The Booby Prize

The kids with their new nephew

“Why can’t I be a trophy husband?” I asked the kids as the family sat around playing boardgames over Christmas.

This elicited some chuckles and one gorgeous response.

Master28 & his family were visiting for five whole days and we were making good use of the time, chin-wagging and gently taking the piss out of each other.

But also, where possible, brutally taking the piss out of me. Which I both love and encourage. Like I’m always telling the kids how lucky I am to have their mother in my life, and they always assure me they know.

Any follow up chat from Tracey to assure them I, too, was a bit of alright is quickly met with snorts of derision, eye rolls or a comment along the lines of, “You know you don’t have to say that, Mum. It’s none of anyone’s business why you lumped yourself with him.”

So suffice to say I’m not the only one in the family who realises I’m punching above my weight.

Indeed, I walked in on a conversation late last year about love and how there’s someone out there for everyone, but the worst thing you can do is to get desperate to be in a relationship, settling for someone who doesn’t effortlessly make your life better for having them in it.

“Like I do for your dad,” was, I believe, the final line.

The key point always drags up the age difference between myself and my wife, being very nearly ten years, and how there was no point us even looking around for other until after we’d both finished school.

Although Tracey tells this point a little differently.

“When your dad was your age,” she’ll announce when any kid of ours starts grade ten, “I was just starting grade one.”

Surviving relatively unscathed in this family has, I believe, prepared me for a possible life in local politics.

In any case, this whole post has come about not because I wanted to pass on any great parenting advice on talking to kids about relationships. I hated the dating game. It took me a long time to realise when relationships are hard that probably means they’re not working.

So no advice here from me.

No, I’ve written this simply because while playing Cards Against Humanity with the older kids someone told me I had bagged myself a trophy wife and their response to my suggestion maybe we both had amused me so much I’m still giggling about it a week later.

“Don’t worry, Dad, you’re a bit of a prize too,” Miss12 had whispered to me conspiratorially from behind her cards.

There was a pause, and then her head leaned my way again.

“Only you’re more a participation ribbon.”

Other games of a more family friendly nature were played as well. Christmas Scrabble was not one of them.

I called my MIL out on her word but she assured me it was right. Looked it up then couldn’t bring myself to make eye contact. As you might have guessed, Christmas Scrabble is a little looser with the allowable words. And to think we didn’t play Cards Against Humanity at this point because we thought it might be a bit risqué with the kids around.
Christmas Puzzle was much tamer
Great Grandma Lawrence with Master28, Liz and little, adorable MrEd
More of MrEd. Because he’s cute. Love being a grandad. Again. Didn’t have to wait nine months for this one to arrive either, which I’m calling a bonus.

Raising a family on little more than laughs

Hope everyone had as good a Christmas break as we did. I truly LOVE this time of year. Except for the fires. They can take a leap. These fires raging around the country are devastating and demoralising to watch. With luck, and a bit less wind and a bit more rain, I hope they can be brought under control without further loss of life. Thank goodness Celeste is giving us all somewhere to focus our empathy.

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