So You Think You Can Dance?


Mornings can be difficult in a family of seven. Especially when you like to start the day with a quiet coffee.

I sensed rather than heard something was next to me.

I opened just one eye and waited grumpily for it to focus. I do this one eye thing to trick my brain into thinking it’s not awake yet. Pretty sad when you’re well aware how dumb your own brain is.

I should mention, before I tell you about the odd sight which greeted me, that Tracey and I had dragged our mattress into the lounge room so as to take advantage of the only air-con in the house on yet another horridly hot night. So we were lying on the floor. Which meant when I opened my eye and saw my son standing beside me I wasn’t looking at his chest, as is usually the case. I was looking at his shins, his knees, his thighs and his bright yellow undies. All of which were moving.

“What are you doing?” I asked him.

He stopped his jiggling and pelvis thrusts and froze.


It didn’t look like nothing.

“Why are you doing it?” I asked, hoping to catch him out.

“I’m not.” He’s clever, this one.

“Go do it somewhere else,” I suggested, shutting my eye and managing another fifteen minutes before Miss4 woke me by stepping on my face as she tried to position herself between myself and Tracey.

I got up and walked, zombie-like, to my coffee machine. Moments later, Master8 shot into the kitchen, grabbed a cup of milk and went to run back into the bedroom. During this time the oddness of this morning came back to me and I decided to have another crack at finding out what it was about.

“Wait,” I said, and put my hand on his chest to halt him before he disappeared. He looked up at me expectantly. “What were you really doing next to my bed this morning, and why?”

In the brief silence which followed I could almost hear him trying to work out if maybe he should plead ignorance again. But I wasn’t lying in bed hoping for a few more minutes rest this time. Plus I was about thirty seconds from my first caffeine hit of the day. I wasn’t going to let it go this time and I think he sensed it. In the end he decided to come clean. Like I said, this one’s clever.

“I was just dancing,” he told me. He took a deep breathe and it all poured out. “I came out and you guys were asleep so I thought it would be funny to wiggle at you without you knowing so I went in and told the guys what I was going to do and told them to come watch me do it… but you woke up.”

I wondered if this was the sort of thing I should issue a punishment for – waking dad up with bad dance moves. Tough call without my wife to tell me what to think, especially when I think it’s hilarious.

And then something he said struck a cord and I thought we were both off the hook.

“So when I looked at you and you froze, all the other kids were watching from the door?”

“Yeah,” he grinned sheepishly. “It was a bit embarrassing.”

Which, I decided, was punishment enough and sent him on his way. Besides, my coffee was ready and I wanted time alone with it.

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

โ€œRaising a family on little more than laughs.โ€


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