I am such a good father I sometimes make the ultimate Daddy sacrifice for my kids.
Tracey had slunk away with the older kids to buy a bottle of sugary bribery, leaving me to entertain Miss4 while I waited for my ‘small flat white with an extra shot of awesome’ to be created.
I knew from experience if I didn’t manage to grab my daughter’s attention she’d become enthralled by something new and wonderful – something the Gympie Music Muster isn’t short on – and run off. We’d already lost her when we passed a store offering glow in the dark toys, and she didn’t follow. The atmosphere there hasn’t really changed since I was there last, many years ago. There’s still a lot of loud enthusiastic music, crowds full of broad smiles and the ‘occasional’ patron indulging in the odd brew.
It’s still, in essence, a shiteload of fun.
Which is why I’m glad we took advantage of an opportunity to take our kids out to Amamoor for their first Muster. They watched Caitlyn Shadbolt belt out her hits on the main stage, bought way too many flavoured liquorice sticks and wandered about the various event tents and stalls with us, soaking it all up. We even let them each pick out groovy looking beanies from one vendor, justifying the expense by saying they’ll be handy when we get to Tasmania and the Snowy Mountains next year on our lap.
Sadly, I didn’t end up buying one for myself. I tried a few on but Tracey didn’t look impressed with my suggestions, and I like sex.
Still, that didn’t stop me wishing I had one of them, and it wasn’t long before an opportunity presented itself.
“Can I wear your hat?” I asked Miss4.
“Okay, Daddy,” said Miss4, taking it off her head and trading it for the plastic bag full of sugary goodness I was holding out to her when I asked.
I pulled the sheep-inspired hat on (yep, you read correctly – sheep-inspired – and it is baa-dass) and instantly knew I was going to try keep it. And not just for poorly conceived aesthetics. This might be an oddly warm winter, but my ears were so cold when I’d hugged a hello to a friend a few minutes earlier a point was made of mentioning it. Now my wingnuts were snug.
“How do I look?” I asked Miss4.
“Gwood,” she grinned, chewing on a lemonade liquorice strap, having already devoured the remains of the sour watermelon one.
Good? It seemed unlikely. I pulled out my phone and tapped on the camera app so I could check myself out.
Bugger me if she wasn’t right. I did look good. Damn good, I thought, in an ‘omg what a dickhead’ sort of a way – which is exactly the style I totally embrace.
I instantly decided I should have a photo. I took a happy snap.
But the light was wrong. I spun around.
This time it was blurry. I tried again.
This time it was nice but I decided I should try to get my girl in the background. Blurry.
I tried again. And again.
And then, with a shock, just as I was about to snap an especially amusing sheepish expression I’d pulled out of the selfie-bank, I realised Miss4 had replaced her cute hat with something new and jeezusmywifewillkillmeifsheseesthis.
She was wearing the plastic bag over her head!
All the way over. Down to her chin.
I tore the bag off and, driven by guilt, instinctively glanced around to see if anyone had spotted me royally buggering up adulting this time.
“Flat white, extra shot?” said the smirky-faced girl behind the counter, holding out a small takeaway cup of golden sanity.
“Where’s her mother?” I said by way of blame shifting, adding a contemptuous roll of the eyes and shake of the head as I shoved the bag in my pocket and took my coffee.
“Behind you,” said Tracey, sounding a tad under-impressed.
So anyway, great Muster again this year. Just as fantastic and fun as I always remember it and I’ve no doubt the kids have some more great memories stored away.
But, on the downside, despite the fact my ears feel like the sort of thing an icebreaker might make a bee-line for by the time we got home, I doubt I’m going to get any joy from Tracey later tonight for the selfless act of giving the sheep hat back to Miss4 in exchange for the empty lolly bag.
Raising a family on little more than laughs.