We finally remembered to do something important before leaving the prep building this morning and it will make our lap around Australia a lot less stressful.
“Can I have one?” Master11 asked me at the shopping centre today when I waved my card in the general direction of an eftpos machine to purchase two little koalas.
“They’re not for you,” I told him.
Master11 has a thing for stuffed toys. He must have a hundred in his cupboards – all manner of Pokemon and things. Whenever we go to a zoo-like place he foregoes the tee I’d chose in lieu of a stuffed wombat or similar. I mean it’s not like he sleeps with them or anything, he just loves to collect them.
“Well, why are we buying them?” he wanted to know.
“For Em,” I told him – that’s Miss5 in blogspeak.
“But doesn’t she already have one like them at home?”
Not ‘like them’ so much as ‘exactly like them’.
“You can’t say anything, but these are the spares,” I explained.
I’d asked Mrs Karen where she’d purchased the little koala which she’d presented Miss5 in class to accompany our daughter on our big lap for her to take photos of and send reports back to her classmates.
Buying these koalas has been at the top of our priority list of things to get done before we head off on the next leg of our journey. And when I say top of our list I mean the line under fix bus radiator.
We figure she’ll lose the koala for absolute suredom.
And not necessarily on a roadside somewhere.
Despite rarely being seen with one in her mouth, Miss5 has a long and compelling history of losing her dummy somewhere between when she wakes up and bedtime every single day.
Every. Single. Day.
The upshot of which is our first aid kit on the bus includes half a dozen spare dummies.
Even though we’ve only been on the road for five weeks they already need restocking.
And in case you’re wondering why we keep them in the first aid kit, it’s because if she can’t find her dummy at bedtime there is horror movie worthy screaming after which there is the very real threat of blood – erupting from a vein in my forehead.
For his part, Master11 was totally onboard with the idea.
“There was a bit in a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book where he loses his favourite toy and can’t find it anywhere, but then his mum finds it. Only afterwards he finds a cupboard with heaps of them hidden in it, and heaps of his sister’s favourite stuffed toy as well.”
“And you thought that was just a funny joke, didn’t you?” I chuckled. Then I added for no reason other than I wanted to seem like a much more organised parent than I am, “This is what parents do, mate.”
After which he gave me a searching look before asking, “Do you have any spares of my toys?”
It felt like a test. A sort of ‘do you love my sister more than me?’ quiz which would, with the wrong answer, crush his soul and pencil him in at some sort of institute for wayward and troubled boys.
I tried both yes and no in my head, and didn’t particularly like either.
“We’ll never tell,” said Tracey, arriving back at my side with both a timely save and my coffee.
She’s definitely smarter than the average bear, my wife. Smarter than her very average husband too.
My sister brought a guinea pig home from Kindy once and drowned the poor thing in a bucket while giving it a bath. My parents rushed out and bought a replacement and then went to the teacher, wringing their hands, to explain. “Oh, god, don’t worry about it,” she told them. “This is the fifth Bubbles so far this year and none of the kids have noticed a thing.” I think I’ll call this koala Bubbles and hope for a similar outcome.
Raising a family on little more than laughs
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