Not The Reaction I Expected

I think I might be confusing my five year old daughter when I explain things to her.

“Who’s is this?” I demanded this evening as I prepared to march the kids across the Mullumbimby Showgrounds to the loos.

I was pointing at half a cup of milk, which had obviously been abandoned to fend for itself, like it was a fresh turd.

“That was mine,” admitted Miss5 with a devil may care tone as she pushed past me towards the door.

Then she stopped and faced me and I thought to myself, She’s finally getting it.

Finally she’s understanding that when Daddy is cranky, you need to listen. You need to stop and retrace your steps to see if you’ve done something wrong and perhaps do something to make it better. This was it. She was going to clean up after herself!

It was a sweet parenting moment which, in hindsight, was destined for failure. Because nope.

“I don’t want it,” she said bluntly, and raced off again.

“But…stop….wait…,” my voice followed her out the door, “you have to clean it up!”

Her head popped back in.

“You can have it,” she told me. And disappeared off the bus quicker than…well, a fart in a cyclone. That’ll become pertinent to the story shortly.

This was the point where my wife decided to get involved.

“No, he can’t!” she screamed from further up the bus. “No, you can’t,” she told me in a voice which was so awesomely parental I cleaned up Miss5’s mess. “No milk.”

We’ve dealt with a range of intolerances in this family. From Master12’s emergency room requiring anaphylactic reactions to peanuts – which he thankfully grew out of – to the likelihood of celiac with a few of our girls. Currently we’re basically running a gluten free ship. I say basically because I still eat Turkish bread.

And biscuits.

And whatever the hell I want.

I do suffer through twice weekly gluten free spaghetti though for the sake of the children. And YES, I absolutely expect to be nominated as Father of the Year for this. I’m still shirty Tracey didn’t think to fill out an application when I switched to long life milk so the kids could have cereal for breakfast on this Big Lap of ours. What’s a bloke gotta do to get a bit of bling on the shelf?

But the one thing I absolutely can’t have is, even though no tests have confirmed I’ve any sort of a gut issue with it, is a cup of milk – as Master12 was helpfully explaining to Miss5 when I hopped off the bus a few seconds later.

“Dad can’t drink milk because it causes something bad to happen.”

“Yeah,” agreed Miss10. “He farts.”

“A lot,” Miss7 nodded with wide eyes and great vigour.

“It’s true,” I said to Miss5 as I took her hand and we all headed towards the facilities. “Milk goes in one end of me and out the other.”

Which I now realise was a far more confusing concept for our five year old to get her head around than I thought, as evidenced by her comment to me as she exited the toilet.

“I was peeing,” she grinned at me, and then pointed at her bum, “and a little milk came out.”

At Caboolture we were parked up right next to the State Equestrian Centre and there was even an event of some sort on. Now I’m not known as a sports lover, and of sports I have watched (pretty much Olympics only) equestrian doesn’t feature highly on my ‘must see that live’ calendar. To be fair, that calendar is completely bare of sports.  HOWEVER, we decided we’re going to try all sorts of things on this trip and try to say yes even if we’re leaning more towards no. So we ended up in this humongous horse hanger.
I hit the Google pretty hard so was able to explain to the kids dressage is like dancing for horses and is, in fact, the ultimate test of skill between rider and ridden, rather than the ultimate test of endurance for the audience, which would have been my bet. “You’re right!” said Master12 excitedly, pointing at a horse who was taking a couple of steps backwards. “That ones moonwalking.”
I’m really genuinely sorry to all you horse lovers out there, but we only lasted one performance. If I’m honest, I wanted to leave before it finished but Tracey thought, as we were the only people in the stands, the guy might notice and be put off his game. I’m not so sure, as we applauded handsomely once he finished and he didn’t even look up. I’ll say this though, the horses were beautiful. Gorgeous creatures. 
Concerned the kids picked up some bad ideas from the dressage.
For obvious reasons.
We brought along some old bikes with us this trip. Still have a few flat tyres to contend with but at least the kids got to ride around a bit. Happy faces all around. 
Because nothing, but nothing, beats photobombing on a bike.

Despite the grounds still recovering from their drenching, some beautiful light and backgrounds here at the Mullumbimby Showgrounds. Tracey wants me to say these were taken with the family’s Canon, and not her workhorse, but I can’t see what she must – I think they’re drop dead gorgeous photos.

We’re in the Mullumbimby/Byron Bay area for a week. If you’d like Tracey to capture your family she is happy to take bookings. Only $400 (can you say ‘wow that’s such a good price for a professional photographer ‘) will get Tracey chasing you around like the paparazzi then lots of photos of your loved ones. She promises a minimum of 40 images in colour and the same shots in black and white, but she’s very generous and you’ll always find more digital images on your bespoke wooden USB than you expect. If you’ve been putting off having professional photos done, now’s your chance.

Contact Tracey on 0408123253 or [email protected]

Raising a family on little more than laughs


    • Never! Although I have, as a concession to Tracey, cut back on milk in my tea and coffee so that it’s just enough to make it slightly less transparent.

  • I second the Lactose-Free option. My daughter seems to suffer this. If she drinks full-fat milk, or has too much dairy in one hit, it goes straight through her. Milk goes in, poo comes out! We’ve switched her to skim milk for her Milo and she has no problem, ditto for lactose-free milk, yoghurt and sour cream – she’s not a cheese fan. But seriously, you can’t tell the difference with the lactose-free products and it’s made a HUGE difference to her… the milk stays in! She’s 14 so she has learnt to plan her dairy meals so not to overload herself.

    Give it a try, you (and your family) might be pleasantly surprised 🙂

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