Ding dong ding dong.
‘Groceries are here,’ I cried, dropping the towel I was using on The Terrible Third’s tangled hair and running down the hall.
It was about 7pm on a warm Perth summer night. There was still plenty of light left in the sky and a young guy was standing at the door with a trolley stacked high with plastic crates. I opened up the door and wedged the security screen open. We started unpacking the bags of groceries out onto the floor.
‘Hi Mamma,’ a little voice said behind me. I turned to see my not-quite-three year old standing nude, trailing her towel, a massive grin on her face.
‘Hi Bubba,’ I replied. ‘Can you go and get dressed please?’
At that moment she spotted a large jar of Nutella in one of the bags. ‘Mine,’ she said, grabbing at it. I reached over and pulled it out of her grasp. She immediately had a break down like I had pulled off one of her arms.
Meanwhile the young delivery guy had been telling me that he was getting married in April and their first baby was due a few months later in August. As The Third’s tanty amped up, his eyes began to widen. She threw herself on the floor, knocking over jars and sending some tins of tomatoes rolling across the floor. Her nudity was centre stage as she flailed around, legs kicking. I stepped in front of her, more for his sake than hers.
‘We’re going on a honeymoon,’ he said, ‘but she’s probably not allowed to fly right? So I’m taking her on a camping trip.’
‘Umm,’ I said as I picked The Third up and shoved her in the direction of her Dad who had appeared to see what the noise was about. ‘But you can’t take your pregnant new wife camping for your honeymoon.’ I had visions of this poor woman sleeping on twigs and enduring endless trips to pee behind a tree, lugging her huge belly around as she clambered over logs and rocks. How was she going to satisfy her KFC chicken and cookies-and-cream sandwich craving when they were in the middle of the bush?
The Third reappeared wearing mis-matched pyjamas, a Dora beanie, a backpack and carrying a large bubble wand which she waved in front of her like a samurai sword. I really was going to have to stop the kids watching Ninjago, I thought to myself.
He looked her over with a mixture of concern and distaste. She began beating an 18-pack of toilet rolls with her sword. He looked terrified.
‘No really, it’s awesome, it is,’ I stammered quickly. ‘They don’t come out like this, remember. And they’re not all this loud. It’s taken her three years to become this crazy.’
Clearly the wrong thing to say.
I took a deep breath and looked him in the eye.
‘They give you plenty of time to love them before they turn into Frootloops,’ I said with what I hoped was a reassuring smile on my face. A roll of toilet paper bumped into his foot.
‘Good luck,’ I called as he packed his crates up and ran back to his truck.