The Paternity Test


“FFS, she’s your daughter alright,” Tracey told me tonight in her most disappointed of voices.

She was referring to Miss4.

I was sitting on my computer tonight fishing Google for Trump news while listening to my latest Youtube discovery – Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled – when I noticed some annoying problem with my headphones. A noise which shouldn’t be there.

It was only when I removed them to check the batteries I realised it was Miss4 yelling from our bedroom.

“Mummy! Mummy, help me!”

Interesting to note despite being only four meters from her as the crow flies, she was still calling out for her Mum who was in the shower.

This is something Tracey loves to stir me about hates with a passion.

“Why do they walk past you to ask me stuff?” she says daily.

I know the answer – because I tell them to. I don’t say it like that, of course. I’ve not got a death wish.

“What did your mother say?” is the line I use. It has the advantage of sounding like I’m making sure we’re both on the same page if I’m overheard.

So anyways, I put down my headphones (reluctantly, I admit) and ducked into our room to find out what the latest drama was. ‘Help me!’ usually means anything from not being able to find a matching sock in the washing pile to having a foot stuck in our pillow case.

Today it was sort of both.

“Daddy!” she squealed when she saw me. She was standing in one of several washing baskets beautifully decorating our room. “My foot is stuck!”

I sum things up pretty fast in an emergency and I quickly surmised it probably wasn’t the foot on the frame of our bed and more likely the one buried to the knee in my clean shirts.

“Here you go,” I said, walking over and lifting her up….and nearly pulled my arms out of their sockets.

Oddly, the entire basket had come with her.

“My foot is stuck,” she reminded me.

It was too. It had broken through the side of the basket and, because of the jagged pattern of the plastic, every time she tried to pull her foot out it essentially gripped tighter. Moments later I set her free, thinking this must be what it feels like to rescue a turtle from a shark net.

The basket has bite.

At this point Tracey emerged from the bathroom.

“What was all that yelling?” she asked.

“Well,” I said, ready to milk this story for all I could because it’s important for my wife to know I can handle things when she’s not around. You know, once I take my headphones off.  “I went in-”

“I got my foot caught in the basket!” screamed Miss4, cutting me off.

“Which basket?” Tracey asked her.

“The washing basket, Mummy!” she said, racing back into the room and jumping up onto the self same basket. “Like this!”

And she shoved her foot back into the venus flytrap of a hole.

Which is when Tracey shook her head and confirmed my paternity before helping to set Miss4 free once more.

To be perfectly honest, I suspected as much the first time she trapped herself in our washing.


Raising a family on little more than laughs

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