Elspeth has started waking at 5:30am every morning. This is usually Matisse’s trick, but strangely she has been sleeping until closer to seven; which is really freaking typical. Anyway, I got some payback, because I woke her up at 6:30am to make her come to the Leanyer swamp with me and Elspeth. When we first moved to Karama I thought we were missing out being so far away from all our cliff hanging foreshore walks; then one day I looked through my tears and realised we were actually living opposite paradise. It might look beautiful in these pictures, but it is still a swamp. SO. By the time we left we were filthy. The kids shoes were off, our pram was caked in mud and their hands and feet were downright pig trough worthy. That didn’t deter me from walking past Woolies on the way home to get some groceries. Except, once we were out of the swamp, and inside the supermarket, I realised how insane we actually looked. Actually, the penny half dropped when I was forced to put some groceries in the base of the pram, and they were sitting in chunks of mud. And then it fully dropped when the cashier at the self service area saw us, recoiled, and I watched her face be overcome with the taste of drinking straight lemon juice. Don’t pull that act on me, I thought, this is Karama bruss.
We went to have breakfast with one of our deadliest friends at the Nightcliff Foreshore Cafe. We decided to sit on a rug with our hipster milk crates for tables and enjoy the food. The impracticality of this became more than apparent after the kids wore 3 of their 4 babycinos, and our arms got repetitive stress injuries from constantly lurching out, grabbing toppling cups and plates of food. Ahhh such a relaxing morning with a best mate. There was some icing on the cake when I got home and noticed on the 'Darwin - have a whinge' Facebook page that one woman was ragging on Mums who take their children to cafes for babycino's - accusing them of cultivating a caffeine addiction. From someone that loved fads, and has never smoked a cigarette in my life, seriously, go and eat some shit lady.
With the intention of milking some more quality time from Sarah, I followed her to Casuarina, where the kids continued to do the opposite of everything I said. No. everything I thought. And everything the shop attendants and other shoppers were thinking too. Then, as I was pushing a trolley of kids and homewares through the place, I run into my ex boyfriend who I haven’t seen for about 6 or 7 years. If he didn’t feel like it after we broke up, he would have definitely been high fiving himself for his bullet dodging abilities after we said G’day.
Then the peace of the afternoon sleeps did not unfold as anticipated because Matisse decided not to sleep. But rather that revel in her disobedience in the sanctity of her own room, she jumped into Elspeth’s cot, who was so fatigued she couldnt even muster the energy to stop crying for the rest of the afternoon. Oh wait. How does that work? it shouldn’t, but it does. The more tired kids are, the more energy they waste moaning about it. It’s like the man flu. Actually, no. Actually, I can’t figure out what is worse. Today it’s the kids. Meanwhile, Matisse had ascended into a state of hysteria, pulling apart cupboards, tipping out litres of water on the floor, sliding around in it, pushing Elspeth over in it. Elsie started ferrying things from the house to the balcony, and throwing them over, aiming for the bonnet of my new car. I was practically jumping out the window, but wisely, Karl put flyscreen on the windows before we had our second child. I ended up making dinner with one kid on my hip and the other in time out. Karl comes home, then heads to rugby. After the bath they run around whilst I clean the kitchen. The familiar sound of two children crying erupts from the balcony. Today I have already retrieved Elspeth from a few pretty intense situations, so I rush out to see what the problem is. They are literally, wait for it, fighting over the nuggets which Elspeth has laid on the ground, which Matisse has taken off her in a state of self righteous martyrdom, which Elspeth wants to eat and is trying desperately to do. For actual Fuck's sake. I grab Elspeth, rush her back to the bath and get her to bed stat. The entire time she is having a meltdown because I took her dessert off her. And that was my introduction to a shit sandwich. I can’t believe I have survived almost three years of child raising without so much as a taste of one.
PS. There is an entire page full of photos from the walk in Leanyer Swamp on my photography site. CLICK HERE if you feel the urge.