Half Wit

“Can you play this game with your sister?” I called out to Master11 this morning.

Miss7 had been hounding me to come and play a game on Studyladder with her. Wonderful, because it forms part of her homeschooling curriculum and she’s voluntarily wanting to do it, but I simply didn’t have the time right then. Roping in her big brother, who I knew was looking to score some points and hopefully win back time on his phone, seemed like the perfect win-win.

All I had to do was convince them.

“Noooo!” Miss7 protested. “He’ll beat me.”

Apparently, part of the fun with Addition Battle is when you get a question right you shoot a paintball out of a cannon at your opponent’s castle and another part of the fun was when your opponent get an answer wrong their paintball lands in the ocean.

“No, he won’t,” I told Miss7. Then it occurred to me I was speaking to the wrong person. “No, you won’t,” I warned Master11.

“Dad,” he complained, “it’s basic maths. How am I supposed to lose?”

“Use your brain,” I said. “Or better still, don’t.”

“I don’t want to play a game I have to get all the questions wrong. That’s boring.”

“Well get half of them wrong,” I suggested, and rolled over to focus on my own priorities – not getting out of bed until Tracey came back from taking our other three children to the toilet.

I’m not entirely sure how long I managed to squeeze in, but I know I went back to sleep because I didn’t notice Miss7 climbing up into our top bunk queen bed, Cloudland, and cupping her hands around my ear until she started yelling.

“Dad, he’s cheating!” said Miss7 with the full and enthusiastic lungs of a marooned sailer spotting a ship skipping past his lonely island home. “He’s using more than half his brain!”

“Don’t blame your father,” Tracey called out to Miss7 from the front of the bus – she and the other girls had just arrived back. “He sure doesn’t get that from him.”

Writing the script for her first homeschooling project – a quick documentary on loggerhead turtles.
We all shove and push our way past each other in the bus. Except Miss5. She’s taken to skimming over the tops of seats and tables.
Walked outside to this. The girls swinging off the fence around the show ground we’re staying at.
Does this count as a PE lesson?

I had to duck into the chemist before we left for the city today. While I was waiting for my prescription to be filled this arrived in my messages. Think Tracey was trying to tell me I was taking too long.
I’ve been wanting to take the kids to the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium for ages. We decided the films might be beyond our little girls’ ability to understand and stay quiet through, so we just enjoyed the displays, which have the added advantage of being free.

Replica of Apollo 11 suit. “Hey, he’s got a selfie camera!” said Master11.
Love love loved all the models of rockets and shuttles and rovers and space satellites. Felt like a little kid again. Whereas Master11 looked unimpressed and just wanted to know where the Thunderbirds models were.
We did the cheap tour and just walked around the outside of the theatre reading the walls.
Miss7, after reading a few wall displays and watching a little of the video in the foyer, “What’s behind the sky?” I told her space, which has suns and planets and asteroids and lots of wonderful stuff in it. There was a pause. “But what’s behind space?” So two questions into homeschooling on one of my favourite subjects and I’m stumped.
After the Planetarium we went for a stroll in the botanical gardens. “Is this where the people are buried?” Miss5 wanted to know as soon as we walked through the gates. I’m guessing that’s a sure sign we’ve spent more time in cemeteries lately than places like this.
Of course, now I want to know how Rosa got her nickname.

“I want to be in a photo for once,” Tracey said and shoved her camera into my hands. No problem and you’re welcome, darling x
Miss13 has a hell sore knee/leg at the moment but she soldiered on and even pretended to smile most the way. Just every now and then she’d cuss, cry and say I’m sorry all at once.

The tranquil Japanese garden. People started leaving the moment we arrived. They didn’t look as relaxed as you’d expect.

And then other times I think I’m doing alright at this homeschooling caper. Like today I taught Master11 whenever you find yourself on a stump you must strike the Karate Kid pose. You don’t learn that stuff in textbooks. 

Not sure what the purpose of this mound of stones in the dry river bed near the play area is for, but I decided to construct my first cairn. I think I did pretty good too.
The trouble is, of course, one is never enough. On a side note, Tracey saw this photo and said, “Is that where you’d run off too and left me supervising the kids.” I have to remember to take a kid with me on these little excursions so I can claim it as parenting.
Not sure what I did to deserve this, but I hope I do it again.

That is some quality running.
Next I pretended I took a wrong turn so my children’s anxiety levels wouldn’t go through the roof at us heading up so high and we checked out the Mt Cootha lookout.
I think this is Tracey’s favourite photo of the day. Not because of the view or her family being it. “You look like a wet nurse,” she told me tonight.
The view is amazing. Even Miss9 was impressed. “Is that all of Brisbane?” I said it was. “No wonder it takes you so long to drive us anywhere.” Well, there’s that and my trying to show the GPS I know a better way.
“Look! It’s the Eiffel Tower!” Okay, so geography isn’t our kids’ strong point. Kids were excited about seeing where all the free to air channels live though. We’d just driven past channel nine and seven when we were approaching another one. “Which channel do you think this one will be?” I asked. “Youtube?” suggested Miss7.
A case of reality not living up to the dream. Pizza by the Brisbane River. There was a table but a guy was sitting at it. I suggested if we joined him he’d leave pretty quick but Tracey wouldn’t agree to it so we ended up on and around this exercise equipment because Tracey also wouldn’t let us sit on the rock wall in case one of the kids fell into the river. One: I do appreciate the irony of eating pizza on exercise equipment. Two: that matting is not comfortable and, I’d suggest, would take skin off anyone who landed on it. Three: before we left the girls had taken up pole dancing. Their words.

Raising a family on little more than laughs

Currently reading on my Kindle: On The Origin Of The Species

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