Our final stop before we arrived home was a night in our Nation’s Capital.
Well, my brother’s loungeroom floor isn’t technically Our Nation’s Capital, but his house is located there.
Like all good Uncles (but not the favourite, apparently), he set up a bbq and let the kids throw sticks and stuff into the fire. They were having a ball, complete with little to no experience of naked flame. Aside from the smelly candles I have strewn about the house, which Monkey Boy blows out as soon as he notices them, as he has a morbid fear the house will burn down.
Throwing sticks and anything he can get his hands on into a naked flame pit in a backyard, however, is a totally different story.
Meanwhile, Chippie had happily ensconced himself beside the fish pond, had found something to play with and was repeatedly dipping it in to the pond to “catch the fish”. He had situated himself at a precarious angle that defied all laws pertaning to gravity and children falling into ponds the second their parents turned their eyes to pour more wine.
Inevitably, I spent the time channeling all Mother’s before my time and saying “be careful, you’ll burn yourself” and “be careful, you’ll fall in” and the like, and being really annoying and obnoxious and ignored.
With a deep sigh, I swigged some wine, mumbled to Grumpy Pants to “make sure the kids don’t kill themselves, will you? Or worse, burn the house down?”, stacked up the now finished with dinner plates and walked inside.
As Murphy’s Law would have it, I collected my foot on a nail sticking a good way up out the decking, muttered “fuckit” under my breath and plonked the dishes on the sink. I turn and catch a view of the kitchen floor I had just traversed. It resembled the site of a recent massacre.
I check my foot out and watch as it dripped blood … well, everywhere. And I take stock of what had occurred:
- My two oldest children were fucking around with fire
- My youngest was balancing precariously on the edge of a fish pond
- I was not drunk
- I was, in fact, being very helpful and clearing the table
- My mistake was I had spent half an hour, on edge, doing the “be careful” thing …
Had I been drunk and ignoring my children, I’m sure it all would have been fine.
And I tended to the war wound the only way I know how … and put a bandaid on it.