When it comes to being a loving husband and father, the importance of good spin cannot be over emphasized.
I was lying in bed this afternoon, having just woken up from a three hour nap when it occurred to me I might have a problem.
Because we were scheduled to go to Tracey’s parents for dinner tonight I’d decided to prep myself. I love going to my in-laws. They’re good people. Funny people. Lovely people. But….there’s something about their house which puts me to sleep. Sometimes within minutes of sitting down in their lounge room.
And Tracey hates it.
Almost as much as she hates me not helping get the kids ready when we’re going out.
Lying in our bed, stretching my limbs and trying to will my eyes open, the sounds coming from the rest of the house did nothing to put my mind at ease as to the peril-filled situation I now found myself in. It wasn’t the kids complaining about what they had to wear and if they were allowed to take their iPods or dolls. It wasn’t even Tracey’s curt responses as she bathed and dressed them and answered their queries. What worried me most was the conversation between Miss10 and Master9 outside our bedroom door.
“We need to get Mum a Snickers on the way,” I overheard Master9 say to his sister. “She’s not herself when she’s hungry.”
Things weren’t boding well.
In the past I’ve thrown back V drinks and arrived with double shot coffees in my hand – everything short of No Doz, I’ve tried – to stop myself sitting on my in-law’s couch and nodding off. Tracey’s attempted to help too, alternatively offering the reward of sexual favours or, when that appeared to be waning, threatening to withhold them for long stretches of time.
About the only thing which works is for me to bank a bit of sleep before we go and then not stay too long.
But even I have to admit a three hour nap is a bit of an overkill. That’s more continuous sleep than Tracey got last night.
I opened my left eye and glanced at the clock again, then I remembered I’m pretty much blind in that eye so I closed it and opened the other one.
5pm. Shit. We were due to be there in half an hour.
With a sigh I realized there was nothing be done but to grow a pair and go face the music.
I gathered my thoughts for a minute, deciding on a plan of action, and strode boldly and purposefully into the lounge room, where Tracey was wrestling a nappy onto Miss2.
“There,” I said. “I should be right to stay for dessert now. I gave up a whole afternoon just to keep you happy. You ready to go?”
It’s all about spin. Not so much the spin of my excuse but the spin of Tracey’s eyes. I didn’t fool her in the slightest but my audacity made her roll her eyes and chuckle and that’s generally enough to get me off the hook.
Plus, promising to stop and buy her a chocolate bar on the way over probably didn’t hurt either.
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”