I'll say it again, cause it's central to setting up the tone for today's post.
We haven't been out much lately and the kids are displaying the classic symptoms of cabin fever - irritability, crankiness, moodiness and sudden weight gain.
Okay the last one might just be me.
On Thursday night, when I had to duck out to pick up some fruit and deliver boxes to a friend, a couple of my kids demanded they be allowed to come with me. Miss5 was especially persistent, even though I tried to explain I wasn't going anywhere exciting.
"But I'm only-"
"Take me!!" she yelled.
"But I'm not-" I was going to say 'I'm not going anywhere exciting, but she didn't care - goddammit, she was going!
"Take meeeee!!" yelled Miss5, cutting me off again.
She was standing beside the car before I'd even found the keys.
Then, when I was delivering the bananas and apples, the penny dropped she wasn't going to be allowed out of the car at all. She'd assumed, I assume, we were going shopping. This did not sit well.
"We came here for nothing! This is not fun!" she called out from the back seat. I guess I understand the frustration behind being locked up for so long and then, with the outside world so close, finding out it's not to be. The oddest thing she yelled at me was, "Bronze medal!" which Tracey later explained as meaning I had failed to win. Nice to see something from the Olympics had struck a cord with my 'angel'. Of course, understanding didn't stop me from admonishing her loud mouthed little butt for being so rude. But what this did illustrate was how badly we needed to get out.
So after weeks of being housebound through work commitments and illness, or more recently suspected but not actual illness, today was to be spent away from home.
Last night Tracey and I discussed what we might do.
"We could drive to the coast with the bikes," I suggested. The kids love riding the bike paths around Tin Can Bay and it's relatively flat and safe to do so.
"Dad has the trailer," Tracey reminded me.
"We could go Ten Pin Bowling," I suggested. It's always fun. On top of the bowling they have an air hockey table and computer games, which we let the kids put a few dollars through. Plus, and I can't emphasis this enough, they have a bar.
"That would be fun, but it's still kind of indoors," said Tracey. "We've had enough indoors. Anyway the weather has been beautiful this week so we should do something which doesn't involve a roof."
I thought some more. "We could go to the duck ponds," I suggested. "The kids love it. Although we always end up there."
A look I knew too well appeared on Tracey's face - she'd had an idea.
"What about a park crawl?" she suggested. "Like a pub crawl but without the need for buckets. We'll work our way around town, taking the kids to every swing and slide we can find and spend up to half an hour at each."
We put it to the kids - they loved the idea! They could rate their favourites and we might find a gem or two we didn't know about.
So this morning we loaded the car up with nappies, drinks and sunscreen and headed off. We managed two parks.
Unfortunately, as we headed away from the second park, our car started to make some unfamiliar noises.
"Keep going," I told Tracey. "It'll be right."
"You're telling me you think the car can walk it off?" she asked me with a hint, it must be said, of rude disbelief. Her father, an ex-RACQ call out bloke, sided with Tracey - our car isn't going anywhere until our mechanic rummages around under the bonnet.
Maybe I've earned the Silver, with the whole hour we spent at the parks today on swings and kicking the ball, but I suspect, given the sounds my car is making, the only Gold on offer will be be the stuff exchanging hands between me and my mechanic.