“Where’s my baby’s bottle?” I heard Miss7 asking as she made her way from room to room.
I chuckled loudly to myself from where I was staring at my computer as a pleasant thought crossed my mind: she’s our youngest of seven we’ve now been enjoying several years of not boiling kettles and making bottles. It still gives me a warm glow inside.
‘Not like we’ve snuck another kid into the house’, I silently quipped, and was so amused at the idea I think my brain snorted.
Then a one year old ran past my feet.
‘Oh yeah,’ I carried on thinking to myself. ‘I forgot about him.’
The little fella doing laps of the house followed by four of our older kids desperate to get his attention was our potential grandson – because his mum is dating our son, Master27.
Of course, when I say ‘potential grandson’ they’ve only been dating a couple of months and I’m really only trying to not sound like I’m rushing into things. But fark that, he’s ours now. Because he’s frikken adorable and so is his mum, and anyway that’s how we roll here.
That aside, I still knew Miss7 wasn’t trying to find a real baby’s bottle but rather a doll’s baby bottle. The sort which seem to fill and empty depending on how which way you hold them up. I knew this because I’d been stepping on the thing for three days.
Finally making her way into the dining area where I’ve recently set up my office, Miss7 asked me if I knew where it was. I didn’t even look up.
“No idea,” I lied.
Oh, I knew where it was alright.
I’d finally made good on my promise – first uttered twenty-two years ago to Master27 and Miss24 – to pick shite up off the floor and simply toss it in the bin.
A wave of guilt failed to wash over me. Fark em’. This one had gone to that big dolls house in the sky.
In any case, they’re a couple of bucks and there’s usually two or three in a Christmas stocking every year.
Focusing back on my screen I nearly hit the ceiling – quite a feat because ours are three meters high – as a set of lips suddenly whispered into my ear, “Do you know where it is?”
Which was the end of my fun. Once Tracey is involved in the search everyone is involved in the search.
As I wasn’t going to spend the next hour pretending to look for something I knew wasn’t there I had no choice but to come clean. Sort of.
“Maybe,” I said. “I might have seen it somewhere.” For a loving, beautiful, empathetic and sexy brown eyed woman, she sure can do cold blue steel extremely well. “Are you sure you wa-?”
She cut me off with a thumb jab towards the little girls’ room where, right at that moment, Miss7 was tipping a box of toys out onto the floor. She rustled through the bits for a moment before grabbing the next box off a shelf and upending it onto the growing pile of toy bits.
“I’ll have a look,” I said standing.
Tracey went off to suggest Miss7 choose life and refill the boxes, while I opened the cupboard under the sink.
With a household of seven we don’t have one of those cute, white little bins which the supermarket grocery bag could double as a garbage bag in when you got home: We have the sort of bin the 80’s garbo would hoist up onto their shoulder and tip into his truck.
The good news was Master14 hadn’t taken the bin out yet so I wouldn’t have to empty a wheely bin. The bad news was the summit of shite in front of me had grown to where it was just about touching the underside of the sink. I guesstimated a good two feet of refuse had been added since I’m snuck the damn baby bottle and a few other unnecessary trip hazards in.
Fortunately, I had the advantage of knowing roughly where to search because I’d made sure to place it against the side of the bin, closest to the cupboard door, so if, unlikely as it sounds, one of the kids had tidied up their room and thrown out some of their mess they wouldn’t spot their other bits of toys in there.
I’d also been adding other bits of rubbish from cleaning up after breakfast, and even crap Master27 had been walking into the kitchen with stuff – because I’m sneaky AF and Master27 would have given the whole game away if he’d spotted toys and given them back.
Nothing for it, I shot my hand into the mix of scraps, and paper & plastic too unclean to make the trip to the tip in the recycle truck, and came up a moment later with…
A shitty nappy.
Not a doll’s baby bottle sort of doll’s shitty nappy. An actual shitty nappy.
Now I remembered one of the main things I’d covered the mix of toy bits with to hide them from the kids.
“Did you find it?” whispered Tracey. She’d come back into the kitchen just as I finished washing my hands and was reaching for the car keys.
“It’s gone forever,” I said, shaking my head as I headed out to the car. “So I’ve decided to go buy her a new one.”
Raising a family on little more than laughs