Bad Habits

“Here, Dad,” said Miss6.

“Hmm?” I said, almost turning away from my screen.

“Can you take this please?” she asked, very politely it must be said.

I glanced unwillingly in her direction.

We’d been parked in the driveway of friends for a few days and since with their mob of nine there were fourteen kids running about – or more specifically hanging about in our bus playing – finding a couple of hours of peace to focus on writing has been difficult.

Miss6 was sitting on a headrest ferreting around in our overhead storage trying to find something or other and had decided she needed two hands so as not to fall down. Dangling in one hand stretched out in my direction was a plastic cup.

Presumably, she’d decided to climb Mount Bus Seat for a colouring pencil or a hairbrush mid-refreshment. I couldn’t see the contents of the cup, but given she was sitting atop our cream sheepskin seat covers I was hoping she was quenching her thirst with water and not milk.

I weighed things up.

Not the potential for a stench in the bus or her safety or anything like that so much as if her Mum was about to come in and judge my parenting or if I really wanted to move from where I was sitting.

Pleasantly I decided I could answer no to both those things, so I grinned and passed that on.

“No,” I told her. “I’m busy.”

But then she played her trump card.

“Come on, Dad,” she said loudly, “hold my beer!”

This is not the first time she’s used this line on me.

Nor is it the first time I thought it was the funniest thing I’ve ever heard.

Nor, even, was it the first time I picked up my phone, after taking the cup of course, and called my wife to tell her what our most precocious daughter had just blurted out.

It was, however, the first time there’d been another kid in the vicinity while this was happening. A kid I hadn’t noticed and wouldn’t have noticed if, midway through giggling into my phone at Tracey, Miss6 hadn’t bounced across the bus aisle to where our host family’s young Master6 was hiding.

“See, that’s what you say when you want an adult to take something from you,” she told him sagely, like it was an ongoing part of a previous discussion I hadn’t been privy to. “It distracts them.”

Their kids have taught our kids to say ‘Yes, Dad’ instead of arguing when they’re asked to do the dishes, so I guess it’s only fair we give something back.

This and the above photo were taken by Tracey’s photographer friend, Zoko Photography, Hobart while they talked shop and finally met after years and years of online chats. Thanks, Louise x
This isn’t even all of them. Only nine and then only four of theirs. I think friendships were formed which will last a lifetime this last month. Although depending on how much guidance Miss6 has been throwing about their parents may not talk to me ever again.

Raising a family on little more than laughs

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Apparently this is how to have ensure you get the option on Facebook to click over and read our adventures. These instructions come curtesy of friend of BFli, Lynnette. 

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