I know it’s not considered cool in polite society to gloat about your parenting, but I don’t think it would come as a surprise to people who know us to learn that this afternoon Tracey and I were fighting over who was going to help Miss8 with her homework.
“You do it,” Tracey told me.
“I don’t want to.” That sounded a little open ended, so in the interests of closing a potential loophole, I added, “Ever.”
The fact is I’m hopeless at homework. Especially maths, because they’ve changed how numbers work since I was a kid, but more generally most subjects. I just can’t sit there and do it when there’s so much important stuff to be getting on with.
But even though the feet of my willingness to help with homework were absolutely set in concrete, in a dazzling display of how good my wife is at parenting politics twenty minutes later I was seriously reconsidering my position and, in an extremely un-Drumpf manner, preparing to backtrack and chisel out a new stance. And, for her part, there were no tantrums or tears. She was simply reading words off a list for Miss8 to write out…
…and then using them in a sentence.
I don’t know how many I missed as I sat on my computer answering emails (not so much) and watching QI on Youtube (that’s the one), but once I realised what she was doing I opened up this page on my computer and started typing out what she was saying.
I didn’t say anything to raise her suspicions, but I suspect Tracey might have realised I was listening at some point. There was definitely a smile in her voice.
“Himself. Daddy plays cards with himself.
Rough. Mummy has it rough now that Daddy is home.
Foreign. Because housework is foreign to Daddy.
Laugh. But he sure does make her laugh.”
This went on, with Miss8 seemingly oblivious to the meaning of the sentences as she wrote out her words.
“Elephant. Daddy sounds like an elephant when he snores.
Telephone. Daddy’s always on his telephone.
Camouflage. Daddy wears baggy clothes as fat camouflage.
Coffee. Without coffee, Daddy is not very smart.
Efficient. Without coffee, Daddy’s not very efficient.
Foreground. The foreground of Daddy’s hairline is very thin.
Fabulous. Mummy is fabulous.”
You might think I’m going to start helping with homework because I want to stop her picking on me, but I’ve got thicker skin than to see what she was saying as anything other than belly-wobblingly funny. In fact, I think I was enjoying this as much as she was. I certainly didn’t want her to stop. Yet.
But then, after all this hilarity, things suddenly took on a much more serious note.
“Physical. Because he didn’t help with homework Daddy has no hope of getting physical with his fabulous wife. Ever. Which brings us back to the word ‘himself’. Because I’ve finished the entire list Daddy will definitely have to play with himself.”
Let’s just say it suddenly occurred to me I should maybe save watching a second episode of QI for another night and go see if Miss12 needed a hand with her English speech.
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”