When we were kids, my dad’s favourite saying, which was always dispensed at the most inappropriate and ironic times, was the exclamation “One Happy Family!”. It drove us absolute bonkers.
I could be launching myself off the railings of our split level dining room to perform a WWF piledriver on my howling brother, yelling “CALL ME UNCLE OR ELSE!” and my dad would saunter into the living room, glance over and pronounce “One Happy Family!” and shuffle out of the door with his doctors bag. Or all three of us kids could be scrapping in the back of the car like an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon, pulling hair, kicking and screeching at the top of our lungs and in the front seat my dad would reach over and pat my mother’s hand and say “One Happy Family!”, a irritatingly beatific smile on his face.
Now that I’m a mother of 3 Itchy & Scratchies, I often roll my eyes to the heavens and think “One Happy Family!”, and this week has been a never-ending parade of One Happy Family moments!
For instance, our Cost Centre #1 Sean Leahy, whose daily chores include retrieving duck eggs from the coop every morning, seems to have overlooked his duties for no less than 5 weeks, and we have now got 17 new ducks in residence after we’ve spent the last 6 months trying to get rid of our existing ducks… Sean was informed that his new task was to get rid of the entire brood of ducks and hence has become very proficient in Gumtree advertising skills and screening calls from random weirdos.
And then there is Cost Centre #, Dylan Emerald Leahy, who despite being told numerous times about the dangers of medicine, was caught snacking on grape flavoured kids antihistamine tablets in the middle of the night and washing them down with a little chaser of a bottle of Sambucol syrup. Dylan is now on a complete Screens & Sugar ban and is now doing manual labour in the apple orchard as penance.
And of course not to be ignored, is Cost Centre #2 Finn Leahy, who is also on the Screens & Sugar ban after a large variety of misdemeanours involving tree branches, poking, water guns and not listening. So far he has adjusted marvellously to his new life and has discovered new ways to annoy his sister. Such as discovering a box of hair extensions which he realised was key to his transformation as Smugolas, the Self-Satisfied Elf Princess, cue prancing around tossing his extensions in his little sister’s face, declaring “I’m the prettiest princess in this house!” and tons of waterworks from his dejected and very threatened-feeling sister who spent the morning yelling “No you’re NOT A PRINCESS!” and bedecking herself with more tiaras and princess accessories than a Barbie convention.
Behold, Smugolas in all his glory…
So we had lunch today, cooked by CC#1 Sean, whose new chore is to make family lunch on Sunday. The lunch comprised of extremely spicy red Thai chicken curry, some slightly soggy rice, and a liberal dose of screaming.
Finn: “Oh I’m so pretty! Why did you make me so beautiful Mama? I’m the loveliest princess in the house!”
Dylan: “NO YOU’RE NOT!!! I AM!!! YOU’RE NOT EVEN A GIRL!!!!”
Finn: “I’ve decided I’m going to be a PRINCESS now! Because I”m the prettiest child in the family!”
Dylan: “NO YOU’RE NOT!!! LET’S HAVE A VOTE”
Sean & Mark: “We vote for Mum, that’s a majority Now shut up and eat your lunch.”
Finn: “So that means you tie with me Dylan! And I’m still the prettiest and you know it….”
Dylan: “WAaaaaaaAAAAAaaaaAAAA!!!!!!” (massive waterworks)
ALL: “SHUT UP DYLAN!!!! STOP IT FINN!”
Me: “One. Happy. Family.”