I live in a house full of boys: my husband, my son, my dog, and Blah-Blah, the manky stuffed rabbit. Before I go into detail about living in such a masculine (insert stinky) house, I need to tell you that I grew up in the country as a rose between two thorns – a middle child with two brothers, surrounded by BMX bikes, dams and land, sweet land. I’m fully aware of male behaviour.
Way before we had Alfie, my husband Reggie and I introduced an invisible foal into our house. His name was Tony. Tony arrived after I had had enough of the discussions about leaving the toilet seat up, not replacing the toilet paper, not putting the toilet paper on the holder the right way (waterfall), the wet towels on the floor, the lid not put back on the milk container… you get the gist.
When Tony arrived, we suddenly had someone to blame:
Me: ‘Who left the skid in the toilet? There’s a brush, you know!’
Reggie: ‘Arrgh. Tony! I’ll have a word with him. Stupid horse.’
Me: ‘Are you hung over? You stink!’
Reggie: ‘Tony threw beer all over me last night and then punched me in the face. That’s why I stink and have a headache. Stupid horse.’
Reggie and I stopped arguing, and domestic life was grand. Then Windsor, where we were living at the time, became too hip and busy. A man was shot in the leg out the front of our house, which increased the rent, and Tony couldn’t offer us the safety we needed. So we decided to move to a safer area. We moved west-side and left Tony behind.
Our new house was pretty and didn’t have that boy stink that would follow Tony into any room. I bought flowers weekly and baked cakes that made the house smell good. Then I was knocked up, we knocked our house down and renovated – while heavily pregnant [www.houseofwebb.blogspot.com].
Now I have a house FULL of boys. I recently came home to a trail of muddy footprints running down the hallway and leading to the couch, a plastic motorbike lying on its side, two matchbox cars on the floor, an odour of beef pie in the air, a pair of Converse with ratty shoelaces thrown in the corner, a half-eaten sandwich in the dog’s bed, a toenail on the ottoman, a pair of size 2 trackies covered in spaghetti crumpled at the base of the high chair, a penis doodled on the shopping list, a Duplo tower toppled in a pile, a dog biscuit that looked like it had been mistaken for a rusk, and a hunk of meat thawing on the bench. I felt like I had entered a cave.
Strangely, though, the house was deadly silent. For a second, I thought we had been burgled. The house resembled the baby aisle at the Yarraville Coles. It had been ripped apart. Shredded. Destroyed.
It was so strange that there was all this destruction, but no one to blame. I became instantly lonely amongst the mess. I missed Tony.
Then I heard it. A really squeaky and long fart from behind the curtain, followed by that familiar pushing sound and a muffled giggle… or was that a struggle? I knew what was going on, but I played dumb. I started cleaning up. I could hear Cheef Dog start to pant and Reggie trying to breathe heavily behind the curtain. It was obviously stinky behind there. Cheef Dog came running out, straight at me, then stopped and rubbed his bum across the ground. Next came out Reggie, and then Alfie, holding Blah-Blah – all running at me, all covered in mud and dried grass. They both screamed, ‘BOO!’ and I jumped. Alfie’s face was as red as a tomato. He stank.
I yelled at Cheef Dog to stop licking his backside and thanked the boys for their little surprise. Reggie picked up Alfie to go and change him and the poo had leaked out the side of his nappy (the men in my household don’t wear pants at home). My husband had dipped his index finger in the poo. It was gross, but I was treating it like it wasn’t my problem. Reggie knows that our son likes to poo behind the curtain.
There was a mass tidy up. The house became liveable again… for a second. Then the boys started running around the house again, pushing burps, kicking balls, drinking sippy cups on the couch. It was chaos. I kicked the boys out and sent them to the park. Blah-Blah went along for the ride.
Within 15 minutes of the boys leaving, Reggie called me. Blah-Blah had jumped ship. He had jumped out of the pram and Reggie was backtracking their original path, but Blah-Blah was nowhere to be found. Alfie was panicking. Cheef was nervous. Reggie was scared.
I went out to join the search party, hoping I’d find him along the way. We searched high and low for an hour with no success. I put a call out on Facebook hoping one of our neighbours had found the jam-soaked, booger-stained designer knitted rabbit. No luck. It was getting dark and our time was limited. We were about to hit family ‘peak hour’ – tea, bath, book, bed. Alfie was beside himself.
We were only a few houses away from our own when I saw a little rustle in the bushes. I put my head over the short fence, and, sure enough, there was Blah-Blah in a state of disarray, stinking of grog and sweet smoke. I picked him up and pulled the dried leaves out of his ears. I shook the dirt off his back and fixed the pom-pom tail attached to his behind. Blah-Blah couldn’t even string a sentence together.
We took him back home without saying a word. It was obvious that Reggie and I were disappointed. We got through peak hour, cleaned Blah-Blah up and put him to bed with a panadol.
Reggie and I tidied the house again and fell in a heap on the couch. I looked at my tired husband and he shook his head.
‘What’s wrong,’ I asked?
‘It’s Tony. He’s back.’
And, sure enough, he was. Corrupting my little family of boys, leaving the toilet seat up and bringing the stinky smell with him. Something tells me that our little foal is back for good. Sigh.