
I needn’t have bothered. After a thorough shower she’d sensibly taken her mother’s advice and snuck back to bed.
Tracey was still up though and answered on her behalf.
“Maybe if her father wasn’t trying to turn her liver into foie gras,” said Tracey through tight lips (although maybe that was just to stop the foul air from entering her lungs?), “she’d get a chance to chew.”