When Easter goes South
How do you recover from the nightmare of Easter's past? Is a Lindt gold bunny enough to erase the pain?
It has been a looooong term.
Joan Rivers started year 12 and the QE2 started high school, and I forgot to give up whiskey. (Note: these are not our girls' real names just in case you were wondering but it may give you an insight into their personality types).
Just in the nick of time, it is Easter!
I LERVE Easter. It's a little present when you think you are going to lose your bundle. It comes along and wraps you up in a blankie (especially if you live in Victoria) and says, 'There, there. Here's a bucket-load of chocolate to stuff your face with (or in my case, some sort of organicy, dark, fair-tradey thing). Thanks, don't mind if I do.
However, before we get to our coastal town of choice and breathe a collective sigh of relief for a few days off, there's just one thing that has to happen first.
Let the mamma pre-road-trip-frenzy begin.
Go grocery shopping; do the washing; remind The Gent what time we are leaving to avoid the traffic; clean the house (I have no idea why); sort out what to take for the dog; remind The Gent what time we are leaving so we make the most of the rare four day break; pack the Nutri-Bullet so I can still make paleo approved smoothies; remind The Gent that if he isn't home in time to leave for the beach he can stop at home; hunt down some gluten-free hot cross buns for moi and Joan Rivers; ring The Gent's office and remind his EA to kick him out of the office on time; yell at the kids when they get home from school to change and get ready; text The Gent 'where are u?'; half-pack the car; sit around waiting for The Gent; text The Gent again, 'r u serious?'; listen to The Gent crack jokes about being late when he finally gets home thinking he is funny (he is not funny); pack everyone and the dog in the car; watch The Gent repack the boot because the towels go on top; pull out of the driveway and get stuck in peak hour Easter traffic to the beach!!!!
Make mine a double and don't bother with the ice! Bloody. Hell.
Yes the joys of heading away with our dear beloveds to access mental and physical respite is enough to send us off the deep end. Easter is, (apart from being a religious time) supposed to be a time of contemplation.
You could come away with us.
I cast my hazy, age-ridden mind back and my first real attempt to get The Gent and the girls to enjoy a quiet Easter away. I was filled with a sense of achievement at getting the four of us and the new puppy, Millicent Olivia Sophia Louise (Millie for short), in the car and on our way to the beach. Sleep, read, visit some local markets, play board games, eat, drink, go for walks and cook freshly caught mussels. What could possibly go wrong?
I should have known we were off to a shakey start when we arrived at the holiday rental and the one thing more valued that life itself was missing....internet and mobile connectivity!
Things went dark very quickly!
Screams of human rights abuses and the demise of the current economy as we know it were all dumped solely at my feet to which I responded with stoic blankness. 'I. Do. Not. Care.'
The Gent looked as if he had lost his best friend and proceeded to skulk in and out of doors with his phone in the air searching for some proof of technological life in this black hole that I had plonked them all in.
The Gent: 'I've got some bars. No I haven't. I've got four bars. No it's two. It's better in the bathroom. No it's dropped out again.'
Me: 'I. Do. Not. Care.'
Eventually I heard him talking to someone and went to investigate, only to find him in the master bedroom standing on the bed, craning his head up to the cornice.
The Gent: 'I've got you mate, go on, hang on, no you've just dropped out again, what was that, yes, ok I've got you now....'
I promptly went and made myself a gin and tonic.
I remember another similar such time when I was preggers with Joan Rivers and we attended a friend's wedding in Perth. We did the boat trip to Rottnest Island for the day where I happily laid belly up on the beach taking in the sun. In the sand dunes behind me, The Gent was trekking up hill and over dale having a similar conversation with himself.
You can see a pattern.
So with the technological restrictions unhappily accepted, we moved on to an evening of board games and sheep stations. I felt that we were finally off and running on our chilled-out Easter weekend.
Sun broke eight hours later.
The Gent: 'Holy shit, you should see what she has done!'
I sat bolt upright wondering where the hell I was, searching for an answer to The Gent's cryptic statement based on his constipated expression. I had a one in three chance of guessing the culprit. Joan Rivers, the QE2 or Millicent Olivia Sophie Louise, the crappiest cavoodle in the world. I think you can guess where the blame finally rested.
The Gent ushered me toward the laundry where Millie had slept. Closer inspection of the sliding pocket door revealed that a third of it was missing. We didn't need a forensic scientist to tell us that the saber-like tooth marks belonged to that of the hideous hound taking solace under the bed.
That's right, our dog ate the house.
Once the post-apocalyptic dust settled, the extent of the damage assessed and the dog had come out from hiding, The Gent realised he had been given a gift. He could spend the rest of the weekend at the local Bunnings sodding about with the door. For four days he lovingly restored the door and surrounding architrave, matching the mission brown chip board with the finesse of a master craftsman. The spurting kitchen tap at home mind you, took six months to get fixed, but this door was all spanking new within days (the $2000 bond may have also had something to do with it).
With The Gent duly entertained and enthused with each trip back to Bunnings and the sausage sizzle tent, my attentions turned to the girls who were concerned about the Easter Bunny finding our remote location, (apparently an hour out of Melbourne was akin to being in the middle of the Amazon).
I reassured them that EB would find us no worries and that everyone should just calm the heck down. All would be revealed in due course.
Sparrow's fart Easter Sunday morning, and The Gent took up his usual job of scattering the foiled covered confectionery ready for the annual egg hunt. I had, for some unexplained reason, bought different eggs this year from the pedestrian Cadbury brand that the girls love. Don't ask me why, I have no idea. They were some posh bloody Earnest Hillier/Darrell Lea hybrid that looked a bit interesting, and since we weren't at home I thought that the change might be fun? The Gent flagged his concern when he saw them. 'Are you sure you want to do this?' I thought he was underestimating the sophisticated palates of Joan Rivers and the QE2.
The girls took their marks, Easter baskets in hand and The Gent cued up the Benny Hill theme song on his phone. We decided a while back that watching two kids chase around the garden to Benny Hill was probably wrong, but we have to get some amusement out of all this parenting malarkey and thus it remains.
Excited shrills and giggles soon gave way to screams of horror and wobbling bottom lips returning with baskets full of what was described as 'crap eggs'. Demands and cries to release Cadbury eggs continued for the rest of the day along with the declaration that the Shoreham Easter Bunny was not much chop.
The Gent took the rare and unusual joy in the giving me the, 'I told you so' face.
With Easter morning now in tatters, the filler still drying on the laundry door and no one to call for support because of a lack of mobile reception, I threw my hands up in the air and resigned myself to the fact that I had buggered up Easter and the only thing for it was to open a bottle of pinot grigio. You can't win them all.
So as you pack up the car and head away, or fly somewhere exotic to take a well-earned rest just think of me in the standard issue black Volvo mumwagon, with the farting dog, the fam in tow and the constant ribbing about the shit Shoreham Easter Bunny.
Ahhh good times.