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Monday, August 6, 2012

Motherless Madness

Tracey is heading for Brisvegas first thing in the morning for a photography seminar, therefore I will be in sole command of dressing the kids and delivering them to their respective schools and daycares. And by in charge I mean under strict instructions about what I'm to do in any eventuality.

As you might imagine, things have been a little nightmarish here tonight.

"Their clothes are lined up on the hutch in the lounge room. Shoes are under them on the floor. The lunches are in the fridge. Grace's violin (Miss8) is in the dining room - don't forget it." Tracey has been snapping off orders as she marches past me, first one way then the other. "Make sure they take hats. If it's cold, you'll need to make sure they wear jumpers. And it will be cold so make sure you remember them."

My job, at times like these, is to stay out of my wife's way. I can't, for example, turn on the telly and drink beer or phone a friend, but equally I can't pick out uniforms or make sandwiches. Now I realize you might think I'm being sexist and nominate me for Useless Bastard Husband of the Year, but I'm serious: my role at these busy times is to stay distant but attentive. Being able to respond to instructions with "Yessir" or similar is the sole vital part of my job. Tracey doesn't have time to repeat herself - this was one of the first things she told me - she needs to feel confident enough in my ability to do what she's said that she'll be able to walk out the door in the morning.

"Make sure their hair is up, there's been letters coming home about nits. The breakfast cereal is on the table. Don't let them pour their own milk after they're in their uniforms. You'll need to drop the little ones off first and then come back to drop the other three at school. Check if they're recessing before you leave the house. You know where the machine is?"

It's why I've only just managed to sit down and write now - the bags are lined up in the kitchen and Tracey has gone to bed, freeing me from my very important 'put her mind at rest' duties. It's been exhausting for me, I can tell you.

So tomorrow I'll be up an hour before usual so I can get this mob sorted. Tracey will be up and gone an hour before that. I have my orders. It should be easy.

Tracey just popped out of the bedroom because she thought of something important to tell me.

"If I die tomorrow you're not allowed to remarry."

That's what I love about my wife: she really does cover for every contingency.

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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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