While The Cat’s Away…

“What are you going to do while I’m away?” my wife asked me.

Tracey was worried because she was taking the car and not even a single child for two nights.

“I’ll be fine,” I told her. Because of course I will be. I’m 53, for Jay-Z’s sake. “I’ve been wiping my own bum for a couple of years now.”

“And may you continue to be able to do so for many more,” said Tracey. She still looked doubtful though.

Which I know had nothing to do with her thinking I wasn’t able to handle our kids alone for the weekend. I wasn’t even being left with all five. The youngest two were off to Nanny’s.

This worrying about me handling her being away was, naturally, mother’s guilt.

Guilt she was taking some time for herself, off to Mooloolaba with her sister and some friends to celebrate the awesome news one of their besties has successfully and mercifully come out the other side of intense and drawn out cancer treatment.

“You just go and enjoy yourselves. We have all the alcoo-,” I nearly sprained a ligament as my lips and tongue changed direction mid-word, “food I need and I’m just going to play around on my computer.”

Which is exactly what I did.

I even managed to watch some movies, which I haven’t done for a long, long time. Greyhound, The Gentlement and Yesterday. It was a very pleasant couple of days, if I’m honest, although the relaxed mood Tracey came back with didn’t last much beyond checking why one of our cards was overdrawn.

“What did you buy from Home Clearance?” she asked in that flat tone I’ve come to know and run from.

“It’s a surprise,” I told her.

And for something like another thirty seconds, boy was it ever.

Then I remembered clicking on a link in my Facebook feed and getting very excited – and that excitement having nothing to do with the fact after running out of beer I discovered hidden at the back of a cupboard we still had at least half a bottle of Southern left.

“A $278 surprise?” She sounded doubtful.

“You’ll love it,” I said, also probably sounding a bit doubtful. I mean these things are fairly standard size wise, aren’t they? “Trust me.”

Well today it arrived.

Even better, like the inception of this whole replacement grill shebang – the top element on our existing toaster oven hasn’t worked for well over a month now – Tracey wasn’t home when it materialised on our doorstep.

Meaning she also wasn’t there for the installation.

Which I was actually pretty happy about because, as I say, I wasn’t sure it was going to fit.

I needn’t have worried. It didn’t.

Which, you might be surprised to learn, didn’t upset me. It meant I got to play with my power tools.

As a bit of a side note, we’re about to actually, deadset, no go backsies, for real this time fix our ‘seven crew with one loo’ problem any week now. One way Tracey was thinking we could save money was to build the Kaboodle units ourself.

“I mean, how hard can it be?” she asked me, arms and eyes spread wide as if this was just a factoid so get onboard.

As I did to my dear wife, I offer you what Tracey suspects may be Exhibits A to C at my murder trial :

As I have been trying to explain to my wife, I did save up over $300 on the purchase price.

“Less $5,000 on a new kitchen,” was her less than appreciative response.

I tried to set out the positives here.

“The main thing is we have a lovely new appliance, I didn’t buy the dishwasher and oven I was looking at,” it’s a bit hazy but I think that’s because the card wouldn’t let me overdraw it that much, “and you got to have a nice time with your friends.”

And – because I’m the luckiest son-of-a-Judy Devereaux in the whole world – my lovely wife agreed.

I even got a hug.

And a promise.

“Next time I go away,” Tracey whispered into my ear in such a way I got goosebumps and felt like a randy teen again, “I’m taking the internet with me.”

I heard this as I walked through the sawdust on our balcony and up to our studio to do a bit of work for the evening. “He’s not coming back to clean that up, is he.” Nope. *I mean you don’t ask the chef to do the dishes.

*citation needed

Took me half the morning to find one, but here’s an old photo showing how **messy that section of the kitchen was before I ‘helped’ ‘fix’ it.

**no citation needed – talking complete bollocks here

Raising a family on little more than laughs

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