My Great, Big, Wonderful Idea

It’s been twenty years and seven kids in the making, but I’ve finally done it – I’ve worked out a way to sleep in!

Last night my awesome sister-in-law and her nearly as awesome husband took three of our kids for a sleepover. With Master20 still in Brisbane, this left us with only Miss17, Miss2 and Miss0. But not for long.

“Hey, darling,” Tracey said into the phone to our oldest daughter, “we were wondering if you’d like to stay at your friend’s place tonight.”

“No, I’m fine. I’ll be home in half an hour or so,” said Miss17.

“You don’t have to,” said Tracey.

“Thanks, but I’m good,” insisted Miss17. “There’s nothing happening tonight.”

“You really can stay out if you’d like,” repeated Tracey.

Pause.  “What’s going on?”

Pause. “Nothing. We just thought you’d like to stay away from here for the night.”

Pause. “Because….”

“Because we only have the two little ones home tonight…” pause “…and I thought it might be nice to spend some alone time with your dad.”

“Ahhh…Ohhh…Ewww,” said Miss17, going from revelation to realization to revulsion in quick succession. “You know what?” she said. “I think I will stay here afterall. Now if you don’t mind, I need to go wash my brain out with soap.”

“Mish is staying at Andrew’s now” Tracey called out to me when she’d hung up the phone. “You know what that means?”

I sure do. Alone time is our secret code for something we both love to do, but can’t when the kids are around – eating KFC. The Colonel Sander’s finest is too expensive to feed to everyone.

“You realize,” Tracey said to me as, our bellies full of the Colonel’s original recipe, we jumped into bed later that night, “in the morning all four of us will be in this room.”

She was right. Miss0’s cot is still in our room and every morning Miss2 inevitably jumps in with us between 4 and 6am. And unfortunately Miss2 jolts and jerks, meaning on top of being squashed between Miss2 and myself, Tracey is kicked fairly rhythmically until dawn.

But by early this morning I had myself a revelation – if everyone was in our bed then no-one was in the other beds in the other rooms!

When I heard Tracey grunt from a jab to her kidneys I slipped out of our bed this morning and hopped into Miss8’s – which just happens to be the most comfortable of all the singles. I figured Tracey could slide over to my side, shove a pillow between her and our kickboxing daughter and go back to sleep.

When I woke up at 9am this morning I was thrilled. Success! I rolled over and gave my self another 15 minutes by way of a victory lap.

This time when I woke up I noticed there was an odd sound – eventually I worked out it was the washing machine. Tracey must finally be up, I decided. Time to accept my accolades.

“I’m a genius! How good was that sleep in?!” I declared, walking into the kitchen.

Turns out things weren’t quite so fantastic for my good wife.

Apparently, after I left, Miss0 woke up and needed a feed. Miss2 wasn’t at all into having nothing to kick in bed and moved across until she could once again stick the boot into mum. Then Miss0 poo’d. Then Miss2 wanted breakfast. Then Miss2 poo’d, which she announced by taking off her nappy and shoving it under mum’s nose so she could enjoy the moment too. Then Miss0 wanted more boob while Miss2 attempted to pour herself another bowl of cereal, but missed the bowl entirely. And finally I walked into the kitchen and announced what a lovely sleep I’d had last night.

Still, I don’t understand why Tracey can’t just be happy for me.


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’


  • Hahaha. Congrats on your discovery and commiserations to Tracey! Maybe you should grow some boobs and give Tracey a sleep in in another room every now and then 😉

  • Clearly I have big ones already because I do attempt to let Tracey sleep in at least on day on a weekend – usually in response to the guilt I feel for her getting up to Miss0 during the night.

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