m i a o w

–YOU KNOW YOU KNEAD IT–

Camping hot and cold.

Yesterday. Woke up in tent at 5am. Sound of the two-year-old son of a couple who had, for reasons only known to themselves, put up their tent about five metres away from ours. Five. Metres. When there were 170 acres at their disposal. So they were friends of our hosts. I don’t care. From 5am this kid started shrieking “Tent. OUT. Tent. OUT. Tent. OUT.” While I lay there wondering how we could have made such a mistake as to consider creating something that could obviously turn out so badly. I also wondered whether I could summon a dingo with the power of my mind.

“Tent. OUT. Tent. OUT. Tent. OUT.”

I was waiting for the sound of a tent zip, a scuffle and a small soft thudding sound as they hurled it to where it so obviously wanted to go. But no. They were the doting kind of parents. The ones that are disarmed, while everyone around them wants to slap. The ones that confide that little Igor is sensitive as you try and push your face into a understanding, receptive sort of shape while blindly fumbling behind oneself for another, stronger drink.

Anyway. This went on for a good 45 minutes. Through the battle of trying to get the kid to wear trousers in case it got bitten (I lay there silently hopeful), trying to get it to wear shoes… Finally it’s father took it elsewhere. But it was too late and too bright to recover any sleepiness. I felt worse for M, who had (so unusually) been the last one standing at 2am inwardly warmed with at least a bottle of red. (I heard later he’d branched off into champagne just before 1am – an hour after I’d disappeared into tentland.)

In between bed, and the child I wanted to meet a dingo, he would have had about three hours sleep. Of course, he seemed to have an unreasonable amount of bounce and we dragged ourselves to the circle around the dead campfire at about 8am. The whole place was littered in small children by then. Early rising freaks.

We ate museli out of cups and were later given amazing eggs by R, the high priestess chef of caravan cooking. And everything improved. By the time we decided to bail, we were the last ones remaining at the 40th birthday celebrations of Mung. Covered in dust and dirt, we left around 1pm as the day began to bake gently.

There was still no aircon in the car. In long moments of repressed anguish I realised that M has not been so gung ho about getting the aircon sorted because it is not something he can have fun looking up on the internet and then figuring out how to do it himself. Thus, it is something that holds little joy or interest.

Before we’d hit the highway we had had to pull over at a park. M filled a bucket with water that i put my feet in, and dampened a towel, which I put on my head. The day got hotter, and we had to pause in Yarraville, where I found it so hard to extract myself from the bucket, the towel and the car, that a passerby offered, embarrassingly, to help.

After a welcome diversion of pinapple juice and a cakey treat, we conquered the 90 minute drive to the trailer, where we were greeted with another small dead bunny. Sigh. (I know they are a feral pest. But they are so small!) We were sad to note that the landlord had not appeared in our absence and installed a reverse cycle air conditioner. But our hope remains unflagging.

And this morning? After potential relationship destabilisation when I emerged from my castle of pillows to state;
“Take the red car today. I’m getting the Merc aircon gassed.” (Instead of “Good morning darling. Didst thou slumber?”)
To which M did not respond well – as I obviously sounded like I posed a serious threat to his currently most loved piece of machinery. He got on the phone to a few places and then we drove to Hastings and Got It Done. I drove back to the trailer, an arctic whale. I have never been in possession of a car with aircon before. Ohhhhhh. I love it!!

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4 Comments

  1. Karen

    I think parents become numb to their children’s incessant whining and are oblivious to what others have to endure, probably because they’re in a state of constant exhaustion.

    I had a lot more patience when my kids were young, now when I hear a whining kid I want to…better not said. Kids react to their enviroment, I think if you’re pretty laid back your kid will turn out that way – knock wood.

    Congrats on the air conditioning, I’d send you some of our snow if I could.

  2. b:p

    I think that must be true (about the numbness to incessant whining). I wondered whether the general intolerance of those that have not spawned (i.e. me – so far) would take a rest for a few years, and then return bigger and more scathing than ever… Ha!
    I plan to be so laid back that PartyPie will only have memories of me lying in a hammock with my eyes shut…

  3. Rae

    gawd, I’m alway so embarrassed when one of mine causes a ruckus. I doubt I’d have parked my tent right on top of yours in the first place though, having said that, I doubt I’d have been camping either! 🙂
    And Yarraville! You could have stopped by here for a cold drink, cool shower and a stand underneath the evap cooling ducts. Next time!

  4. b:p

    If I had known where to find you I would have just barged in and lain under your shower!! (I am also assuming that once PartyPie and I are separate people, I will be more tolerant). [looks hopeful]

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