After Grumpy’s birthday dinner with extended family last night, it was the “catch up” and “spending the day with extended family, because we can” day.
One brother had come from interstate, along with a nephew, so it was a great opportunity to do the “only for weddings, big birthdays and funerals family time”. Not births. We don’t all go too far out of our way for births. Possibly due to the excessive number of offspring Grumpy’s mother has, and their collective offspring. It’s a lot of people. But we do make the effort for weddings, big birthdays and funerals.
Anyhoo, it was organised last night at dinner in the usual fashion; “where does everyone want to go?” “What time will we meet?” etc etc
The “Um, I’m not sure that’s really a suitable place for my kids, they’re a bit little?” and “It’s gonna be stinking hot, do you think that’s a good idea?” were mentioned but not considered high priority for discussion.
After mention of approximately thirty five different options, and the top seven chosen and discussed in slightly more detail, it was decided “we’ll go there then! ”
Where “there” is could be anybody’s guess. As I had organised the dinner for Grumpy and sent the relevant emails out, delegated the booking of the restaurant to Grumpy and ensured everyone knew the EXACT (none of this “around 7.30” or “between 7 and 7.30” for this lot …. oh, no. That means arrival at approximately 8.25pm or later – you have to be firm) time and place to be, I was happy to let the organisation happen around me.
Just make sure it’s relatively toddler friendly – although, not specifically – and tell me the time and place.
Will I never learn?
Thus it was decided to meet at a brother’s place at 11.00am. We didn’t rush. There’s not point. It stresses me. I twitch and get nervous, because we were told “meet at 11.00 and we’ll head off from there” and I always end up in this edge of the seat, we’re about to leave, spot for approximately 40 minutes whilst everyone gets organised. Except I never sit, because I’m lead to believe we are popping in to make sure we have a head count before we go.
We were 10 minutes late. I really tried to be later, but it’s pointless. I can’t do it. Chippie fell asleep in the car, so figuted the “hi, were here, where are we headed” and a quick wee stop would make it ok to leave him in there. Brother-in-law making his breaky. At least he was dressed. And mostly organised.
So we wait for the others to arrive. And wait. And wait. And wait. Whilst we discuss the big, new, water park we’re going to . Grumpy and I had discussed it on the way over (yes, I think the seven options and “we’ll do that then” was eventually narrowed down to one) including the time we’d be likely to arrive, and the potential cost. It was a no brainer for me. By the time we got there, the kids were gonna be starving, cos it’d be past their lunchtime, and it was gonna be an expensive day out.
So, after half an hour of waiting, and several non-answered phone calls (after having received a “mum isn’t coming, now, but we’re on our way, we’re just filling up the car with petrol”) the decision to drive over to Mums was made. Because, I dunno about you, but if they’ve rung to say their on their way, heading off in their direction is a good idea.
Thankfully, however, I had to eat my words as there they were, waiting for us and “what took you so long”. Am dubious about the “we’re on our way” phone call and whether that was actually said.
Still, I struggle to comprehend how hard it is for everyone to misinterpret “we’ll meet at X at 11.00am. I know, wihtout a doubt, that some people are really proficient at this kind of misinterpretation. I’m really trying to come to terms with it and accept it. Just, sometimes, I forget.
So off we go, Chippie still alseep, waking up ten minuted before our destination. We’re directed to a car park, well after 12.30 by this stage, as far away from the entrance as possible. Grumpy and I unload the massive swimming bag, sunscreen, water bottles and three children, and the two of us carry all but two children whilst the others, unburdened, wander across 4 hectares of car park to arrive at the entrance. Blistering heat, grumpy, hot, tired, hungry children, we stand in line. Brothers look at the price and say “Gee, its a bit expensive! What do you want to do?”
What? Besides slap you, and call you a fuckhead. Hel-fucking-lo! Did we not think to consider this before we left. Cos I know I did. I just, stupidly in hindsight, thought it was obvious.
So, we drag everything back to the car, getting to listen to the brothers ask the kids stupid questions, like what they’re whinging about, and me restraining from pointing out the obvious; gee, do you think it might be beacuse they’re really hot, tired and hungry due to it being way past their lunchtime? Or perhaps the fact we’ve promised them a day at an awesome water-park, we’re now down to two hours remaining in that “day” to play with and now we’re not going? Also, thanks for letting me deal with that whine. Appreciate it.
Arrive back at car, Chippie starts screaming when we put him in his car seat, and tries to get out. Again, possibly because he’s just sat in it for two hours and needs to run around. Also, we discover, he’d been sitting on a small wooden train for that two hours and had a sore bum.
Three other destinations discussed, I’m asked my opinion and suggest “make a fucking decision and let’s go”, only it comes out much more polite than that. And possibly strained, due to teeth-gritting that was occurring at the same time. We drive another 30 minutes, to our “usual” park and fish and chip shop in Queenscliffe and the three adult boys go off to purchase lunch (now 1.40pm, and the continued “what are you sooking about?” questions to the kids, and the fact my hands are full of bags, shoes and toddler is the only thing stopping me from punching someone in the face. Also, quite possibly, the fact that I am 5 foot 2, and they are all well over 6 foot might have had something to do with face-punchage. Just saying) and I’m left with a plethora of tired, grumpy, hungry kids, three of whom aren’t my own, two teens and an “adult child”. All of whom ignore me and the fact I’m going quietly insane and regretting the fact that I didn’t encourage, by which I mean ‘force’, Grumpy to take the tantrumming toddler with them. Just to make my point for me.
Once lunch was consumed, there was discussion about where to swim (“Here, let’s just swim here. I can’t deal with hot kids in a car again just yet”), we have a dip in the nearby ocean, and cool down significantly. Chippe decides he has a phobia about the ocean, and whilst I come out cool and refreshed, I also come out with gouge marks on the back of my arms from where he has clung on. Monkey Boy’s bird phobia hits an all new high as a cormorant (or, DUCK!, according to Chippie) pops its head up from under the water a few metres away. Grumpy and one of his brother’s aid Monkey Boy in feeling ok about the scenario by saying “There’s no need to be scared when it’s head is above water. It’s when its underwater and you can’t see where it is that you should be scared” and I also accumulate some bruising around my neck where he clings on tightly, now terrified of the cormorante, his dad and his uncle.
We’re not suitably prepared for the next leg of the trip, to a caravan and another brother and his family.
(I did warn you there were lots of brothers)
Have mild verbal vomit about the inability for them to organise a fuck in a brothel to understanding sisters-in-law (one a sister, the other married to a brother) who nodded, smiled, and gave me wine. All was well.
I don’t want anyone to be under the impression that I’m cross with them. Oh, no. I take full responsibility. I know, after 13 years, that this is how things operate. I’m cross for two reasons:
- I didn’t speak up and say “this is what we’re doing”
- I relaxed and just thought it would all go smoothly
Option 1 was not necessarily an option. Option 2, well, I really should have known better and been better prepared for the fuck up; knowing I’d have to deal with, carry and tend to the kids, not having snacks prepared to ply then with for the 14 hours of driving I knew would happen between the original meeting point and final desitation, not to mention all the waiting time, consoling children about missed opportunities and the rest of it.
Yup, I was off my game and suffered the consequences.
Still, there was wine at the end. I made sure I had what I needed.
More swimming in the caravan park pool, where Grumpy jumped in with the car keys in his pocket, got annoyed with himself and left me to swim with three children spread over two pools. That was a fun challenge.
Out we hop, complete with much tantrumming, had dinner and bubbles, and “did” the cake; the one that had been sitting in the car all day, with as many lunchbox freezer blocks as wel could muster, and stuffed in the fridge at the caravan. The icing was back to solid, and wouldn’t take the candles that had been stuck in this morning. Of course, between then and cake service, the candles and toppled, slid around, dragged half the icing off the cake and covered themselves with it.
And that is how this bite mark appeared in a candle:
Yup, Chippie, following the lead of his brothers, whom had both had a good lick of the candles and been told off for it, had had a good go at it himself. Prompting much jumping up from comforable sitting positions and removing of semi-masticated wax from his gob.
The kids went off for a play, Chippie disappeared and found himself in the mens’ toilets whilst I wandered around the caravan park in a complete panic and everyone else sat around drinking, until a nice man located him for me.
Time for home. Thankfully, the timing was good, as the mozzies decided to come out in force at the same time.
Not so thankfully was the fact we weren’t quite quick enough to get the car packed with swimming bags, leftover cake and children and spent the drive home slapping the 4 million mosquitoes that had managed to find their way into the car.