With Extra Cheese

“You go pick up the pizzas,” Tracey told me. “It’ll cheer you up.”

I doubted that.

The reason Tracey had ordered the kids pizza for lunch was we’d been up until 3am at the hospital with Miss3 last night and neither of us felt up to making so much as a vegemite sandwich today. I was shagged.

“Pick up for Bruce,” I said to the girl behind the counter of our local pizza place.

“Surname?” she asked me, which I thought was odd because there were only two pizzas in the holding shelves and none in the oven. I was thinking there was a pretty good chance those two would be mine. But then I work in a bank, so I know how sometimes there’s a process you have to follow for even the most mundane tasks.

“Devereaux,” I told her.

“Bruce Devereaux?” she asked me. I nodded. “No,” she said. “We’ve got nothing for Bruce Devereaux.”

I closed my eyes and sighed.

The mixture of kids + pizza + frustration reminded me briefly of a story a friend told me on Friday.

I know some parents feel comfortable leaving their kids at parties and others don’t, but at the end of the day it’s a personal decision based on the age of your child, how well you know the hosts and where the party is at. And, let’s not forget, which other parents will be staying and how long it’s been since you had a good chin wag with them.

This friend of mine, who’s also cursed blessed with a large family, arrived at the local pizza joint last Saturday with her youngish daughter for a 10 year old’s birthday bash. Her daughter had waved at a couple of familiar faces from school and my friend hovered around the birthday tables.

“It was odd,” she told me. “The mother of the birthday girl wasn’t meeting my eye and I felt really uncomfortable.”

So uncomfortable she decided to leave her daughter there and go home.

“We only live a few doors down, so I told my daughter I’d be back in an hour and walked home.”

Only she didn’t need to go collect her daughter because she followed her mum home barely fifteen minutes later. She also felt uncomfortable, unwanted and unhappy. Only she was blaming her mum for this.

“You left me at the wrong party!” her daughter told her.

It seems my friend had got her daughter to the party a little early, and her little school friend’s Pizza party wasn’t due to start until the same time the following day.

“Worst thing is,” she told me, “my daughter was so embarrassed she refused to go back to the party and take her present back off the table, so I had to go buy another one.”

Cheered up immensely at the thought of another parent’s monumental stuff up that I very well could have done myself, a smile found my face and I opened my eyes to deal with my own pizza difficulties….

….and was surprised to find the girl at the counter grinning back at me like she’d just heard everything I was thinking and thought it was a great lark.

“I don’t have anything for Bruce Devereaux,” she said pointedly, reaching behind her and grabbing the two pizzas off the shelf. “But I do have an order for a Bruce Stinkybutt.”

So it turns out my very wise and beautiful wife was right again, picking up the pizzas did cheer me up. Well played, Tracey. Well played.

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’


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