“Dad!” came a wretched sort of shout from the bedroom. “Dad! It’s gone!”
Naturally, I was instantly alert. Well, I thought ‘it’ is a thing, not a person, and we don’t keep the expensive stuff in the kids’ rooms. Also, I sniffed the air and there wasn’t the scent of smoke. So I continued with my important work.
“Be there in a mo,” I called over my shoulder while I waited impatiently for the coffee machine to warm up. “Moment…be there soon…ish.”
“Dad!” came the shout again. Only this time it was closer. Much closer. Too close.
When my heart started again I reminded my son, who was about an inch behind me, of certain house rules.
“Mate, no startling dad before I’ve had my first coffee. Preferably, no talking at all. These rules are for your own protection.”
“But, Dad, my pictures gone. It had a penguin on it.”
I vaguely recalled doing a one man emu parade through the house last night after all the kids were asleep looking for things to throw out. I’m not allowed to do this while the kids are watching because they scream a lot, and no amount of caffeine in the morning can prepare their mother for that.
“Was it on the floor?” I asked him. “Because I threw out a lot of paper you kids had used for drawing and cutting and stuff. I assume if it’s important you’ll hang it on the wall.”
We have a string line in the dining room for displaying the kids’ artwork. It’s nearly three meters long but, with so many artists in the house, it’s usually straining to keep gravity at bay.
“I couldn’t hang it up,” he told me. “It’s for Fathers Day.”
“Don’t panic,” I told him, my mind trying to think without the aid of a caffeine hit. It was like trying to start a car which has had it’s fuel tank drained, but I managed to come up with an idea. Not a good idea, mind you. A good idea would have been to search the house with him, but no…
“If I threw it out, it’ll still be in the bin,” I told him, and I pulled open the door under the sink and dragged our huge bin into the middle of the kitchen.
My hand dove into the bin in search of any artwork.
Sadly, for me, I did the sweep of the house before we did the dinner clean up. It was messy in there.
Also sadly, there were several of Miss1’s wrapped up, dirty nappies in there. Now I thought I was well over feeling any physical effects from a soiled nappy, but it seems when they attack my nostrils as a pack my gag reflex doesn’t stand a chance.
“Gah…kak…eurg,” I said as I stumbled to the middle of the kitchen with several pages in my hands. Master8, sensibly, refused to take them when I held them out, so I dumped them on the counter. I needed my hands to try catch the vomit I felt sure was about to exit my mouth.
Of course, considering where my hands had just been, raising my hands only made things worse.
“What’s wrong with Dad?” Miss6 asked as she walked past me to the fridge to start making her breakfast.
“Gurk…baby’s…seergk…ass….sssaaagk…missing….gingkaaarik,” which was my way of saying, ‘the smell from the baby’s nappies is making me gag’, and then when I knew I couldn’t get that out, ‘ask your brother’, followed by, ‘he’s missing my present’.
Of course, Miss6 heard ‘baby’s ass missing‘ and immediately took off to make sure it was still attached.
“It’s okay, Dad,” Master8 said, as I continued to attempt deep breaths. “Here it is.” And he reached past the filth covered pages I’d just retrieved to a pile of papers near the phone and pulled out his artwork. “Thanks though,” he added, and disappeared back into his room.
Yep, I reckon if I’d gotten my first coffee in before he called out I could have avoided a fair bit of grief this morning. As it was I couldn’t face a coffee for about half an hour.
But I guess, for me, that’s what being a father is all about – making their mother look smart.
Happy Fathers Day to all you bigfellas out there! Thanks for dropping by.
When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page.
’raising a family on little more than laughs’