Calling dibs on being first is very important around here.
I guess it’s something to do with being part of such a huge tribe and wanting that moment when everyone else is a little jealous of the attention you’re getting. There are times, though, when it overrides any common sense I fleetingly glimpse in the words and actions of my darlings.
Take last night, for example…
It was all urgency as Miss5’s head popped out of her bunk and she yelled into the confined space, “I need a drink!”
Bedtime is contradictively easier and harder when you’re living in a bus.
It’s easier because you are right there, within a couple of meters, to sort out any nonsense. You know if someone hasn’t brushed their teeth because they’d have had to squeeze past you to get to the sink. You know if Child A is whispering stuff across the aisle to Child B to rile them up before the screaming starts because you can hear the little shitster. At home, you’d say goodnight to a couple of youngins and then discover, next ad break, far from falling asleep with their favourite dolly they’d broken ground on a toy NYC on the floor where the dolls, like children, never sleep.
Where it’s harder is that whenever one kid thinks of a reason to postpone closing their eyes it can spread like a pandemic.
“Me too,” said Miss9.
“Me first,” demanded Miss7.
“Me first too!” echoed Miss5.
Like sugar in a batch of home brew, when the toilet is half a paddock away water before bed must be added to small bladders with mindfulness and precision and a clear head. Otherwise it’s a time bomb set to go off at about five am.
I half filled a small plastic cup and gave everyone a small sip before closing their cubicle curtains and settling back in front of my computer to await the next delay tactic. My screen didn’t even get a chance to flare back to life.
“I need a kiss!” called out Miss5.
“I need a kiss too,” said Miss7.
“But I’m first,” said Miss9, “because I’ve already got my lips ready.”
She somehow managed to project her lips about two inches from her face. I nearly didn’t have to bend down to her bottom bunk.
Next it was hugs.
“My turn first,” yelled out Miss5.
Finally, some fifteen minutes after I’d initially sent them off to bed, I settled down to sip on my tea and write a post about gluten free weet-bix which Master11 and Miss7 had gifted me earlier that day. By now I was well and truly done with these delay tactics.
“Now that’s enough from you three,” I said in my daddy-voice. “Heads on pillows and close your mouths and your eyes, or I’ll come back there to think about stamping my hand on your bums.”
At which point they proved winning is more important than, say, thinking.
“Me first!” the three of them yelled in unison.
Raising a family on little more than laughs
Currently reading on my Kindle: Pride & Prejudice