“AHH!” yelled Master12 from the back seat of the car.
“What’s going on back there?” Tracey called over her shoulder.
We were heading into Ballina to check out push bikes at their recycle centre, Ballina Junction – read as, going to the tip to shop – and because we’d dragged the kids away from what they wanted to be doing – read as, Minecraft – they were being argumentative little shits.
“She whacked me in the nuts,” Master12 whimpered.
“Guys! What have we said about your brother’s nuts?” I called out.
“Don’t hit them?” said Miss7, even while he older sister was trying to explain she didn’t hit them so much as drop an elbow into them while she was trying to make herself more comfortable.
“Of course, don’t hit them,” Tracey said. “It really hurts.”
“How would you know, Mum?” Master12 wanted to know. I was just about to explain I don’t have to give birth to know it hurts like a bitch when he went on with a follow up question, “Is it like getting hit in the vagina?”
At which point I decided to let Tracey handle this, and to focus on my driving.
But this wasn’t even the oddest conversation of the day.
“We actually had eight kids but one of them didn’t make it,” Miss10 said to a bloke this morning who was here to check out our bus and not so much for our family history. There was no segue to this. We were actually discussing the bus he’s currently doing up to take his family on the road. “But if Charlie made it,” Miss10 went on, oblivious to my mental insistence she please stop, “then we wouldn’t have Sophie. Mum and Dad had to do it lots,” – said while banging her fists together to indicate…well….banging – “to get her.”
Enter the sort of pregnant pause you get when you’re expecting triplets.
There’s always a couple of ways to go with these sorts of discussions. What I really wanted to do was explain there has never been a discussion with any of our children about the amount of sex we have, regardless of how informed this one sounded.
Tracey, who’s much better in these social situations than me, just shook her head and grabbed hold of the dinning table.
“When she opens her mouth we all brace ourselves,” she said.
Whereas I think the same can be said for any of our children.
“So the thing is,” Tracey went on in her mini-lecture to the kids in the car, “hitting anywhere is bad. Anywhere. But especially, for your brother, in the testicles. Otherwise he might not be able to have kids when he’s older if it does damage.”
“Like with Dad,” agreed Miss13.
“Dad’s had lots of kids,” Miss7 corrected her.
“Yes,” agreed Miss10, “but he damaged one of his testicles when he was a kid so he couldn’t have all the kids he should have.”
“I got all the kids I wanted,” I quickly explained. More even, if I’m honest. But I see that as akin to falling on my feet.
“Well I want kids,” said Master12, finding his voice, “so everyone leave my nuts alone.”
“It was an accident!” said Miss10.
“So were most of us,” giggled Miss13.
At least I’m pretty sure that’s what she said. Throughout all this Miss5 was singing a song of her own making and slowly been getting louder and louder. It was at this point I was finally able to make out the lyrics.
Well…lyric. It was essentially one word over and over and over, sung with flourishes in her sweet voice.
“Di-arr-hea,” she sang. “Diarr-heeaaaaaa. Di-arr-heaaaa.”
Can only assume she thought her siblings were being shits too.
Raising a family on little more than laughs