Meanwhile Back At Home…

Auntie Kerri with her husband, our Uncle Darryl, and our five littlest munchkins.

I wonder sometimes if my kids are responsible for my sister deciding to not have kids.  I recognise how being around our mob can be very contraceptive.

Family is so important at times of upheaval, like we’ve had these past four weeks with Tracey’s aneurysm and the subsequent removal of most of her small bowel. Rallying to the call, my darling sister, Kerri, was on a plane from Cairns just as soon as she could manage to help babysit our five littlies to free me up so I could sit with Tracey.

Kerri is known as Auntie Lolly in our house, and for good reason. She proudly insists on the title of World’s Best Aunt: an accolade which is easy to maintain when your nephews and nieces are being kept in line by their parents but, as she’s discovered, less so when you’re attempting to control them. She admits she’s been a bit out of her depth.

Let’s face it, it’s not easy to keep 1st place on the ‘Best Aunt’ podium when you have to get kids out of bed and to school during the day and fed, bathed, homework done and into bed at night.

Even some of her charges have noticed she’s struggling.

“I don’t want you to be offended,” Master10 told her a couple of nights ago while my sister attempted to bribe Miss5 into bed with a lolly, “but you’re not doing it right.”

Fortunately for Kerri our little protege, Miss11, has been paying attention to how things work around the house.

“She’s being the boss of you,” she advised my sister. “You need to be in charge.”

“I am in charge,” said Kerri.

“But you’re doing it wrong,” said Master10.

“I’ll show you,” Miss11 said helpfully, grabbing a defiant and boisterous Miss5 and dragging her into the little kids’ bedroom. Once in there, Miss11 faced her little sister and explained the situation. “It’s bedtime,” she said. “Stop being silly. Get into bed. Goodnight.”

Then she left the room, shutting the door but not walking away.

Over the screams of Miss5, my sister asked, “Is that it?”

“Hell no,” laughed Miss11.

She grabbed hold of the door handle with both hands, leant back and waited.

But not for long.

Within a few seconds the door banged, the handle rattled madly and Miss5 was screaming from the other side of the door.

“Jeesus!” exclaimed Kerri.

“Let me oooooouuuut!” yelled Miss5. “Let me OOOOOOUUUT!!”

“Let her out!” said Kerri.

Miss11 ignored her.

“Go to bed,” Miss11 said back through the door. “You’re not coming out. It’s bedtime.”

This was met with more vigorous screaming.

“Umm….,” said my sister, ruffled and no doubt wondering how many sweets would be required to fix this.  “Ummm….are you sure this is how your parents do it?”

Are you kidding? This is Supernanny 101.

“Yep,” Miss11 assured her. The door rattled loudly again and she leaned back and held firm. “Only sometimes they only hold on with one hand,” she added, “so they can read their phone.” And with an apparently lovely bit of mime she showed how this method might look. “Or they lean back like this,” she said, putting all her weight on the handle with her one attached hand and stretching out with her arms, body and neck as far away from the door as she could manage, “so they can watch tv.”

I was just pleased she didn’t mention I usually have a beer handy as well.

The door rattled again and Miss11 quickly resettled her loose hand back on the handle to stop it from turning.

“Go to bed,” she said through the door again. “You’re not coming out and I’m not going to talk to you anymore. Goodnight.” Then she looked at my flustered sister. “You should make a tea or something. This might take a while.”

And, much to the financial detriment of her local dentist, to hear Kerri tell this story I don’t think she’s likely to change her mind about being a parent any time soon.

But I’ll call it now – Miss11 is going to make a damn fine mum to my grandchildren.

~ ~ ~

Thank you again to everyone involved in keeping our Tracey alive and in with a chance. If you would like to do something wonderful please consider donating to one of the heroes of this ordeal – Care Flight who got Tracey where she needed to be quickly and safely. I gave them $100 as a thank you. This is a service we need to ensure continues because it saves live, keeping mummies around for their kids and hapless husbands.


  • That is absolute gold, that 1 is for when miss 11 turns 21 party.

    Miss 11 you are doing well, so good to hear you are helping out aunty kerri.

    But I’ll call it now – Miss 11 is going to make a damn fine mum to my grandchildren.

    You have hit the nail on the head there bruce. Well done.

  • LOVE IT. you guys rock at being such an amazing family. Love miss 11, super nanny. She will be a wonderful mum. Unless she goes Kerries way……….
    Love to you all.

  • Love love love! An all too familiar scenario from a few years ago – except there was more than handle rattling…….lots of aerial furniture “rearranging”!

  • Simply thanks for sharing your family life; the highs, the lows, the laughter, the tears. Your unique way of giving to voice what comes along every day is putting a smile on my face or makes me reach out for a tissue. Wishing you and the family comfort, support and healing. Take care!

  • That is awesome! Miss 11 is amazing & has learnt well from both her parents. Lol as I can picture it and may have used that tactic once or twice!

  • Children are much more observant than we realise. What a star.
    On another note, I am so happy that things are calm enough down here in Bris that you can write about the funny little things that I love your blog for 🙂

  • Haha poor Kerrie! She must be shell shocked! Such a wonderful thing she is doing! Miss 11 sounds like my older sister when my mum left her in charge!

  • Childless siblings are sooooo funny (I have one too). Good times are good but we can see who’s had the experience of not giving into the tantrums and who hasn’t. Bed time is always the telling point, and the kids know that. I know I come across as the most heartless, uncaring, and cruel mother in the world (to which my response is “if I’m so bad you should sack me and get another one”), but discipline has to be maintained and boundaries set or chaos ensues. And if bed times weren’t observed when would I get a chance to enjoy my wine in peace and quiet?

  • I officially love Miss 11. What an awesome kid! Sounds like Miss 5 is going to be an amazing grown up (I’m sure that she is great now too) – all that determination. Good thing she has a sister who will give her a run for her money.
    Heaven help us if they gang up… they will either take over the world or run a multimillion dollar company one day! 🙂

  • GOLD Brucey 😉 Thank you mate – cheques in the mail for Kerri’s education and has finally put to rest whether or not we did the right thing not to have children!!! With Miss 11 on par, I can now relax with the knowledge that we can spoil our beautiful nieces and nephews – and then hand them back!!! I also have to thank the overwhelming support from everyone in the Gympie community who have dropped off food, gifts and well wishes to Kerri and the family at home – it’s just been absolutely amazing and much needed. All my love and best wishes to you, Trace and the family xxx

  • Oh man this made me actually LOL.
    Your kids are honestly so awesome. You and Tracey have indeed been ‘doing it right’.
    Sending lots of strength to Aunty Lolly!!! 🙂

  • Hi guys,well this just gave me a fantastic laugh.So glad to hear things are getting there. take good care XX

  • So good. Our Mr 6 frequently takes charge with his 2yo sister when Ant and I are at our wits end. He has been heard to declare many times recently “I know, I’m the only in this house who can handle Mia”

  • Go Miss11!! haha I just had to read this aloud to my whole office and if Miss11 ever decides to travel to the States, I have at least a dozen requests for her nannying advice 🙂

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