She’ll be apples soon
SINCE arriving back at our home the kids have been making good use of the extra space afforded by a house as opposed to living on a bus by hiding and jumping out at each other from under beds or behind doors when it looks like they’re going to get found.
They’ve been moving their beds from room to room to work out where and with whom to share a room, rediscovering old toys we couldn’t take with us 18 months ago and cooking apple and raspberry crumble and sponge cakes, all while Tracey and I have been cleaning fans and walls. And best of all we aren’t all having to push past each other with hissing cuss-flavoured mutterings of frustration.
Don’t get me wrong, I hate it. I hate not being parked up at a showground, waking up to the whispers of my kids at the front of the bus trying to decide who’s going to be sacrificed on the altar of asking-Dad-for-permission-toplay-electronics.
But I am loving my house. Especially our bedroom with its closable door and ceiling we can’t touch lying or even “sitting” in bed.
If I’m honest, I was dreading pulling up our big lap progress even when Tracey told me she had a good reason.
“You made a promise,” she reminded me. When negotiating our trip I’d assured Miss11 she could finish her primary school years with her class, since they would all be going off to one of five different high schools in Gtown. “You can’t back down.”
“You say can’t, I say shouldn’t,” I said, mentally kicking the wall like a petulant six-year-old. “And by the way, when I said she could finish the year with them I meant the last week or two, not half a year.”
But once I’d gotten over myself – I’m fast forwarding weeks here, not hours – I suddenly found a heap of good reasons to need to be home for a bit.
● Our bedroom isn’t a cold tent with a blow-up mattress.
● I need to spend time with my physio because I rather hilariously have golfers elbow, plus a fresh hell called trigger finger. Again, hilarious for someone who is not a fan of guns. On the bright side, neither of these things require booking in to an ICU, so winning.
● The kids’ rooms aren’t in our bedroom and their beds aren’t under or next to ours.
● We’ve got some ideas for the bus which we think will make it even more comfortable on our journey. Things like improving storage and adding solar and a cartridge loo so we can free camp when we need to as we head for WA, and installing seats with over-the-shoulder seatbelts instead of the majority lap belts we have at the moment. We’re even looking at blinds and an awning.
● This is the biggy – seeing our family and friends.
We were an hour and a half out of Gympie, coming from Ballina, when we announced to our munchkins we weren’t stopping for a couple of nights in Brisbane after all and were driving through to home. There were tears.
Followed by the kids all saying why they couldn’t wait to get back – most of which I’ve covered in that last point. Although there was this one other thing Miss8 brought up.
“I miss watching our apple thing!!” she squealed from behind me in her seat. That girl can hit notes which make me wonder if the tinting is the only thing stopping our windows from shattering.
“We’ve got all our Apple things with us,” I called back. “Computers. Laptops. Pods. Pads. Phones.” “No, the other apple thing.” “Of course!” I exclaimed a few moments later. “Apple TV!”
I’d forgotten all about it. We don’t have a television on the bus. We tend to watch Netflix and Stan and Youtube and Curiosity Stream these days.
“No, the other apple thing.” “You’ve lost me,” I admitted after some more thought. “I can’t think of any other Apple product we’ve ever owned. You sure you don’t mean the iPods? You haven’t used them for a while but they’re here somewhere.” With a exasperated tone she assured me she didn’t. “Well, can you tell me what you used it for? I know for a fact that’s all the Apple things I’ve ever bought.”
And moments later I had to admit I was 100 per cent wrong. There was another apple product I’d completely forgotten about which we used to use all the time.
“You know,” she said, “the apple thing to take the skin off apples and remove the yucky bit with seeds.” Learn more about Bruce’s efforts to raise his family on little more than laughs at big family littleincome.com
BACK HOME: Miss8 is reunited with her favourite "apple thing".