Shop Till We’re Stopped

Miss1’s Christmas present – I hope she learns to share before then.

Today was our we’re-on-holiday, pre-Christmas shopping day on the Sunshine Coast. It was all planned so well. We thought the T’s were crossed and the I’s were dotted. Unfortunately I think we crossed the I’s and dotted the T’s and we completely forgot about the potential for P’s.

This was the plan – Miss16 was to go to school, as were Master6 & Miss7. Miss4 was off to pre-prep and Miss1 was booked into daycare. Then, after school, Miss3 was being picked up by Grandma, and a bus was picking up Miss7 & Master6, who were joining Miss1 (who wasn’t going anywhere) at daycare. This left Miss16, who was to walk the 200 meters to Grandma’s (although historically there was a better than even chance she’d ring them to come pick her up). Simple.

To make this day happen we were up at an unhealthy 6am, with the local garbage truck happening along to drown out those pesky sounds of birds chirping at sun up (or as near to sun up as I’m likely to be conscious for).

All the kids were dressed, fed and in the car within an hour. Except for Miss16 who was sick as a dog so stayed in bed with instructions the medicines were in the fridge and she could eat whatever she could keep down. Not to sound unsympathetic, but her illness didn’t hold us up more than twenty seconds.

The car not starting did.

Tracey and I shot an accusatory look at each other.

“Did you check the car doors were all shut last night?” I asked, quick to get in first.

“Did you?!” she countered. Damn. She had me. I didn’t.

We turned the car radio off and made sure the kids hadn’t turned the internal lights on. Tracey even got out of the car – I asked if she thought making the car lighter was going to help it go, but she was apparently just checking all the doors were shut. I tried again.

And just when I thought our engine was rrerrrring it’s last, it kicked over.

After a swift 40 minute, battery-recharging run into Gympie, we dropped Miss4 at Poppy’s (he was taking her to pre-prep), Miss7 & Master6 at Grandma’s (she was taking them to school) and Miss1 at daycare. It was very much a tuck & roll maneuver – we explained to the kids we didn’t have time to stop the car. One or more of the kids may have cried at our quick exits, I don’t remember.

By 9am we were sipping affogato (icecream for breakfast – can’t do that when there are kids around) at Sunshine Plaza and planning our eight hour shopping run.

A shopping run which lasted all of about two hours before the calls started. Actually they may have started earlier, but I don’t know how to answer the mobile. You know, we haven’t had a kid wet their pants (with the exception of Miss1) in about 2 years, but today just had to be the day, didn’t it?! Fortunately, an early departure home was averted by some quick thinking on Tracey’s behalf – she asked the office to sell us a uniform over the phone.

As the calls kept coming in, from work, family & school, we eventually pulled up stumps after five hours and headed home. And after five hours of continuous shopping, can you guess how many of our six children we managed to settle Christmas (and three December birthday) presents for? One.

Let’s just say at this point there’s going to be some very green eyes staring at Miss1 come December 25th.

When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes,

Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’  Facebook Page.

 ’raising a family on little more than laughs’

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