A Bad Move


“Not long until you head off on your bus,” a friend said to Miss9 last night, expecting to get a burst of enthusiasm.

We were at a brilliant local table top gaming function called Boarding School (which I may have been involved in organising with my son, Master24), where people were invited to come along and try out all our favourite board/card/dice games. We ended up with just over 40 people who weren’t related or running the venue – twice what we expected. We’ll definitely be doing that again.

Miss9 had just finished showing a couple of young ladies one of her favourite board games – Ticket To Ride, Europe – and, incidentally, cheating her way to victory. So proud.

“Sort of,” she replied, not sounding as excited about heading off on our bus adventure as the woman expected.

“What’s wrong?”

Miss9 leaned in conspiratorially.

“I think I’ve made a terrible mistake,” she whispered, her eyes wide.

When nothing further was added, our friend encouraged her to go on. As you would.

“When we picked our beds,” said Miss9, “I got the one under Mum and Dad’s, and now I’m really worried.”

I remember when the bed picking was going on. Miss9 elbowed her way down the aisle to claim that particular bunk ahead of her siblings, the draw card being a little more storage for her books and toys.

Now of course, given my recent attempts to solve the problem of alone time in a bus with five kids, I immediately thought she was worried about accidentally overhearing…you know…that. For a few seconds I was worried she was going to force my hand and I’d have to put her mind at ease by giving away our solution – something which might then become more awkward for her later on.

But it turns out I was a bit off, so to speak.

“Mum’s farts smell bad,” she said by way of explanation. Clearly our friends face didn’t immediately look horrified, because she went on. “I mean they really, really smell bad. Really. I don’t think I’m going to be able to breathe.”

Actually, since losing most of her small bowel last year we’ve all noticed how much more punch poor Tracey’s packing. It’s the butt of many a foul joke in the car as we drive along with windows down desperate to inhale the comparatively fresh exhaust fumes from the vehicles in front of us.

But I don’t think this is going to be the big problem for Miss9 she thinks it is. You see, I know something she doesn’t and it’s worse than what she thinks. Much worse. Much, much, much worse.

I’m actually the parent sleeping directly above her.

And while Tracey might have it all over me in terms of quality these days, when it comes to quantity it’s like I’m playing with loaded dice.

Raising a family on little more than laughs

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