Tracey has things covered


It’s that time of year – getting the school books ready. The dining table has been half covered with various school paraphernalia for the better part of a week.

I bail out of parenting at this point. I will change the foulest of nappies and even pick vomit out of carpet without so much as a minor cuss word, but I will not take part in the preparing-for-school ritual.

When I was a single dad I didn’t cover my kids exercise books, I just bought the ones with the brightest covers and wrote their names on the front. Job done in ten minutes. The whole business of adding contact to the outside of perfectly acceptable books reeks of self flagellation. Plus I think I could rustle up a fairly strong argument that pretty pictures would distract the children from their studies. So I refuse to participate.

And anyway, Tracey won’t let me. She’s seen what I can do with sticky tape and is sick of saying things like, “you’re not helping”.

So the other night Trace sat down with a pile of 45 books of assorted sizes to cover and I sat down to watch The Big Bang Theory. Trace likes to use photos of our big, happy family, letting the kids go through our photo boxes and pick out the ones they want. It’s great! I want no part of it. I see nothing but an opportunity for stress and frustration.

And this year, I was proven correct.

“Oh! Bugger!” came a shout from the dining room. Something wasn’t going well.

“You run out of photos?” I called out. Not that I thought we would have. The first year we owned a digital camera, Tracey took 10,000 photos. We know this because they’re numbered and on the last day she had to take 150 to bring up the nice looking number. Point is, in this house there is no shortage of photos of our kids. The point of me calling out my question, on the other hand, was so I could appear interested in whatever had gone wrong without having to leave the couch.

A few seconds later, Tracey appeared at the lounge room door.

“How’s it all going?” I asked without taking my eyes off the screen.

“I’ve finished,” she said.

I looked at her. Actually I frowned at her. I was thinking, ‘She’s lost it. She was shouting because she was upset she’s finished covering all those books? Shit! I’m going to have to have her institutionalized and raise the kids by myself.’

Then I saw the scrapbook in her hands.

“Well, almost. I finished all the books and was sorting them out when I dropped one,” she told me. “Look what I found inside it.”

It seems Miss3 had also noticed the large pile of books on the table at some point and decided to take to a few of them with some pens.

Of course, we’re laughing about it now. No, wait. That was just me 🙂

So it looks like Tracey gets to enjoy covering a few more replacement exercise books tomorrow night as well. I just hope there’s more Big Bang on.


photo (6)



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