Around here we take our slip slop slap seriously.
By which I mean, Tracey takes our slip slop slap seriously and the rest of us have learned we’ll get out the door if we don’t try to argue.
Which is a good thing. After all, the risk of melanoma needs to be taken seriously by at least one member of the family unit. And I’m pleased to announce we evidenced today the message has clearly started to sink in with at least one of our little munchkins.
“Who wants a swim?” I asked the kids, and was nearly crushed in the stampede for the door.
I suspected they might want to jump in the pool because, despite nothing actually being said about the possibility of a splash, they were all wearing their swimmers. I think one of them (I suspect Miss9) put hers on and then the rest optimistically followed suit.
Which I totally get.
We were all a bit desperate to get out of the bus. This is the first day since Christmas no one in the family has felt sick. There’s still the odd short temper hovering around our conversations, but no sore muscles and headaches and nausea, which is just so excellently nice.
And then there’s been the rain. Lots of it. It was all sunny while we were sick, and now it’s overcast and soggy.
Personally, I love the rain. It’s the perfect excuse to not paint a fence or mow the yard. But now we don’t have a fence or yard to worry about it does seem, ironically, to be interfering with the kids’ love of water play.
Being in a bus in a campground, I’ve decided I love rain even more. There’s a sort of smug humour to be carved out of sitting in a comparatively spacious bus during a storm and sipping coffee while watching families in tents. It sounds cruel, but I figure only if they catch me looking.
Now I know you can swim in the rain and not get any wetter, but the really important point to consider here is you can’t watch kids swim in the rain from a lovely dry seat and not get any wetter.
“Sunscreen!” Tracey yelled, stopping the kids in their tracks. “It might be overcast outside but you can still get burnt. Don’t miss anywhere.”
I wasn’t planning on getting wet myself, but while they scrambled for the sunscreen I took the opportunity to push past them to grab the essentials for watching kids in the pool – my iPhone and a coffee.
Usually, when there’s one of something and five of our kids, the whole scene falls apart immediately. But I think because they all wanted the same thing – a refreshing dip somewhere other than the bus – they were managing to share the tube of sunscreen with an almost unprecedented show of consideration and patience. The best of intentions aside, there was simply no way it was going to last.
“AHHHHH!” came the scream from the front end of the bus, where they were all putting the 50+ lotion on. “AHHHHHH!!”
Tracey can tell from a baby’s cry whether it’s hungry or has wind. That’s her gift to our sanity. My area of expertise is screams. I knew, for example, there wasn’t a snake, toad or butterfly in the bus: those screams are more shrill and uncontrolled. I also knew there were no broken bones or scratched mozzie bites in need of a bandaid to stem the flow of arterial-imagined-blood: those screams are deeper and more guttural.
These screams, by comparison, were slightly melodic, which told of a more emotional disaster than the fear of pain or imminent death. My most excellent analysis of the source of their anguished cries was soon confirmed.
Four of our five children were in a state of panic. I can’t remember the exact details of who was doing what, but hands were covering eyes on some while others couldn’t look away from ‘the horror’. The big drama wasn’t immediately obvious to me in the tangle of arms and legs, although it was immediately clear who was at the centre of it.
Our youngest child, Miss4, stood calmly amongst the fuss – those beautiful, innocent, slightly confused eyes of hers taking in one screaming sibling and then the next, as if to say, ‘what’s up with you idiots?’
Then I saw the cause of the ruckus as the scrambling of kids to get way from their little sister opened a gap.
Our youngest was standing in the aisle of our bus, swimmers around her ankles, wiping a generous handful of sunscreen up between her butt cheeks.
“What are you doing?” yelped Tracey, dashing forward to reef Miss4’s hand out of her bum crack, then pull up her swimmers – not easy whilst trying to avoid contact a hand full of white lotion which was whipping about like a dropped garden hose.
Miss4’s expression still gave no indication she considered herself to have done anything wrong. Fair enough really, when you consider her position.
As she explained to her Mum, “You said put it everywhere.”
Raising a family on little more than laughs