“Line up for the loo,” I called out to the kids. We were on our way to Brisbane because Tracey had a photo shoot in the afternoon and we’d arranged to meet Master22 and his girlfriend, Frances, for lunch and a wander through the Qld Museum. We’d been up since 7am and the midday meet up was already looking iffy. “And then everyone grab a water bottle and wait on the balcony.”
It takes something akin to military precision to get our family loaded into the car and heading anywhere, and unfortunately neither Tracey nor I have served in the armed forces.
Which once again became obvious at the first of two stops on our way down.
“Toilet!” screamed Miss6. This always gets our attention as there’s usually only a few minutes between this sort of declaration and the dam being blown. Fortunately, she’d spoken up just in time and I swung across into the exit lane and pulled into a garage.
“Anyone else?” I asked before racing Miss6 inside.
We emerged minutes later and were just about ready to head off again when Miss4 told us she was thirsty.
“You’ve got your water bottle,” I told her.
“It’s empty,” she replied.
“Have you drunk it already?”
Turns out she’d grabbed a water bottle, like I asked, but hadn’t put anything in it.
“Why wouldn’t you fill it up?” I asked her.
“You didn’t tell me too.”
Another couple of minutes and we were on our way again, with only a stop at yet another garage when the petrol light came on to slow us down.
Despite a stop-start start, the day was awesome. You’ve got to hand it to whoever organized the displays at the museum, they do a fantastic job.
At least the bits I saw were great.
“Toilet!” announced Miss6 again while we were checking out the Coral Coast exhibit. Master8 had just managed to be bitten on the head by a crocodile after sticking his head into the crocodile skull on display.
“That really hurt,” I heard him mumbling as he rubbed his head.
I took Miss6 to the loo while Tracey attended to our son.
Then we wandered through the dinosaur display and grabbed a drink and some chips to snack on before checking out the aboriginal display and then the room of stuffed dead animals and skeletons.
“Are they real?” Miss4 wanted to know.
“No, they’re just models,” I told her, figuring this was my chance to save the eardrums of everyone in the building.
“Oh,” she said, sounding disappointed.
“Toilet!” said Miss6.
“You’re kidding,” I said to her.
“Give me your water bottle,” I told her as we ducked off again. “I’m putting you on water rations.”
The day was lovely. The little kids got to spend some time with their big brother and look at bones and eat icecream and play on the swings at South Bank and eat sushi (another race for the loo mid-meal at South Bank, this time with all the kids) and then drop in to see my brother’s family on the way home. Wonderful.
So as we sat at KFC eating dinner before the big drive home I asked my kids a question I always ask after a big day out:
“What was your favourite part of today?”
Most of them chewed and mulled over the question, no doubt thinking about the big model whales, seeing their brother and his lovely girlfriend, the airplane hanging in the foyer, shadows of dinosaurs running across the walls or, possibly, hungry crocodile skulls.
But Miss6 didn’t have to think long at all to come up with her answer.
“I really liked the toilets,” she said, and went back to chewing on a nugget.
Yep, on reflection they featured pretty prominently in my day too.
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”