I Can’t Make This Stuff Up


Being the oldest has its benefits.

But it also has a downside – younger siblings. Specifically, they’re getting into your stuff.

“What the…?” I stammered last weekend – and most weekends before that – when I opened the door to Miss12’s room. “GET IN HERE!” I yelled out to Miss12.


Her voice had risen in tone until it matched mine, and she dove to the floor to pick through the remains of her makeup box.

“Don’t blame them,” I scolded her. “You’re the one who left your makeup out. How many times do we have to tell you to put it away?”

At the same time I tried to explain to Miss4 she shouldn’t get into her big sister’s special things.

“But I look pretty, Daddy,” she countered.

This has been an ongoing problem here in the Devereaux household since Adam was a baby. Well, since Miss12 was a baby and she’d get into her older sister’s makeup. Oh, the irony.

For nearly twelve years I’ve been saying the same things and staring at very similar clown-like faces – if clowns were traditionally blind, drunk and suffering from Parkinson’s.

While I obviously give the little kids a stern word, the main problem is they can get to the war paint at all. It’s simple: if little hands can’t reach it, little hands can’t misuse it. And unfortunately for me, the only thing our kids put more makeup on than their faces is the carpet.

And that’s a red button for a rage-inducer for me.

“I don’t know why you get so bent out of shape,” Tracey told me the last time she found me on my knees trying to work some gunk out of the floor. “They’ve pee’d on every inch of the carpet in here. Now they’re all out of nappies, we’re replacing it.”

Makes sense. We replaced it several years ago because Master24 somehow bleached spots into the blue carpet in his room. The ass.

“So I should stop?” I asked hopefully.

“No,” she said, sitting back on one of the beds to watch me work. Her recent body repairs mean getting down on the floor and cleaning up messes is beyond her abilities at the moment. “Just don’t bust a valve,” she grinned. “Oh, and there’s another bit over here.”

“Thanks for your help.”

“You’re welcome.”

“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you.” It wasn’t a question.

“I like to watch.”

I just wish my girls would listen to my warnings and save us all some grief.

Then today – success at last! Someone’s been listening!

“Daddy,” Miss4 said to me, her tone serious. She’d marched up to where I sat at my computer and told it like it was. “Gracie left her makeup on the floor.” Pointing at her own face she announced in a disappointed sort of bellow, “She left it out and look what I done!”

So it looks like I’ve finally got through to one of my five girls. It’s just such a shame she’s the last one coming through.

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Raising a family on little more than laughs.

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