The Grand Tours

“This is where Mummy and Daddy sleep, up there,” said and pointed Miss5 to the family who I’d invited onto our bus for a look-see.

I always watch with trepidation when Miss5 does ‘the tour’. Well, whenever Tracey’s not here because if I’m honest she usually handles most the stressing out about what people will think of us if they see how we live. But on this occasion, Tracey wasn’t here.

Not that she was far away – probably less than ten meters as the crow flies, sitting somewhere in our rented home for a week.

After being discharged from hospital (anyone else thinks it’s funny how the word discharge can mean both something wonderful and something a bit gross in terms of hospitals?) we’d booked ourselves a home on Bribie Island so Tracey didn’t have to spill her guts trying to jump into bed. We liked it so much we’re actually heading back for another two weeks at the end of the week.

“And this is where I sleep, and this is where Sophie sleeps,” she pointed at the top two bunks on either side of the aisle.

One of the nice things about the house is the neighbours – an Anglican minister and his wife and six of their seven children – who we’ve enjoyed passing the time of day with. In fact, I enjoyed chatting with Jeremy so much he’s joining myself and Jody Allen (of SAHM fame) recording a podcast tomorrow chatting about the recent media release by Education Qld and religion in schools – but more on that later in the week.

The relevant point to this story is when I met her I invited his wife, Fiona, and several of their children, to have a look at our set up, and Miss5 had taken it upon herself to conduct to the tour by way of having been at the head of the line as we filed onto the bus.

“And Grace sleeps under Sophie,” said Miss5, pulling back Miss13’s curtain before turning to lower bunk on the other side of the aisle, “and Molly sleeps here.”

The trouble is there’s no where for our mess to hide, and the kids idea of cleaning the bus is to dump anything loose on the floors, in the kitchen or on/under the front seats onto their beds. In fact, the only way we can get them enthusiastic about helping us tidy up is to allow them to each dump whatever they pick up onto a different siblings bed – meaning the more you clean the less you’ll have to move at bedtime.

The other problem is Miss5 will sometimes take the matter of lowering people’s perceptions of us into her own hands. And foot.

“And this is the bin,” she said recently as she conducted a similar tour, stepping on the pedal to flip up the lid and show our rubbish.

As our guests involuntarily glanced down, perched on top of the usual milk cartons were a couple of buds with dark clumps of my earwax on them. I swear a gagging sound escaped from the woman.

Now I confess I’m one of those people who don’t understand this sort of reaction to earwax. It’s not that gross. And there’s surely not that many of you. When I was in the cinema watching Shrek I heard everyone laughing as loud as me when he made a candle. I worked with a woman who if she reads this post I guarantee already has her hand clutched to her mouth wrenching.

Tracey reacted faster than me and slammed the bin shut, saying urgently, “Show them the shower!”

Fortunately, on this occasion there wasn’t a full bin to open. In fact, most of the bus was up in the house because I’d decided to take the opportunity of us being in the house to pull everything out of the bus and repack it.

So there was nothing for Miss5 to shock our guests with.

“And this is where Joshy sleeps,” she announced finally indicating the lower bunk at the very back of the bus below our bed.

Done, I thought to myself. I don’t know why Tracey panics so much. That wasn’t so bad. 

Only I’d assumed there was a full stop after the word ‘sleeps’ and Miss5 had merely paused, I assume for comedic benefit.

“…under Mum & Dad’s farts.”

Look at moi being all fancy pants on a panel. Cause, you know, I is so smarts and stuff (please don’t ask me advice – if you read my blog you know I’m shit at this).

At least the rest of the line up looks fantastic. I know (and love to bits) Kat and Sam. Can’t wait to meet Elise as well.

But mainly I’m really keen to hear from the key speaker, Sue Spence, who’s one of the co-founders of BRAVE-Online – a program for the treatment, early intervention and prevention of anxiety in children and adolescents. We’re battling our fair share of this. I think we’re winning, but I wouldn’t mind some pointers.

If you think this sounds interesting, helpful and as much fun as I do, book in and join us. It’s at Cloudland in Brisbane, so the atmosphere should be super too. Tickets are $75, which includes grub and a glass of bubbles.

Raising a family on little more than laughs

This post is not sponsored at all


  • It’s not that you have to post every day….but you post so regularly, that when several days go by, I worry a little bit about Tracy. Last time you had a large gap in posting all of her stuff happened. 🙁 I remember thinking, “odd, no posts, I hope something didn’t happen!” This time I’m thinkin, “odd, no posts. I’M SURE EVERYTHING IS FINE.” And trying to send some good karma your way.

    • Sorry! I know it’s been ages but Tracey can’t do anything at the moment so I’ve been s a little busy. I have started another post I hope to have up tomorrow. But hey thanks for checking in ?

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