My COV19 Files: Two Smart By Half

I was thoroughly enjoying lounging on my white, retro, wooden recliner chair sipping tea at Tracey, who was parked a respectful covid couple of meters away, as she was regaled me with all the arguments the kids had clocked up already that day.

The time was just creeping up to 8am.

In fact, even as Tracey had listed off the morning’s scraps I’d watched our two youngest having little mini-spats in and around our home, although they were both getting along at that moment – most likely due to the fact they were engaged in different activities at different ends of our balcony.

Tuning out for most of my lovely wife’s chat, because while the lyrics may vary slightly two months in I knew this tune well by now, I overheard Miss8 call out to Miss10, “How do you spell dumb? D-U-M?”

“It’s got a B on the end,” Miss10 yelled back.

And I even if I hadn’t been able to hear the ‘such a stupid question’ in Miss10’s tone I would have identified it by way of the massive eye roll she included with its delivery. She gets those from me.

Eye rolls and poor spelling are really my major contributions to our brood.

Us Devereaux’s are not great with getting all the letters required into a word let alone those into the right order, which is probably why it’s one of my favourite things in the world when the kids ask how to spell something.

No wait, that’s not it.

It’s one of my favourite things in the world when the kids ask each other a question instead of me.

Right there. That’s the magic.

Not that I’ve had a lot of these or any other sorts of questions from the kids, having been alone in the bus now for two months. Removing myself so Tracey and the kids could go into lockdown means family life is a thing which I’m feeling fairly removed from. It’s at the point where I’m not just jealous when I hear them all laughing together, I get jelly even when I hear them arguing. And I always hated that bit especially.

So Tracey has been handling all the homeschooling for the kids, and she’s doing a fantastic job.

I can tell because she looks like shite.

It’s especially amusing to me she’s playing schoolmarm to Miss16, who’s in year eleven, because my wife got herself a job at the end of grade ten.

In any case, I do love these moments when I’m sort of a part of the family but not really: like a very precious family heirloom parked just out of reach of little fingers.

I was reflecting on all this when all hell broke loose on the balcony.

Miss8 was running up and down the balcony just managing to keep the whiteboard she’d been drawing on out of her bigger sister’s grasp.

“That’s not fair! Stop! You take that back! Mu-uuuum….”

Tracey’s head snapped around and she bellowed maternally, “What’s going on!?”

I knew.

My chair was facing the house and even before the chase had begun I’d placed my tea on the ground and opened up the camera on my iPhone, already scripting this blog post in my mind.

All I needed was a nice photo to end it with.

“Come show me,” I called out to Miss8, while simultaneously suggesting Miss10 (our Sophie) put the broom down and allow her little sister to pass.

She may be on par with her Ol’ Man when it comes to spelling but when it comes to delivering a well timed burn she’s her mother all over.

Raising a family on little more than laughs

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