My Name Is Mud


The kids spent half an hour this afternoon watering our thirty tomato plants, so naturally there were completely drenched and covered in mud when I finally ushered them into the house to get cleaned up.

I probably only bath the kids two or three times a week because I am notoriously bad at it – according to Tracey. I do try to do a good job and, failing that, I do try hide my failures, but my wife is like a bloodhound when it comes to my messing shit up.

But because Tracey was out seeing a client tonight it was my chance to attempt to redeem myself. Again.

When I’m in charge of baths they tend to be fast and furious. The fast is, me getting the kids through as quickly as I possibly can, and the furious is the kids being angry at me for not letting them wallow in the water, like the proverbial pigs in mud.

But tonight, because they actually had mud all over them which takes a little bit of work to remove, I let the three youngest munchkins soak themselves and splash around for a minute while I ducked into the kitchen to check on the potatoes for dinner. 

I was gone for maybe twenty seconds, and when I came back…

…Miss1 was missing.

This was odd because Miss1 is traditionally the hardest one of our kids to get out of the bath. I pulled the plug and suggested the other two girls to dry themselves. Then I walked into the girls’ bedroom and plucked a nappy and pajamas from the shelf.

That’s odd, I thought to myself. I didn’t see her on my way through the house.

I felt the icy tendrils of fear clutch at my heart – I ducked back into the bathroom, worried Miss1 was behind the door shoving rolls of toilet paper, or worse, my toothbrush, into the loo. Nope.

Breathing a sigh of relief, I did another sweep of the house calling her name. Nothing.

I checked on the balcony. Not ther-

Wait! I could hear her chuckling!

I looked over the edge of the balcony and there was my naked little troublemaker swinging a hose around and splashing about the yard again. Clearly, I’d forgotten to latch the balcony gate properly when I brought them up.

I quickly trotted downstairs, chased her around the mango tree, and snatched her up. Then I took to her with my daddy voice.

“Don’t you know how much trouble you could have got me into if your mother had bee-”

“What’s going on?” Tracey asked me from the balcony.

“Ah good, you’re home,” I lied, and grinned up at my wife. “We’ve been washing the grass. We were just on our way up for a bath.”

“And you always water the yard with a nappy and pajamas in your hands?” she wanted to know.


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Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his Big Family Little Income Facebook Page

 ”Raising a family on little more than laughs.”

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