‘Knock Yourself Out’

All I wanted for the four-day Easter break was one day with the family.  I said to the teenagers do what you like every other day but Sunday will be a family day and I’ve organised an Easter Egg hunt at 8am, church at 9.30am and a family lunch at 12.30.  And there was some scowling like they had been cursed with a most unreasonable mother but I insisted saying, ‘You have three other days to do your own thing, I’m only asking for one day over Easter’.  And there was more heaving and sighing and then I said, ‘Knock yourselves out, just be home on Sunday’.

And I shouldn’t have said that to Archie because he takes things literally.

I didn’t see the teenagers on Good Friday or Easter Saturday unless they were flying in for a change of clothes or a quick ‘raid-the-fridge’ session or a ‘Can I just have’ which means ‘Open your wallet’.

The teenagers have taught me how to sleep with one eye open so at 3am Easter Sunday when Archie still wasn’t home I phoned him but there was no answer.  Then I sent him a text message asking, ‘Are you on your way home?’ but no reply.

I must have shut both eyes at around 5am and then it seemed just a few minutes later and Alfie was standing beside the bed asking if it was time to start the Easter Egg hunt.  That was when a text came in from Archie saying he was on a bus and would be home any minute.  Sure enough he bounded through the door with great gusto and then ran around the backyard trying to gather up more eggs than his little brother.

I wondered where he had been.  I knew he’d been going into the city because he has a new career.  He’s now a busker.  He takes his guitar, harmonicas, tambourine, microphone and cords and leads and buses into the city to meet up with another busker who brings a beat-box and a car battery.  Apparently, if you plug your cords and leads into a car battery you get amplification.   ‘Essential’, says Archie, ‘because of the noise of the buses’.

As he ran around the backyard teasing his brother I asked, ‘Surely you didn’t busk all night?’

‘Oh no, we finished busking then had dinner in the city and then I caught the train to a mate’s place and stayed the night there’.

The interrogation had to end there because it was time to pile into the car for church.  Carl was already there because he was performing.  We sat in the pews celebrating Christ is Risen and then it was time for the children to leave the service because they were going to cook in the kitchen.  Then Carl performed How Great Thou Art  and sang it Elvis style because it’s good to celebrate Christ’s resurrection with a bit of Elvis.  That was when I noticed Archie was asleep.  He slept through his father’s entire performance.

Archie enjoying his father’s performance of How Great Thou Art

Then a member of the congregation got up to speak and as she did the fire alarm sounded.  Clearly the children had set the kitchen on fire.  It was so loud but Archie didn’t wake up.

He had literally knocked himself out and was now in a coma.  I had to vigorously shake him to get him to wake up.  I yelled, ‘Archie, we have to evacuate the building, it’s on fire.’

‘What, what?’ he said all confused.

‘Can you hear the siren Archie?  The building is on fire.’

I exited the building with a dazed Archie by my side and we spilled out on to the pavement and watched the next bit of excitement as the fire trucks arrived and all the firemen jumped out with all their gear including oxygen tanks and axes and hoses.  That’s when Carl asked Archie, ‘What did you think of my performance?’

And Archie said, ‘Have you sung already?  You haven’t have you?  Did I miss it?’

And I had to explain to Carl that Archie, in an effort to make the most of his three days of freedom, hadn’t yet been to bed.

Alfie in the fire truck

There wasn’t a fire, some appliance in the kitchen had triggered the alarm.  We went back into the church and the children continued pressing grapes and making flat bread brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and rosemary to have with communion at the end of the service.  I will hunt down the recipe for that bread and share it with you because it was delicious.  It was served warm, straight from the oven.  There were Easter Eggs too and some were given to the firemen.

And as for Archie, he slept through the rest of Easter Sunday and woke Easter Monday.

What are ‘family days’ like in your family?


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  1. Well, at least you made a big effort to have the whole family together on that day – and they were, and although he was asleep, he was there and safe. With teenagers, one learns to be thankful for small mercies.

  2. Oh dear! At least he made it I suppose?! I’m quite thrilled you managed to gather your teenagers together for an Easter egg hunt, I’m sure those are the sorts of activities that disappear in teenager years in many families. I still have a fondness for them though, and I’m keen to keep them going for as long as possible!

  3. Hehe…that made me laugh! That reminded me of me when I was a teenager…”resting” at family BBQs and reunions after a big night out. At least he made it home!

  4. Haha – right, he kept his promise! 🙂 I’ll be doing this with my own teenagers one day. It’s great that you keep your family tradition. I want family together time too. Mom needs to stay firm and keep the tradition!

  5. Yes, he really did sleep through “How Great Thou Art” AND a fire alarm!

  6. I love your posts, Charlie. I don’t mean to speak for the Almighty, but I do like to think He might have been amused too. 🙂 I wish they gave an award for “World’s Coolest Mother”, because I’d nominate you… xx

  7. I love this story & love the wonderful occasion you made of Easter Sunday with all it’s hilarity. Unlike myself who thought we could do without the chocolate frenzy this year and then regretted it terribly when my 13 year daughter saw all the F/Book photos of her friends fantastic Chocolate Eggs & Bunny Baskets . So we had our Easter frenzy on Easter Monday!!!

  8. Ah, I remember trying to stay awake for 72 hours once back when I was at University – one might say it did not end well :p… these days I get tired just staying awake past midnight… oh how things change as one gets older (and more responsible!) 😀

  9. Knock yourselves out, eh? I bet you’d be careful with that piece of advice from mow on 😉 And like everyone else said, at least he made an effort to be there, and that’s a big thing.

  10. Hi,
    I think you did a wonderful job getting the family altogether on Easter Sunday, and what a fun filled day it turned out to be, even the fire brigade showed up. 🙂

  11. Magnolia Verandah says:

    All I can say is “Thank goodness I don’t have teenagers any more”. It is such a hectic time of life (for the parents). We had a lovely day albeit it hectic with everyone for lunch (12 adults and 8 children) and then the Easter Egg Hunt and everyone left around 6ish the dishwasher worked overtime and as we also have three birthdays on the 6th, 7th and mine on the 8th we had 3 birthday cakes and I then collapsed and protested when the husband wanted to go out for dinner! But I went and was home in bed by 9.30pm.

  12. What a hilarious post and an eventful day it turned out to be. I still have lots of time till my little one becomes a teenager. Till then, I should enjoy spending time with her.

  13. Haha this post made me laugh- as I’m sure I must have acted like Archie a couple of times in the past…shameful I know :)! Your kids sure are lucky that you make such an effort to get the family together- they may not appreciate it now but family time is so important :)!

  14. I am seriously in stitches, I would so love to be a fly on your wall for a day just to enjoy the laughs of the chaos. You always seem to handle it with such grace though. I am saving up all your advice for the years ahead of me hun.
    Thanks again for the laugh Archie xx

  15. Oh dear, what drama! And all you wanted was one day-imagine if you have a full family four day weekend!

  16. Thank you SO much for stopping by my site! I love meeting new foodies.

    And I laughed my way through this whole story! Can’t wait to explore some more!

  17. This sounds so typical of a teenager, they make the most of every minute and then pay the price later. Good to know as they get older they will come back to valuing the time with the family, they have to go through their stint of celebrating how much closer they are to totally being an adult. Glad you handled this well, teenager do try the patience sometimes. Have a great day!

  18. LOL – the picture of Archie in church is priceless. Hope you had a great Easter, regardless.

  19. I always smile reading your posts. You definitely had the family together…it just wasn’t what you had envisioned the day being like. Mine was rather dull in comparison. LOL.

  20. Oh my goodness, I was quite sure he had a concussion! I’m glad he was just exhausted. Kids! Never a dull moment at your house.

  21. Oh I had these days too with teenagers, how wonderful that they were all home for the big day tho, even though there was a lot of sleePing!! You must be so proud of them.. lovely boys! c

  22. What a memorable Easter service.

    Also, I am glad to hear that I am not the only mother who “interrogates” children.

    The pressing of grapes and the making of Communion bread interests me. Is this something special done only for Easter?

  23. We enjoy Saturday’s Easter Vigil service as it is two services in one – the last of the before Easter, and the first Easter service. Besides, it makes Sunday morning more relaxed, but this year I had three trips to the grocery as we hosted my in-laws … thus no teens. 😉

  24. LOL! I can’t even imagine my kids as teenagers. Oh it’s going to be interesting no doubt. Love that you captured a picture of the sleeping beauty as well! Too funny. 🙂

  25. I always imagined your son archie much younger. lol I was surprised!
    you had it all planned… you had fun anyway, didnt you? =)

    With my husband we have everyday family day at some point of the day. in general with the rest of the clan… not very often.

  26. I loved your post too dear Charlie, and made me laugh… Archie is great. Especially how you captured him… He laughs too now… Thank you, Blessing and Happiness for you all, love, nia

  27. Oh my, what an exciting day! Thanks for the laughs! 🙂

  28. Great pictures:) Looking forward to the bread recipe. Your family makes an adventure of everything it seems:)

  29. With this photo you will always be ready to remind your son how “present” he was on Easter Sunday 😉 I must say I have always liked family gatherings (and still do) when they mean excellent food 😉 My parents weren’t church goers, so I had no chance to fall asleep in the church.

  30. I can’t believe you put a picture of him sleeping hahaha that’s so funny (I’m guessing that not that much for him!). I think family meetings are always like that, that’s the way it is, it’s good though that you still have a little one 🙂

  31. LOL.. this was the funniest story.. maybe because it reminded me of.. well me. Every Easter I would have to take allergy medicine because they would always act up when the Easter egg hunt was supposed to happen at church. So you’d usually find me laid out, in the back pew, sleeping from the medicine LOL. No one could wake me up at all lol. So I sympathize with Archie lol. Great story.

  32. See, Charlie, this is another example of being careful when asking for something. You wanted your family present for Easter and that is exactly what you received. Next year, perhaps you should ask that they be present and conscious. (You might want to throw in sober, too.) 🙂

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I will be sure to write out a longer list of requirements next Easter including being awake, alert and sober! xx

  33. This brought back memories ofwhen my boys were teenagers. Things are a little less dramatic now they are in relationships. I do miss the egg hunts though.

  34. What a shame he slept through it! Gospel done Elvis style would be awesome!

    We had a giant party when I was little…I really want to have a baby just so I can throw a huge Easter party.

  35. It’s great that you managed to get them all together Charlie. Next time you might need to specify that all members must be awake for the family day 🙂
    It sounds like you had a fun Easter anyway and Alfie sure looks happy in the fire truck!

  36. That was funny – he was there on time, and since you didn’t specify that he could not fall asleep, he did indeed keep his promise.

  37. Your post brings back hilarious, funny and not so funny memories of when my kids were growing up. I learnt very early on that I had to be very clear and specific with instructions. Thoroughly enjoyed your post, could not help laughing.

  38. I remember the “knock out” session I went through recently. It was supposed to be a day with the in laws which was always fun coz MIL cooks brilliantly and I could always count on her to teach me more dishes and cooking tips. But that one particular family day, all I could do was sleep. I was literally falling asleep when the family was chatting in the living room, nodding of while preparing for a meal and obviously not being able to catch up with the nephews and nieces…but still it was a day with the family while hibernating. Hibernation kinda went on for a few days…

    But most days, family days is spent with my hubby of 10.5 years and our 8 year old furkid Shalom. It can be walk in the parks, a drive to nowhere to towns and places we have not been or cuddling at home.

  39. nice post…enjoyed..:)
    Tasty Appetite

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Hi Jay, I’m sorry that I’m unable to comment on your blog. I need a name/URL section to be able to comment. It’s some stuff-up with blogger that unfortunately can’t seem to be changed xx

  40. Having similar issues with my own lot, Charlie. Have asked them to show their faces at a family reunion next weekend, to howls of abject horror. You’d think I’d told them they were to be sacrificed by a satanic cult, instead of being vaguely inspected by distant rellies that they might not see again for 5 years.
    But if they want me to do something it is a very different matter …

  41. LOL Family days are pretty sedate for me most of the time. Definitely can’t compare to yours! 😉

  42. I loved this story and so totally relate:) My kids do the same, especially my youngest (a boy).. the rule now is we need to know where he’s staying. And I usually get a warning that he plans to sleep in the car if I pick him up too early! Sounds like a great Easter!

  43. Did he appreciate the fact that you got a lovely picture of him napping 🙂

  44. I guess his spirit was willing but his flesh….. just couldn’t handle pressure!
    What a shame the service was interupted. I would love to see a clip of the Elvis performance, and I love the idea of kiddies making the flat bread for communion. It would be much tastier than the little squares of white sandwich loaf we have 🙂

  45. Charlie, you have such an exciting life – even in church! You could write a series of best sellers!
    🙂 Mandy

  46. Lol! Archie is so funny and such a typical teenager hahaha but at least he still made it home in time hehe I hope you still had a wonderful Easter though! Please hunt and share the recipe when you find it 🙂 it sounds delicious!

  47. That is one cute fireman in the background with Alfie! Almost worth setting something on fire 😉 I like your sense of humour Charlie!
    We just had a quiet Easter Sunday, doing a few chores around the house. It was a lovely long weekend.

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Actually about 12 firemen turned up and they were all as cute as the one in photo. I’ve never seen so much ‘eye-candy’ in church! xx

  48. Yes! Archie’s “enjoyment” sent him into a meditative trance!

  49. Now there’s one Easter service that everyone will remember for a LONG time!

  50. If all of your firemen look like that, I would have tripped the alarm myself. Poor Archie! Poor you, too, but what a great story. Uneventful lives are so boring (or so I hear).

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Well, not that I deliberately positioned myself where I had an unobstructed view, but yes, they were all very gorgeous!

  51. Oh my – an unforgettable Easter! Fires, firemen, teenagers ourt all night and Elvis. It´s what Easter is all about 😉

  52. Haha I remember trying to get out of family gatherings when I was a bit younger but now that I’m a little bit older, I appreciate the little time I spend with family. We’re all so very busy people that it’s often hard to have a full day to ourselves, despite living in the same house! I was glad to spend Easter with the family and ensured that all plans with friends, work, uni etc were put aside until the weekend was over – but try telling that to my younger brother who was out for most of the weekend, only grudgingly agreeing to have lunch with the family on Good Friday!

  53. Oh my goodness, not exactly a relaxing Easter for you. But it does make for a fun post AND you did get the family together for a day. Will poor Archie live it down though? My Easter seems very tame after reading this.

  54. Ha, love this post! I come from a small family (my me, my mom, and dad) so we didn’t really have special family days. We saw each other all of the time. I didn’t do much with my dad, mostly my mom and I would do things together. The only time I wish we had a big family around is on major holidays like Christmas and what-not.

  55. I love your posts, hope in the end you had a great easter day with family:)

  56. This really makes me appreciate our week ends and holidays, where the kids won’t leave me alone for a minute and I think I will go crazy. I get teary just thinking there will be a time when I will have to beg for family time and they will reduce that to the minimum too. Sigh…

  57. I’ve just had some time to do some catching up and am now sitting here giggling to myself, in part because I’ve had holidays like this when the girls were young and partly because you are so witty with your words. You MUST save that picture of Archie for a someday wedding or, better yet, when he has a child of his own.


  1. […] Knock Yourself Out – Where Archie comes to church on Easter Sunday clearly hungover, falls asleep and even the emergency evacuation alarm can’t wake him. […]

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