Time To Reflect

Me and Miss5 in our (almost) matching purple unicorn and rainbow tees today – what an auspicious start!

These days I’m spending an exorbitant amount of time hanging around outside girls’ restrooms, which is giving me the opportunity to reflect on things. You know, when my iphone runs out of battery.

Tonight, after escorting Miss9 to the toilet block, I’d managed to make it through the bus door and up our three steps when I was met by a roadblock of sorts.


“You kidding me?” I asked her.

“Sorry, Dad,” she said. “I have to go too now.”

We have a couple of rules about loos on this big lap of ours – don’t use the one in the bus unless you have a doctor’s certificate, and the kids don’t go to the park or show ground loos without being accompanied by either Tracey or myself.

Preferably Tracey.

Because big buses like ours tend to get shoved down the back so it’s generally a long walk.

So obviously, whoever gets suckered into walking the kids over, we always make enquiries of whichever four of our five kids aren’t hoping from one foot to the other in front of us before we toddle off to see if anyone else feels the urge to relieve themselves.

As you’ve probably guessed, they rarely do.

Having now had many, many hours standing vigil outside cubicle doors, I believe I’ve worked out why. This is, I’m certain, a direct consequence of them coming from a large household where there’s only one toilet, so now suddenly we’ve a dozen loos available but my kids are for all intents and purposes lined up behind the same one.

I walked Miss13 across the ankle high grass and took up my usual spot – standing in the dark watching Youtube videos.

I was halfway through a fourth episode of David Mitchell’s Soapbox when it occurred to me I’d heard a flushing during the third.

“You okay in there?” I called out.

The door opened.

“Sorry,” said Miss13. “I got distracted.”

My first thought was she’d taken her phone in, but it wasn’t in her hands so…

“By what?”


“Hey, what were you distracted by in there?” I asked her again. I knew it wasn’t posters on the walls because I’d been in there so often with Miss5 and Miss7 I can tell you with confidence there aren’t any. “It was a couple of minutes. A bug? What? You know I’m not going to give up so you might as well come clean.”

She sighed in that fun way thirteen year old girls instinctively know how to do to show they are doing something under sufferance. Turns out she was using her time in the bathroom to reflect as well.

“The mirror.”

You can see how far away the buildings are here.
Disappointing, because I look so hot. Clearly attempting to keep one eye shut in this shot so I can go back to sleep shortly. This is where I tend to hang out around here. At least it’s covered and I’ve remembered to keep my fluids up.
Explored the area a bit today. This was our first glimpse of Wivenhoe Dam. We’d explained about the dam on the way up and how it provides water for Brisbane, which is where my brother and his family live. Miss9 was devastated when she saw the spillway because “It’s empty! Oh, no. Poor Annabelle!” Had to explain there was more than enough water for her cousin on the other side of the big wall.
We were there.
Despite what it says on this sign, another one on the locked door of the Wivenhoe Dam centre saying the complex was shut for staff training. To be honest, I don’t even know if there’s any educational stuff in the building. I’m just whinging.
“YES!” said Miss13 sadly.
Much to her relief we just read the signs instead.
Just notice Miss13 wasn’t listening while I read out the interesting bits. I think she was back on the steps complaining about a sore knee. To be fair, we’ve booked into the doctor tomorrow to have him look at it.
Sign says over one billion people don’t have easy access to clean water. Google told us the world has over 7 billion people at the moment. “One in seven. That means one of us would be pushing those things to try bring clean water home,” I told the kids. This was followed by some mumbling and then Master11 stepped forward. “We’ve decided it should be Grace,” he said, referring to Miss13. No wonder her knee is sore.
Of an afternoon there’s sometimes up to thirty kangaroos grazing and lying about next to their school’s carpark when I pick the kids up, but for some reason these two guys were ‘AMAZING!’ and ‘EXCELLENT!’ I don’t get kids sometimes. Also, despite being there for an hour, this is our only shot with any water in it, because ‘professionals’. 
The Old Fernvale Bakery for lunch. They’re raising money for Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital – $1 from every six pack of hot cross buns. They deserve a plug for that. Rather wonderfully, today was their first day cooking gluten free buns, so Miss7 was extremely happy. Also, pies were friggin awesome.
Woke up to cake this morning curtesy of blog reader Tracey of Lowood. Yay! Bit embarrassing to be caught still in bed at 9am but also WE MANAGED TO SLEEP IN UNTIL NINE O’CLOCK!

Raising a family on little more than laughs

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