A long and tiring week, mostly adjusting mindset to cope with the fact I am just not going to be able to do the work I would really like to do, and not really doing enough to expend the energy I was accumulating as a result, I felt an intensely strong desire not just to get out for a Family Day but do something that required a little bit of physical activity.
“Where can we go where we can do lots of walking and climb stuff?” I asked The All Knowing Grumpy Pants.
“I dunno,” he mumbled.
Then eventually suggested Hanging Rock, which we haven’t been to in aaaaaages and I thought was a brilliant idea.
A picnic of sorts was quickly packed, we tuned out to any whinging, which had the quite unexpected yet logical result of significantly reducing the amount of whinging and we set off.
Upon arrival, everyone was busting for a wee. I wander out, and can’t find any of the boys (Grumpy included) anywhere. Monkey Boy had convinced Chippie that he (Chippie) was a racehorse and had him running around the racetrack adjacent to the loos.
The biggest challenge was getting Chippie to eat, instead of playing, so he’d have the energy to make the climb to the summit and back again. This required a considerable amount of my remaining energy and tolerance, but we were successful! Hurrah!
Monkey Boy was in his absolute element and kept vanishing up and over rocks, and down into every nook and cranny he could find. Not to be outdone, I followed him much of the time.
Only to have smartarse husband, keeper of the camera for all of twenty seconds, take photos and ask loudly of the others “D’ya reckon Mum can get out of there?”
I could and I did!
The views from half way up were amazing, the kids went wandering off in all directions and I was just starting to feel as though I was doing something! I like feeling like I’m doing something, so this was good.
I even managed to get one of the kids to snap a very rare photo of Grumpy Pants and I. Not that we’re not often together, just usually or other of us is behind the camera. Usually, that one or other of us is me.
It is also why I don’t appear in too many family snaps.
Our climb continued, kids going off in all manner of directions, Chippie alternating between “Don’t take photos!” and “Take a photo of mine butt! Did ya get it!?”
Yup, I got it. Mostly because I knew there’d be tantrums if I didn’t.
A short climb later, going the longest way, off the path and over rockes, and Monkey Boy had reached the point of totally, fucking freaking me out!
It was one of those horrible moments where every instinct in your body is telling you to run over, waving your hands over your head, screaming “GET DOWN FROM THERE! MOVE BACK HERE!” but you know if you do that, he’ll freak out and lose concentration, balance and grip and plummet to his death.
Instead, you catch yourself, and use a voice that is in complete contradiction to your racing heart and say “Um, perhaps we need apply a little caution and common sense and move away from the edge, dearest.”
You also know that the tone of voice and language used will probably freak him out, also, as that’s just not you. Or me.
He was worried I didn’t say “What the fuck? Get back here now!”
Grumpy, on the other hand, was shaking his head and saying “He’s fine. It’s not that scary.”
The adventure down was just as much fun, except that Chippie was still insisting we see trains; he had been doing so all morning.
We make it to the bottom, everyone accounted for and set off in search of decrepit wrecks in rails, as this is what makes the children happy.
We find some, the have a bit of a climb, eat some more food and everyone is happy.
Arrive home safe and sound. I feel almost human again, sore hands, sore legs and I think I’ve done something to a bit in my shoulder.
I am physically tired – not exhausted, which I would prefer to be feeling, but tired, so it is a good start.
I credit myself with doing better than I thought I would at the climb. Until I realise that my five-year-old did it relatively easily, too. As did several three-year-olds we saw there, and more than one adult carrying a baby, wearing thongs and/or were verging on morbid obesity, carrying chips and coke under their arms.
Still, it was a good start and a great day. Must do this more often.