The Misadventures of Puddleduck

It turns out we have a problem and her codename is now Puddleduck.

“I need to pee,” Miss4 announced this morning.

We have a thing where we won’t let the kids go to the bathrooms alone in the parks we stay at. Not even Miss13. We’ve seen other kids in there by themselves but we decided early on it’s a small inconvenience for big piece of mind.

We were wrong.

It’s a big inconvenience for a big piece of mind.

Because they don’t all want to go at the same time, do they. Nooooo. That would be too easy. That would be In fact, they can go from not even a possibility of needing to go to gonna pee their pants in the same time it takes us to walk one kid from the bus to the bathrooms and back.

And yes, we have a loo on the bus we could be using, but I know enough about toilets to know the smell doesn’t plop into the water with the poo. So that’s not gonna happen.

We’ve quickly found a routine which works. When the kids wake up and want to go, I get up and take them. Our sleeping arrangements in the bus mean Tracey would have to climb over me to get out Not that I have a problem with that, but because desperate little faces are staring at us I couldn’t make the most of it anyway. So I go.

The deal is I get to sleep in later – which I totally would anyway but at least she gets something out of it.

“I’ll go,” I mumbled to my wife – because I figure there’s no point in being altruistic if she doesn’t know about it.

Keeping one eye shut so I could get back to sleep I climbed down from our top bunk, found my thongs, shuffled to the front of the bus, remembered I was in my jocks, shuffled back to my bag, put on shorts and opened the door for Miss4 and myself to exit our bus.

“Let’s go,” I mumbled, turning around when I’d locked it again.

Only Miss4 wasn’t there.

The mystery of her sudden disappearance would have been solved for me immediately if only I’d known about a incident the previous evening. Not coincidentally, it started the same way.

“I need to pee,” announced Miss4.

“Wee or poo?” asked Tracey.

“A wee.”

“You don’t need to poo as well?”

“No, Mummy.”

I don’t blame Tracey for what happened next. We’ve four girls to one boy, so the trips to the loo during the day tend to be slanted ever so slightly in her favour, where favour is entirely the wrong word. So at this point Tracey did something she says she’s not proud of.

Now we can’t tell you which park this was in, because we may want to stay there again one day, but we can say with a goodly bit of confidence they would not find this acceptable.

Instead of walking to the toilet block, Tracey took Miss4 around to the back of the bus.

“Just go here,” she whispered.

“Where?” shouted Miss4. Okay, it probably wasn’t a shout, but Tracey says by comparison it was very, very loud.

“Shhhh!” she whispered again. “Do a wee. On the grass,” she pointed, repeatedly glancing over her shoulders to make sure no one was around. “Just take your undies off and squat down.”

And of course, Miss4 did.

Historically, asking our youngest to pick up her shoes or brush her hair takes repeated instructions and threats, but not this time. Her knickers were off and her dress up before Tracey completed another quick recon.

“This is so fun!” Miss4 squealed delightedly as she got to work. Clearly she was thinking, this park has everything – play equipments, pool and open air loos.

But, of course, I didn’t know any of this until later.

“Sweetie?” I called out quietly because it was still early.

A couple of ladies walked past at this point on their way to the showers.

“I seem to have lost my daughter,” I said, answering their quizzical expressions. “She was here a second ago.”

“I’m here!” came a shout from behind me.

I turned to source of her voice to find Miss4 peeking out from behind our bus with her undies around her ankles.

“What are you doing,” I squawked, racing up and pulling them up.

“I’m going to wee behind the bus.”

“Since when?” I said, loudly so the retreating ladies could hear. “You know we always use toilets.”

“It’s okay, Daddy,” my littlest daughter said, her tone seemingly one of amusement at my naivety while her volume seemed to suggest I was deaf. “Mummy says I can pee here! It’s fun!”

So on our travels, if you happen to see Puddleduck weeing in the open, I have only these two things to say: sorry about that and, rather surprisingly and totally against type, this time it’s not my fault.

Spent the morning using the park’s water activities after meeting with friends for brunch. To be honest we haven’t done much else. We can’t take the bus anywhere until she’s fixed and safe to drive around again.
Not that the kids seemed to mind.

There’s a little more to the story of when Tracey let Miss4 (pictured) do the wee. Suddenly Tracey noticed a worrying change in our little girl’s facial expression. And there was a definite grunt. “Woahwoahwoah! What are you doing?” snapped Tracey. To which Miss4 replied, “Weeing was fun. I think I want to try pooing now.”
This afternoon we rode out the wet weather watching movies on the bus. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of room for five kids to sit and stare at a screen, but it got me thinking…
With the front blinds down we sort of have a built in screen. With the right projector the kids could sit in their travel seats and the whole thing becomes a home theatre.
Picked up this mini projector for less than $50 on eBay. Can’t wait to see how very clever I’ve been. Or alternatively, you may never hear me mention this again.
Today was basically a rest day with us not leaving the park, so we caught up with our laundry. Had to use the dryers so four loads and $32 later…but at least we have lovely clean sheets to jump into tonight. Worth paying for. Can’t wait.

Raising a family on little more than laughs

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