Lock Out

“Dammit,” said Tracey. She was standing outside the door to our bus looking frustrated with herself – which if I’m honest was a lovely change to her looking frustrated with me.

Although we weren’t due to leave Canungra until the following day, while the sun was still out and everything was verging towards dry we were in the throes of packing up our outdoor kit – the gazebos, cooking gear, tables, chairs and the most important bits, the tent insert and inflatable daybed .

The whole thing was going really well, bar two little matters. The first was Miss5 chucking a rather impressive tantrum because we told her she couldn’t open a pack of biscuits sitting in the car for an intended excursion after we’d finished packing. The second thing was a little more worrying.

“What’s up?” I asked Tracey.

“I left the keys on the table.”

“Are you kidding?” I sighed, because sometimes she does that sort of thing.

This wasn’t the first time Tracey had been in charge of the keys and managed to lock us out. Not even the first time this week.

Only the night before I’d ended up having to tap on a window to wake Miss13 at a bit after midnight.

“Where have you been?” Miss13 surprised me by asking as she opened the door. She was squinting accusingly.

At this point I gaped a little because I’d expected her to let us in and go back to bed. I certainly hadn’t expected to be interrogated or I would have prepared something while I waited for her to get out of bed.

Read as: I had nothing.

“The toilets before bed,” said Tracey.

I just about had to bite my tongue to stop from saying, ‘well done’.

“Sure,” said Miss13, sounding disbelieving.

And suddenly I felt like a teenager again myself, having to explain my whereabouts to my disbelieving dad.

“We have,” I blurted out, in theory backing Tracey up but more accurately just doing what I always did and digging a bigger hole for myself. I’m so out of practice with lying it sounded whiney even to me. Then I backed my assertion up with the one word which every parent knows means they’re being told a furphy.  “Honest.”

Not honest, of course.

We hadn’t ducked out to the loo, obviously.

We’d been hanging out in the tent.

“We can’t do that again,” Tracey whispered to me as we climbed up into our bed.

Working on the assumption she meant we couldn’t allow ourselves to get locked out of the bus, and not that we weren’t going to attempt to canoodle again until all the kids had left home, when I woke up I made sure I went to the local hardware to have a key cut which we could hide somewhere in case this sort of thing ever happened again.

Ever arrived immediately.

“I’m not kiddy you,” said Tracey. Then she looked accusingly at me and asked, “Where are yours?”

“Beside yours, I imagine,” I told her.

“Lucky you got a spare key cut,” said Tracey.

Now you might think me a little silly to announce the fact there is a key to our bus hidden somewhere around it. It’s a big bus, with lots of nooks and too many crannies. More tellingly, what you’re failing to realise is there’s already a spare key hidden somewhere on our bus. The previous owner told us about it. Not only that, he pointed to where it’s hidden.

We have never found it.

“Ah. Yes. About that,” I mumbled.

“It’s inside the bus, isn’t it.” Not a question.

Fortunately, one of our kids was still on the inside of the bus as well.

“Open the door,” we called in through the glass.

“What?” said Miss5, popping herself down on the step in the doorway and smirking out at us like we were complete morons.

The power of observation is strong with this one.

I took over negotiations at this point. By which I mean, threats. By which I mean, I got nowhere and, if anything, Miss5 looked even more smug.

It was Tracey who came up with the key to getting the door open.

“Would you like a biscuit?” she asked Miss5 sweetly, dangling the pack from the car in front of the glass.

I’m thinking hiding a pack of chocolate chip cookies somewhere under the bus might prove a little more of a challenge.

Knock knock
None Shall Pass! Unless you’ve got a cookie.


Thanks for dropping in on us, Diane Marchant, and especially for the kids’ games. Lovely to meet up and chat after seeing your name on BFli’s page for so long. Tracey specifically wanted me to tell you we’re not normally looking so feral. Maybe. But remember you can’t judge a book by its cover.
Was thrilled when you tapped on our windscreen, Sonja! Sonja and I went on a great date to Grundies when we were about 13. I think she might even have been my first date. We haven’t changed a bit! Taller, maybe.
Stumbled across the tree tops challenge at Thunderbird Park on the way down the hill. Next time we’re in the area we’re doing it.
Well, most of us. “I’m sorry, Daddy, but you won’t be able to do it,” Miss7 told me. “You won’t fit.”
Spotted this bit of fun on our way down Mt Tamborine later that day and Tracey quickly whipped out the camera for a shot. Not quick enough. “We’ll Google it,” she told me seconds later.
This is what it actually looks like. Very amus(ical)ing. Although not sure having something as eye catching as this on that particular stretch of road is such a super idea as it’s basically abseiling for cars.
Came back from our trip up to Mt Tamborine to find a family of six pulled up next to us in the rain with a dodgy tent. Happy to be able to pull out a gazebo and tent insert to get them through a night so they’ve a chance tomorrow to get their tent poles fixed. At which point it occurred to us we’re essentially carrying a spare house with us. And in case you’re wondering, no we didn’t tell them what the tent is for.
We haven’t gone feral yet? Right. Sorry Tracey. Not sorry.
Unlike the piano shot, we saw this unfolding which is why there’s a photo snapped just as a super annoyed Miss9 is wondering who’s grabbing her helmet and stopping her from going for a scooter.
Note to self: Don’t put your helmet on under the gazebo when there’s washing hanging about.

Raising a family on little more than laughs

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1 Comment

  • That look from from miss 9 in the last photo is a good photo that will be used for her 18th or 21st birthday party’s.

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