The fact is, there are some things about Australia Day that all mums just now know to be true. Including how the day will really play out.
A mum’s Australia Day goes a little something more like this:
Diary of a mum’s Australia Day
12:00pm Shout at everyone that you’ll be leaving the house in 10 minutes, pronto!
12:10pm Search the garage for the large Esky – the one big enough to hold your potato salad and drinks for the kids. Call out to hubby – he’s on the loo, because of course he is. Right when you’ve said we need to leave the house. He’ll be no help for at least half an hour.
12:15pm Find small Esky and decide the kids’ drinks will cool pretty quickly once we get to the beach, right?
12:25pm Chase down two lost sunhats, Gretel’s one clean sippy cup and Jimmy’s missing Croc.
12:35pm Demand that both kids use the toilet before you leave, now that hubby’s finally vacated the loo. You’ve learned this lesson the hard way before.
12:47pm Pile the kids in the car, shouting for Jimmy to give Gretel back Snuggles the bunny, whilst using your supreme Tetris skills to pack the boot with everything a family needs for a day on the beach, and calculating exactly how late you are going to be.
1:30pm Arrive even later because halfway to the party, Jimmy declares that he has, again, lost a shoe.
1:35pm Struggle with chairs, Esky and drinks because the kids have bolted to join their cousins on the beach, and hubby has ‘somehow’ already been called in to bat in the family game of cricket. Sigh.
1:38pm Break up cousins fighting over one of the twenty identical Aussie flags decorating the picnic area. “But that’s my one!”
1:42pm Gretel announces, “Wee wee time, Mummy!” So you drop everything, grab her and run back to the public toilets in the carpark.
1:45pm Take Gretel to the car for clean undies.
1:55pm Break up cousins fighting over how to correctly bowl the cricket ball.
2:00pm Serve kids a plate of delicious BBQ food.
2:02pm Kids complain that they don’t LIKE sausages. (Cue indignant rant from slightly drunk Uncle Warren about “bloody kids these days, it’s unAustralian, won’t even eat a good Aussie snag! That’s what’s wrong with this country.”)
2:08pm Tell kids to eat their bloody sausages in your scary quiet angry voice.
2:12pm Break up cousins fighting over how many sausages they can eat.
2:20pm Grab Gretel just in time before she trips over her own feet and lands head first on the barbie plate. #supermum
2:22pm Immediately repeat the Gretel BBQ incident because, 3 year olds.
2:25pm Dust the sand off Gretel’s dropped sausage because, “added crunch!”.
2:45pm Get your own plate of delicious BBQ food for lunch. Pick that fly out of your tomato sauce because meh, protein, and by now you’re positively starving.
2:46pm Gretel announces, “Poo poo time, Mummy!” So you drop the food and grab the child, obvs. Race her back to the carpark before she gives Uncle Warren something else to complain about. (Secretly wish she had at least peed on Uncle Warren’s shoe, but you win some, you lose some…)
3:00pm Take Gretel to the car for clean undies.
3:15pm Get a new plate of food because now rather than one saucy fly, you have a colony of them swarming over your potato salad.
3:33pm Sheepishly reassure a spluttering Jimmy that swallowing a fly won’t kill him and send him back to play cricket with his cousins.
4:04pm Use the first aid skills you learned at that parenting course six years ago to help cousin Bobby, who has been hit in the face by Jimmy’s flying cricket bat.
4:32pm Break up cousins fighting over who has the most scars.
4:40pm Another trip to the loo with Gretel, thankfully minus the need for dry undies as you’ve exhausted your supply of spares.
4:55pm Break up tipsy hubby arguing with roaring drunk Uncle Warren about “dole bludgers” and gently suggest that it might be time to get the kids home.
5:15pm Collect the Esky, containers, towels, hats, children and husband and begin to lug stuff to the car.
5:30pm Lug all gear to the car by yourself, while hubby makes the rounds saying goodbyes. (I prefer the loud “OK, we’re off! Great to see you all!” announcement – much more time efficient and less painful. But hubby has been drinking, so…)
6:00pm Home, sweet home. Let the kids skip a bath (they’d be pretty clean after swimming at the beach all day, right?).
6:05pm Send kids to bed with books, devices, atomic bombs, who cares?
6:06pm Mummy FINALLY gets her first (but certainly not her last) glass of wine.
6:28pm Mummy starts snoring on the lounge.
So much for those other glasses of wine …