Tracey is loving having me home full time.
I have always held myself up as a fairly understanding husband. I’m not saying I haven’t rolled my eyes upon coming home and finding, with the exception of additional cups and bowls, all the dirty dishes exactly where they were when I left for work that morning. Although I might have made more of a racket than usual when I stood at the sink and did them.
Not that Tracey ever noticed.
But now things have changed and I’m the stay at home Dad while Tracey is a non-practicing photographer who’s in full time recovery mode.
What hasn’t really changed is the mess around here. Our house has consistently been a disaster for an awfully long time. Since before we had these latest five children, in fact. So it does seem a little harsh to blame all the mess on them.
No. No, it does not. It is all them, the sweet, darling, exhausting little children of idiots.
“What do you think you’re doing?” I asked Miss3 this morning when she trotted past me with a sizeable portion of her wardrobe in her arms. I looked back the way she’d come and there was a trail of shorts, shirts and undies Hansel & Gretel would have been envious of.
Miss3 stopped and came back to face me and explain. She looked so happy. I did not.
“I’m going to school,” she said.
“Today’s still Sunday, yeah?” I called out to Tracey, who was lying down on our bed for a spell.
“It’s okay, Dad,” Miss8 said from the balcony. “We’re having a pretend school.”
“I don’t think that’s it,” I called back to her. “She’s dragged a heap of clothes out of the room.”
“That’s right, Daddy,” said Miss3, nodding and continuing past me again. “I going to school.”
“Wait!” I squawked, bringing her back into the house. Fortunately she kept her arms around her bundle and not much more dropped out. “Why do you need all your shirts and dresses then?”
“Because we’re picking out her school uniform,” said Miss8, coming into the house to explain.
Of course, Tracey thinks it’s all very hilarious.
“You okay out there?” she said from our bedroom.
“I’ve got this!” I said back.
“You sure?” she continued. “You want me to help?”
“I said I got this.”
“Maybe if you-”
“Don’t be so sexist,” I said, cutting her off. Sometimes it feels good to say dumb things.
“How am I being sexist?” she said, the grin in her voice nearly visible through the walls. “I’m just trying to help.”
“Because I’m a man,” I told her, suddenly sounding about as unmanly as I ever had. “You don’t think I can do it.”
“You’re being a man has nothing to do with it,” she laughed. Then she appeared in the kitchen. “You really do seem to be struggling. I get that. I’m just asking if you want a hand.”
“If you really want to help why don’t you do the dishes,” I suggested as I started to ‘help’ Miss3 pick up her clothes to put them back in her room.
The dishes were so thick on the bench there were some I suspected were from the Mesozoic period.
“Okay,” she said, turning the tap on. Then she paused and faced me, still grinning. I waited for the zinger I knew was coming. “The only question I have now is should I bang them about like you used to do? It’s just I don’t want to break a plate.”
It’s official, unlike the kids of late I’ve never got away with anything in this house.
But like I say, Tracey is loving having me home. After all, laughter is the best medicine.
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”