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 sun hats, 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 at 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.
1:38pm: Break up cousins fighting over the identical as-yet-unopened cans of fizzy drink sitting in ice in one of the many many Eskies. “That’s my one!”
1:42pm: Gretel announces, “Wee wee, Mummy!” 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, won’t even eat a good old snag! That’s what’s wrong with this country.”)
2:08pm: Tell kids to eat their bloody sausages in your scarily quiet angry voice.
2:12pm: Break up cousins fighting over how many sausages they can eat.
2:20pm: Grab Gretel just before she trips over her own feet and lands head first on the barbie plate. #supermum
2:22pm: Immediately repeat the Gretel BBQ trick because 3 year olds don’t learn.
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, 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, while hubby makes the rounds saying goodbyes. (Mummy prefers the loud “OK, we’re off! Great to see you all!” announcement – much more time efficient and less painful.)
6:00pm: Home, sweet home. Let the kids skip a bath (they’d be pretty clean after swimming at the beach, 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 that other glass of wine …