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Saturday, March 10, 2012


I hate the way my kids stray from the script. Especially in front of guests.

When we're in company, my kids rarely say what I expect them to say. Scratch that. My kids NEVER say what I expect them to say. I get yes's when I want no's and no way's when I want okay's. It's why I drink.

But it seems we're not alone.

A 100 year celebration of a local high school has resulted in friends from Brisbane staying with us for the weekend. Their gorgeous little Miss4 is currently an only child and has been enjoying racing about with our crew all day, giving our jumping castle and trampoline a real workout.

Tanya was telling us a little story from about a month ago when she was explaining to her Miss4 their little family was about to get a bit bigger. In her head she had a lovely little scene playing out. All Miss4 had to do was respond appropriately to a couple of simple questions.

"Mummy's got a little baby in her belly," Tanya gushed as they climbed into the car after a revealing scan. "Can you guess what we're having?"

Her Miss4 thought for a moment. "A puppy?"

"No, it's not a puppy. I wouldn't be having a puppy, would I? What sort of baby would mummy have in her belly?"

Further thought ensued. "A pig," she suggested confidently.

"No, it wouldn't be a pig in my belly, would it?" Tanya felt the conversation was fast slipping from her grasp. And they hadn't even got to the cool bit where they cooed and ahhed and talked about how exciting it is and had the 'big sister' talk.

"No," agreed Miss4. Suddenly she realized where she'd gone wrong. "A baby piggy?"

Then she seemed to tire of the whole topic. And just to underscore how far from Tanya's imagined chat they were wandering, and that this topic was closed, she added hopefully, "Did you bring me any food?"

Before Tanya and Chris and their little Miss4 arrived we had an extensive pep talk with our grommets about behaving themselves and not making us all look feral.

"How do we do that?" asked Master6.

For an uncomfortable few seconds I realized I hadn't thought that far ahead.

"Just do the opposite of whatever you normally would," I suggested.

And it was all going very well until tonight when a bowl of bacon & cheese balls was put out for all the kids to snack on.

"These are for you all to share," said Tanya, placing the bowl on the table in front of her daughter and Master6. "We'll put them in the middle." Initially I was concerned Master6 was going to reveal our true colours and dive into the cheese balls with both hands, like he usually does, but much to my surprise he restrained himself beautifully.

No, it was Miss4 who blew our cover when she tore around the corner a few seconds later screaming all the way at the top of her lungs, "They're MINE!" and throwing herself into pole position between the other two.

Time for a beer.

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About Me

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Bruce Devereaux is one of the nicest people he knows. When not at work he enjoys reading, writing, hiding from his children and not changing nappies.


His career, and if we used the term any more loosely an e might fall out, has included a gardener, a personal lender, a console operator, a stop/go man (not as big a bludge as you might think but great if you’re into sunburn, abuse and varicose veins), a cleaner of banks and pubs and, for a very brief period, a door to door salesman (until the last door he knocked on was answered by a very scary woman with tremendously hairy legs).


Bruce Devereaux currently works as a forty-five-year-old award winning customer service officer (glass statuette available upon request) for the Bank of Queensland and as a very casual employee for Corrective Services. He likes to believe he excels at both but then he has always been prone to exaggeration.


His favourite colour is green, with a picture of Dame Nellie Melba on one side and General Sir John Monash on the other. His favourite flower is self-raising.

 If you see him around town, call his wife immediately - he's probably snuck out and left her alone with all the kids.


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