On Thursday we returned from a quick long weekend away to Perth. Surprisingly, it’s slightly closer to Darwin than other Australian capitals, taking only three hours and 15 minutes to get there. Hooray! Why didn’t we go there earlier? (We love finding civilisation is only a short flight away).
It’s no news to you lovely readers that we live a long way from our family. Over the years our family members have been scattered around the globe, but as we’ve gotten older everyone has returned to Australia, and almost all returned to Brisbane where we more or less grew up. But not us! No sireeee… and as a result, while our little family doesn’t travel frequently, we certainly travel often enough.
So here are a few lessons from the road. In this case, it’s the metaphorical road that is well travelled that I never seem to learn a lesson from. So I am writing them here for posterity.
Looking like a hassled frazzled mother will win you little sympathy and few friends
The general mood in Australia these days is that children are the scourge of society and parents are irresponsible breeders. Never mind the major factor of human nature (i.e. it’s instinctual for all animals to breed, including humans) and the old well worn arguments of having to create a future generation to keep the world running. And HELLO! Babies are as cute as kittens! It’s a civil duty to have them!
Yelling at your three year old to ‘STOP’ as she’s about to run out of the airport doors and onto the road while carrying a 6 month old strapped to your chest will not actually inspire people to help you catch the three year old. It will make them step out of her way, thus clearing her path to imminent demise, all the while shaking their heads at you and cluck for being so entitled as to expect someone else to help you manage your misbehaving offspring.
Looking like a hassled frazzled mother will win you at least one friend who you wished could have been your best friend forever and ever and ever
On the flight from Perth back to Darwin the unfortunate woman who was travelling solo and sitting behind us was mercifully left alone by us most of the flight, except for the final descent. There was sufficient shit scattered throughout our row that there was no longer any room for me and Harrie, so I perched on one of the empty seats in this lady’s row. And then the Sprog had to join us. And once we were all settled in and the seatbelt sign was on and thus we were permanently there – she told me it was the first time in four and a half years that she had travelled without her kids. WTF?! WHY DIDN’T SHE SAY SOMETHING? And here I was subjecting her to my two. And did I mention the Sprog has a serious personal space issue? At least she didn’t comment on this lady’s boobs.
As the plane was going down we conspiratorially chatted about how some days we just want to run away from the kids for a break. And how travelling with them can be worse than the hot hot fires of hell. And how, regardless of the best laid plans, both our Misters inevitably end up sitting alone, sans kids, reading a paper in peace.
Total best friend material. But she lives in Perth 😦
That’s the first two lessons I learnt on the road this trip. Feel free to share any invaluable learnings of your own in the comments. After all… Parenthood – we’re in it together!