“You can’t be serious,” said Miss8, ripping out one of her more incredulous tones to really showcase her disbelief in my stupidity. “You haven’t bought Mummy a present!?”
“What?!” another voice erupted from the bunk above her.
I was tiptoeing around the house in an effort to let Tracey sleep in while nudging everyone up so they could ‘help’ me with the one thing I had planned for today.
“Come on,” I said in an effort to change the subject. “We have to make Mummy her breakfast. Who’s cracking the eggs? Who’s doing toast?”
Who’s the idiot who forgot while Tracey and I don’t bother giving each other presents for birthdays for the kids it’s sort of a biggy?
And 42 is a big, important, giggle-worthy birthday. As I tried to explain to Tracey later in the day, turning the big four-two is the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything. She didn’t get it and declined my offer to explain. How I ended up with someone who isn’t a gigantic Douglas Adams fan I’ll never understand.
One by one my kitch-bitches dragged themselves out of bed to start complaining to me as I heated up some butter in the frypan. In the time it took to boil the kettle, butter some toast and make a (even if I say so myself) pretty spectacular feta omelette, I was basically carpet bombed with increasingly harsh critiques of my husbanding.
“Why didn’t you buy something?”
“Can you go get something before she wakes up?”
“This isn’t fair. She deserves chocolate.”
“Or a new game for the Switch.”
Miss15 didn’t let Master13 get away with that one.
“Mum doesn’t play the Switch.”
“Yeah, but she enjoys me not annoying her when I play it. I’m being selfless here.”
I enjoyed this momentary reprieve, but it didn’t last.
“You’ve had all week to go to the shops, Dad.”
“Mum likes earrings or shoes or handbags-”
“Or credit cards.”
“-or buying clothes. You have no excuse.”
“Bad, Dad,” said Miss8, shaking her head at me.
“Guys,” I managed to get in eventually as I slid the omelette onto a plate, “we’re buying a pool. It’s expensive.”
I was quickly reminded the pool was for Christmas, so I tried again.
“Your Mum and I don’t need presents,” I said. “We have you guys. You’re our gifts to ourselves which keep on giving.”
“If that’s true,” said Miss11, “how come you got a bottle of gin on your birthday?”
“And a boat!” exclaimed Miss8. “I bought you a model boat one year.”
“Speaking of boats,” cut in Miss15, “didn’t we go on a cruise for your birthday?”
“Enough,” I said, snapping at last. “I’ve heard enough. Can we just focus on what we are giving your Mum? After all, this,” I went on, indicating the plate in Miss9’s hand, “is a very nice breakfast. Now let’s go give the ol’ girl her grub.”
The silence this outburst forged didn’t even last the three steps it took to get from the kitchen to our bedroom door.
“Dad, I think you’re the one who got very old overnight,” Miss8 admonished me.
“You’re a very grumpy, old man,” agreed Miss11, nudging open the door to where Tracey was sitting up in bed, beaming.
She’d clearly been listening to the whole thing play out in the kitchen and was loving herself sick about it.
“Guys, this is the best present ever!” said Tracey.
Good as I know they are, I don’t think she was talking about my omelette.
Raising a family on little more than laughs
This post is not sponsored. I mean, would you pay for that photo?