Out & About with Kids - - CONTENTS -

Yumi takes her brood of four on an­other road trip – and this time mummy and the big girls are off to a fun ‘Run­ning Party’ – get­ting out and about for some ex­er­cise in the na­tion’s Cap­i­tal!

There are things a per­son should never con­fess in a mag­a­zine such as this … 1. On this hol­i­day there were times when I won­dered why I even left home. (We work so hard fur­nish­ingf and mak­ing home nice. Why leave?) 2. I also won­dered whether I had made a ter­ri­ble mis­take hav­ing so many kids. Two – maybe …? Four – OMG.

Tak­ing all four kids on a road trip from Syd­ney to Can­berra seems like a good idea when you plan and book six months out. Then it’s like a fan­tasy or sweet lit­tle joke. You don’t pic­ture the hours stuck in the car with scream­ing ba­bies and the big­ger chil­dren who frown end­lessly into their phones, and ter­ri­ble ra­dio, and that sink­ing feel­ing when you re­alise that, in spite of all your years of ex­pe­ri­ence as a par­ent, you’ve for­got­ten some­thing cru­cial, like an epi-pen or the pet, or in our case, a credit card and baby wipes.

“Where are the wipes?” my hus­band asks me again, as if re­peat­ing the ques­tion might change the an­swer.

“Why would we need wipes with two ba­bies on a 3-hour drive?”, I say. There’s an erup­tion of coughs.

“Why are we go­ing to Can­berra?” the teenager asks. She is killing sharks on a phone game and prac­tis­ing her sar­casm. This is go­ing to be the Best. Can­berra. Trip. Ever. My strong­est Can­berra mem­ory is from a child­hood ex­cur­sion when one of my class­mates be­came un­well on Day 1 and stayed sick the whole week. His name was Jeffrey, and some­thing about Can­berra just didn’t agree with him. The en­tire 5-day ex­cur­sion was punc­tu­ated with him vom­it­ing in and around dif­fer­ent mon­u­ments, usu­ally while the rest of us were eat­ing lunch.

My fam­ily tries to visit ev­ery two years, and one thing I can con­fi­dently say about Can­berra is that Can­berra peo­ple are the staunch­est home­town de­fend­ers in the world. They are nuts about Can­berra. Even my hus­band Martin, who once lived in Can­berra for two years, can’t bear to hear Can­berra crit­i­cised. If you men­tion you can’t fig­ure out the roads, lo­cals will tell you, “It’s the most planned city in Aus­tralia.” If you tell a Can­ber­ran that you’re from Syd­ney, they say “Where in Syd­ney?” and then don’t lis­ten to your an­swer be­cause they’re too busy list­ing the at­tributes of Can­berra, in­clud­ing great schools and hos­pi­tals.

Two ba­bies, two teenagers on a road trip – what could pos­si­bly go wrong Yumi warms-up pre ‘Run­ning Party’ in Can­berra

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