Mayne, long suffering husband, good natured tormentor of children and aficionado of ‘dad jokes’ had been off work sick for the a week with bronchitis.
Ash, 14 years old at the time, future world traveler and girl of many scarves, had been off school as it is school holidays.
Me, I was in the sucky position where I have to behave like a grown up because people will die of scurvy or neglect if I don’t.
I came home from work and after stopping at the shops and headed straight into the kitchen to dump the groceries before going out to kiss all my people having between away from them all day. Ash, however, beat me to it and came into the kitchen to meet me.
Dressed in Mayne’s remarkably oversized tracky pants (tracksuit pants for those of you who don’t speak fluent Aussie slang) and a t-shirt she stole off him when we first started dating (Mayne and I, not Ash and I – what the hell is wrong with you!?) she looked innocently up at me and said “Is there anything I can do to help you with dinner? ”
Firstly I’m a little taken aback, this is not the child who offers to do housework. The other two, yes. This one… not so much. But I recover in fine style and don’t let on how shocked I am.
“That’d be awesome, thanks. We’re having pasta…
<pleased that I’ve mentioned it, she grins like an idiot> “Thanks! I’m interning as Dad since he’s been sick and can’t do dad stuff”
<laughs with delight> “You’re amazing. How are those pants even staying up?”
<confused look> “I’m Dad. D’uh!”
How foolish of me. I should have realised that I was living in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Trackies. She proceeds to spend the rest of the evening being chivalrous, helpful and making really bad puns to continue her internship.
The next morning Mayne, Ash and I were leaving the house to go to the post office to put in Ash’s tax file number application. I called back up the stairs to Bek “Love you, Honey. We’ll be back soon, make sure you’ve got your guitar ready to go for your lesson when we get back”
Ash (not dressed in her father’s clothes that morning) leans in past me and calls one of Mayne’s standard lines to the kids up the stairs “Also, you smell!”
“Still interning as Dad?”
“You’re really getting the hang of being Dad. It’s an absolutely flawless likeness. I’ll have to get you to intern as me next so you can take my place if I get sick.”
“Naaah. I don’t think so. Being Mum looks like too much hard work.”
I couldn’t help it. I burst out laughing so hard and looked at Mayne. “She called you lazy. Did you hear that?”
Much laughter and discussion on the pros and cons of being each of us ensued. Apparently M&M’s are a big pro to being Dad. Exercise is a con to being Mum.
I love my kids so much. They’re hilarious little weirdos.