My Boy Was Just Like Me

 genetics. this is how it works

Genetics must account for something. I know that I do and say things which remind me of my father, and I can only imagine my sons, and daughters, will probably have the same sorts of worrying moments regarding me. It’s sort of a free paternity test.

I was called upon to fill out some forms for the kids on Friday night which ended with me once again reassured we weren’t handed the wrong baby in the maternity ward.

Actually, I wasn’t exactly called upon to fill them out.

“Don’t you do them!” Tracey said to me as I left home with the kids. “I’ll fix them up when I get there.”

“I think,” I said to my wife with just a hint of tone, “I can manage to fill out a form or two.”

Turns out I was wrong.

The Little Athletics registration forms called for the usual personal details required to register for a sport, and I was patiently working my way through the questions. All was going well until I started on Master8.

Name – Easy. I toyed with the idea of putting in his middle name, but didn’t want to appear like I was showing off.

Address – Easy. I haven’t moved in eighteen years.

Date of Birth – Eas….oh, shit.

‘Don’t panic,’ I told myself. ‘Start with the bits you know. Work your way backwards.’

We were clever enough to have the four middle kids evenly spaced a couple of years apart.

‘Got it. Now, the month.’

Working out the month wasn’t hard either because it’s the same number as in one of the other kid’s birthdays. I love it when the numbers double up. Like Master21a nd Miss18, who did me the great service of being born on the same date exactly three years apart.

‘One to go. You can do this, Bruce!’

No, I couldn’t.


I wasn’t totally without a clue. I had it down to two dates. The problem was they were both ringing bells because I always have this problem with Master8’s date of birth.

Worse of all, Tracey was due to appear any minute and she was bound to get all ‘told you so’ on me.

Then it occurred to me – the answer was here, out on the track.

I left the registration office in search of my son.

As far as athletics go, Miss6 was the stand out for me this week, with her unusual starting stance in the 145m. Clearly the starter’s gun was scaring her because while everyone else was hunkered down with one leg forward and arms frozen mid-swing ready to power off, my Miss6 was standing upright with her hands on her ears. The rest of the field had gone ten meters before she decided to take off in lukewarm pursuit. She’s my girl all right.

Finally, I spotted Master8 and raced over clutching the incomplete registration form.

“Hey, buddy,” I whispered to him. “What’s your date of birth?”

I pulled out the registration form and got my pen ready. He gave me the month and the year.

“But what date?” I asked him impatiently. I had those and I’d just spotted our car pull into the car park. Tracey would be joining me any minute.

“I don’t know,” he shrugged, and rattled off the two dates I was torn between. “One of those, I think.”

No paternity test required. Obviously, the poor kid is mine.

When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’  Facebook Page.

 ’raising a family on little more than laughs’

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