Saturday, June 19, 2010

the facebook jinx

8:28 am.

facebook status: off to the nambour show - i hope i survive - check back regularly and call 000 if you don't see any movement.

9:00 am.

smiling i pack the bags. make the lunches. stash the sweets. dress the kids. pack the epi pen. i have finally convinced big daddy to go to the local agricultural show. you know the sort. pay on entry for the experience. knee deep cow crap. pushy people. whining whinging children. show bags. ridiculously expensive rides. random entertainment. show bags. show bags. show bags. empty pockets....

big daddy doesn't like the show. he has never wanted to take the family. in one of my spontaneous fun moments. i plead. beg. wimper. the show will be loads of fun. he rolls his eyes. what can he do. 4 kids. and. one crazy wife. all looking at him with beady eyes.

10:30 am

it starts well. the sun is shining. the birds are singing. blue skies ahead. we park. easy. close enough for a short walk to the back gate. the kids are singing. they walk holding hands. oh what a perfect family i am thinking. smiling. smiling to myself that big daddy could be so skeptical. people are looking. seeing my kids. people looking looking. seeing my wonderful. well behaved. fantastic. first class family. this will be a great day.

10:48 am

we get to the animal patting pen. i am excited. goats. pigs. chickens. ducks.....

10:48:52 am

a tap on the shoulder. my kids are standing on bales of hay crying. bawling. howling. bellowing. pigs root around at their feet. ok. just a small glitch. easily fixed. we remove them from the animal pen. so animals aren't their thing. that's ok. we don't do animals. no probs. we walk on towards the stalls. kids have recovered. smiling. all is well. don't you see big daddy. i say. this is great. what were you worried about.

11:00 am

we pass several stalls. we look at the toys. food. fairy floss. hats. bags. stuffety stuff. no money changes hands. we walk. we look. we move on. it would seem that the show is going well. we finally arrive at the show bag stall. we have promised the kids a show bag. but under $10. no more. preferably as cheap as we can find. lijy picks the phantom bag. noobles picks the bunny bag. cj picks.....hang on.....where is cj.......there at the $25 stand. cj wants the blingy bag. no i say. i don't have that much money. she looks at me.....and then something in my cj.....who has autism....snaps.....oh oh

11:01 am

it is the first day of the show. there are lots and lots of laughing. loud. enlivened. electrified. psyched people. but. there is only one high pitched howl. yes. that would be my cj. she starts to scream. cry. hit. smack. kick. flail. fall. bite. scream. bite. lick. kick. yell. oh lord. it seems that the crowd is now standing still. and. watching. looking. people looking. looking. no smile here. she starts to run away. my 11 year old. having an autistic melt down. i bolt after her. grab her. restrain her by the wrists. and. literally drag her. biting. kicking. falling. screaming. yelling. HEEEEEEEEEEELP ME. punching. spitting. pinching. and. we are at the furtherest end of the show from the car.

11.10 am

i am still pulling my hysterical kid through the crowds. head down. looking at the ground. picking her up when she falls. and. every now and then. as the gasping gawkers look on. i yell. AUTISM. randomly. and i try to walk faster. oh lord. who's idea was it to come to the show. why on earth did we park at the back gate. i look back. and. i see big daddy dragging two crying kids. and. pushing boofa in the pram. a woman covers her kid's eyes. don't look she says. there is something wrong with that girl. this is where i would be happy for the earth to crack open. and. alien life forms to crawl out and swallow me whole.

11:12 am

we make it to the car. i check over my shoulder. waiting. for the police. security. some one. surely some one has called 000......we lock the doors. and. drive home. silently.......

lesson learned: 1. maybe occasionally big daddy is right. 2. the show stinks in more than just a cow crap kind of way. and. 3. don't jinx yourself with a lightly amusing morning status update on facebook.

oh. nearly forgot.

4. just laugh........

Saturday, January 2, 2010

rustic retreat

christmas holidays should be fun.....shouldn't they?

the intention was there. it began as a seed of excitement. and. blossomed into an avalanche of expectation. this was going to be the best christmas yet. we had done christmas with chicken pox. family feuds. detestable long distance driving. we even tried absence one year. so......surely we had pretty much experienced every kind of christmas affliction. misery. torture. and. purgatory.

or so we thought.

it began like this......we had booked a chalet away in the mountains. a bed for each of our four kids. a balcony with a view. the breeze in our hair. the sounds of the birds. the smell of the forest floor.........

i like to dream big........

in reality. we arrived. our 1970s chalet lent itself to lush browns and yellows. the back to nature feel. we were close to the wildlife. the ginormous crack in the floor allowed us to meet quite a few of the 6-legged variety face to face. it was homely though. and. maybe the hand prints on the wall were just some kind of arty design. it had a kitchen. the last person to stay even left us some samples from their holiday in the fridge. how kind. at least the toilet was clean. and. there was a shower. ok. at this point i was starting to wonder if cheaper was a dumb idea (lower price = no service - it is only as clean as the last person left it).

and. it only got better. we sent the kids out to play in the lush green grass outside. they loved squelching around in the wet grass. rolling. jumping. laughing. playing. and. it wasn't until we all showered that night. that we smelt. a horrible sewerage like smell that wafted in through every crack and crevice. it became quickly apparent that our chalet was proudly located next to the septic tank. and. the lush green grass below. that wonderful green playground. all sloshy and squelchy...... well. yes. you guessed it......we were up shit creek. especially our kids after playing in the septic over flow all afternoon. but i wouldn't let this beat me. i was still going to enjoy it. we didn't have to let that get us down. we would have fun.

hmmm. famous last words you say.

ok. yes. we got to day 4. and after realizing our 10mth old had caught hand foot and mouth disease (and possibly infected the rest of the extended family). our autistic 11 yr old had cried every night until 12am. because we forgot to bring her 'girl's are great pop songs' CD. and. run away on several occasions. and. even bit some one. and. the tenants in the only other chalet left early one morning and never returned. and. child services hadn't turned up........yet. and so. we were looking at eachother on day 4 (through the bottle of whisky that sat between us) ready to chuck it all in and go home the day before christmas.

absence was ok. family feuds.....just a bit of festive frivolity. chicken pox...sheesh a breeze. a 3 hour traffic jam.....a nice way to see the sights. purgatory.....a day at the park.

we had finally arrived in hell.

no. we didn't leave. we held our breath. covered our ears. and. lalalalalaed. yes. we survived. i dry wretched as i scrubbed the toilet bowl (i left the hand print wall mural for the pleasure of the next guest). and. christmas with family made it worth living through the nightmare accommodations.

at last. we arrived home. threw on our bathers to head for our glorious local beach. to try to salvage some of what was left of the holidays. we hit the spraying surf. embraced the frothing foam. and we were all about to dive right in when......

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

shark alarm.

OH. i give up.