“How do you feel about turning 46?” I was asked this morning.

“Doesn’t bother me at all,” I said. I meant it. Thing is, I don’t feel like I’ve aged at all because for the better part of a year I’ve thought I was already 46.

Besides, I got a carton of beer and breakfast in bed. What more could a bloke want really?

“So what are we doing today,” Tracey wanted to know this morning.

I’d planned on sleeping in, but that clearly wasn’t on the cards after the kids all crowded onto the bed with me, Miss3’s knee giving me the traditional birthday morning nut-crush.

“All I want to do is go to the rodeo tonight,” I told Tracey. They have one at the end of every Gympie Show and I’ve always wanted to go, but usually we’re all so shagged by three days of rides and sugar highs. Then we’re too exhausted to do anything Saturday night other than stay home and snap at each other. “I really want the kids to see some bull riding. They’ll love it.”

“Really?” said Tracey doubtfully.

We’d just spent two days at the showgrounds walking all around sideshow alley and the surrounding buildings and the only time any of the kids showed an interest in an animal was when we caught a glimpse the show cattle between the show bag vans. They were grazing peacefully in their stalls and Miss6 wanted to know if that was where they cut them up. We hadn’t had dinner yet. She probably wanted to check out the McDonalds cow.

“They’ll love the cowboys,” I insisted to Tracey. I yelled out to where the kids were huddled in front of the telly playing Minecraft. “Hey kids! You want to go to the rodeo tonight, right?”

“What’s a radio?’ asked Miss6.

“It’s where they hurt animals,” said Miss9.

“No, they ride them,” said Master8.

“Not the chickens!” Miss6 apparently likes chickens. Odd, because whenever we present her with some on a plate she refuses to eat it.

Cows, though, she has no sympathy for.

Despite the lackluster take up on my rodeo idea, I was still keen to take them along.

“They’ll love it when we get there,” I explained to Tracey. When she still didn’t look convinced I added, “We only have to stay for a couple of bull rides. Just so they can say they saw it.”

“I guess it is your birthday,” she said.

They ol’ birthday trump card. Yes!

The big surprise, when we arrived back at the showgrounds late this afternoon, was all the rides which were still going.

“Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Can I go on the trampoline!”

“The Merry-Go-Round!”

“Jumping Castles!!”

We slowly worked our way up sideshow alley, the various rides closing in our wake after the vendors sucked the last of the money from our pockets.

“I’m hungry!” said Miss3.

“What are we eating?” I asked Tracey.

“You’re the birthday boy,” she said. Quite right too.

So we sat down to works burgers, chips and sausages in blankets before finally meandering over to the radio. A band was playing on the back of a truck – oddly, a Japanese duo. It was hard to know where the radio was going to take place as there seemed to be people in Akubras everywhere we looked, including what looked like the fenced area.

Tracey went off to ask where it was to take place and what time it was going to start. When she came back she was clearly amused.

“The rodeo finished twenty minutes ago,” she said.

Next year, for my birthday, I’m adding a show program to my list of presents, and then I’m going to take my kids to the rodeo. This time for sure.

Thank you to everyone for their birthday wishes today – feeling the love, guys 🙂

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