Want to wind up your kids? Try some old tech
A FEW days ago we hired a four-wheel drive to go bush camping in the Kimberley with our three kids.
This vehicle is so hardcore it could climb a tree and it’s kitted out with nifty features including a foldy-outy tent attached to the roof and a kitchen stashed in the boot. There’s a honking great big snorkel on the side and racks that look big enough to carry a spare car on top.
When we picked it up the kids were thrilled; they crawled all over the interior and gleefully sat behind the wheel, Leyland Brothers -style. They immediately nicknamed the car Dusty Beeps.
But then: dismay. “Dusty’s windows don’t open!” “The doors won’t unlock!”
What? We peered into the car to see our 21st-century offspring staring at the door panels and we realised ... they didn’t know how to wind down a window or use a pull-up push-down lock. us again. We’re hardly doing it tough — Dusty has an iPhone jack, for heaven’s sake — but we’ve seen communities up here in Northern Australia that really are.
Thankfully our children’s school agreed with us that the kids could learn so much more from this trip than they might from four weeks in their classroom.
The principal probably didn’t reckon on some of the lessons being as old-school as how to wind down a window, or open a ring-pull drink can, or send a postcard.
On the other hand, they now know how to time a swing from a rope into a waterhole to perfection, tell a crocodile from a “logodile” and remove a grasshopper from their hair without screaming.
And as for the car, tomorrow we’ll show them how to use the knob on the radio. Don’t say we don’t show them a good time.