Oh Sugar

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Our kids probably won’t be enjoying soft drink at our next family gathering.

“What’s going on!” I heard Tracey snap at someone in the kitchen. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Someone’s in trouble, I thought to myself.

“Dad said I could,” came the response from Miss8.

Oh, shit.

I quickly traced back through the conversations I’d had with Miss8 in the last few minutes. Unfortunately I could remember her standing beside me and waffling on about some nonsense and waving her hands at me and then leaving after I said yes.

But what had I said yes to?

“Bruce!” Tracey called out. I was being summoned.

“What’s up, darling?” I asked just as sweetly as I could.

Tracey was having none of it. She pointed to Miss8.

“Did you tell her she could have soft drink?”

“…ummm…,” I thought about it. It sounded like something which if I said yes to my daughter would have gone away happy. “I think maybe I did.”

Now I know Tracey has been all Third Reich on the kids since she went and saw That Sugar Movie, but I had no idea just how serious she’d become. We rarely have soft drinks in the house these days – usually just for parties. Surely it was okay if I said yes to a small glass

And anyway, I didn’t even buy any soft drink! Grandma did because with all seven of our kids home tonight we decided to have pizza so we could spend more time actually chatting and catching up, and my Mum had arrived with drinks for everyone.

Lots of drinks – enough to see us through a couple of family gatherings – because she didn’t know who liked what.

And, to give you an idea how rarely we buy it lately, neither did Miss8.

“I asked you if I could try all of them,” she explained to me. Then she did the universal hand signal for a smidge at me, where you leave half an inch gap between your index finger and thumb. It looked very familiar. “But just a little bit.”

Which is when Tracey stumbled across her, opening each bottle and helping herself to a very generous ‘sample’.

Which is also why we still won’t have much soft drink for our next family gathering in a couple of weeks.

“They’ll all go flat now,” Tracey complained. A clear indication she wasn’t about to let the kids get stuck into them even if they were open. Her face said they could damn well all go flat before she’d put up with all our kids raging on a sugar high.

“It’s okay,” Miss8 consoled me after Tracey had scowled off. For her! How is it she opened all the bottles and I’m in the poo? “Do you want a drink, Daddy?”

“I better not,” I told her.

I didn’t think Tracey would appreciate it – especially as the one I wanted was just about the only one our daughter hadn’t opened yet.

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It’s been a while since we’ve managed all seven kids together in the one place.

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