Posted on March 30, 2016
Gazbo and I have similar “personalities” when it comes to holidays that require air travel with four children. We book them, with hope in our heart, and while we always feel glad we went, we generally bicker non-stop, with each other and the children, and slowly lose the will to live as they (like millions of children before them), whinge their way through a holiday and we have scrimped and saved for in the hope that they, and we, will have a good time. We always say we will never do it again! And we always do, like the true believers that we are.
This time we had very high hopes it would be different, and my word, it WAS. This time we were staying with great friends, with a couple of kids of similar ages for them to play with thrown in for good measure. They generously gave us the run of their home and use of a car, and we spent a bit of time in Brisbane, and the rest at their families stunning horse breeding property, Yarramalong, in Aratula. There was bubbly, lots of it, fun, frivolity, eating, more drinking, resting, laughing, several nights where I stayed up until 3 or 4am, which is unheard of for me nowadays. There was very little thought, or talk, about cancer. And apart from the very odd crack at each other that lasted a couple of minutes, Gaz and I didn’t argue at all. This bloody holiday knocked it out of the park, and in many ways was the best that we had ever had.
The Watson’s do, however, like to leave the best until last.
So, last night we were back in Brisbane for our last night. Ange and I went to see a movie (The Lady in the Van, omg, see it), and when we got back we were having a quiet drink on the deck when Dakota declared that there had been a cane toad spotted in the house. All the colour drained from my face at that point, as despite never having clapped eyes on a cane toad (well, not at that point my friends), I am truly phobic about them. I can’t watch anything on TV about them, look at pictures of them, or even talk about them without feeling sick. Our host Paul assured us that it had been shown the door and seen to go outside, so I bit down my panic, and Gaz and I wandered off to bed. He, and I did a good inspection of the bathroom before I would go to the toilet and brush my teeth, and all seemed to be well. I kept hearing Cane toady like noises, but I knew it was my imagination as I knew one had been inside.
Fast forward to about 4am. I get up, stumble half asleep to the loo. Upon finishing, I open the door, and standing at the other side of the doorway, waiting patiently to come in, was a huge mother effing cane toad. I did what every self respecting cane toad phobic would do, and screamed bloody murder, and slammed the door, yelling for Gaz to come, whilst at the same time begging no one to open the bathroom door. Really, I would have stayed there forever if necessary, with the door between me and it. Chaos ensued, as I heard this almighty crash, which as it turns out was Gaz knocking over the pedestal fan that was next to our bed. Then there was a big OWWWWW, which was him slamming his shoulder into the door frame in his haste to get to me, as he thought an actual person was in the house attacking me. At some stage he also hit his toe, which may be broken, we don’t know, it’s a pretty nasty colour.
Gaz opened the back door for the offending creature, and it hopped cheerfully out, at which point I finally exited the bathroom, shaking, crying, snot, hyperventilating. Between him and the children who had also woken up during the festivities, I was finally convinced to go back to bed, where I held onto my injured husband for dear life for the rest of the night, constantly swinging between apologising to him for him hurting himself due to me carrying on over a toad, and saying “but it was back on it’s haunches, ready to strike!”. I don’t know if toads have haunches, but this bastard was looking at me with INTENT.
Still, that was the only “low” ish point in the whole holiday, and we were pretty pleased with ourselves. We were dropped off at the airport by our friend, and we checked in 6 pieces of luggage, a carseat and pram in record time, and I even got through security for the first time in 14 years without my hips setting off the metal detectors. We were on FIRE.
When we got on the plane, I was seated in aisle 11 with Indi and Tana, and Gaz was on the opposite side in aisle 12 with Georgie and Dakota. We were festive, happy to be heading back to our lovely home and our much loved dog. I leaned forward so I could look at Gaz with a sunny smile, and I am pretty sure we were mentally high fiving each other over how well we had done.
But, by christ, the Watson’s weren’t finished yet. Not by a LONG shot people.
I was having a lovely read of a new book when I started to feel sleepy. I could fall asleep, standing up, in the middle of a freeway nowadays, so I decided to have 40 winks. I probably had three winks when I was woken up by Dakota saying “mum, Georgia has poo’d and it’s everywhere.” She is not one to exaggerate. I leaned forward to look at Gaz again, with much trepidation this time, to see him frantically looking at me, for all the world like he wished he had never been born. Next to him was Georgia.
So, just imagine Mt Vesuvius. It erupts, slowly at first, but then it picks up speed as the lava moves down the mountain. That was fairly similar to what was happening in Georgia’s shorts. I frantically reached into the nappy bag for the wipes and threw them over to him, and then reached back in there for the nappy that I knew was in there, as I had put in two, and only used one.
THERE WAS NO NAPPY IN THE BAG.
Georgia is at this stage the captive audience to all the flight attendants on the plane. There is serious concern about how we are going to get her to the back of the plane to get her cleaned up, as she is literally COVERED in shit, and so is the seat and belt. One flight attendant suggests that if we don’t mind, it might be an idea to put her in a bag to transfer her to the back, so as not to get shit all over everyone, including the other passengers. We agree as though putting our child in a plastic bag is something that we do every day. She returns with a bag and he lifts Georgia up and drops her in it. I am not sure I will ever forget the sight of my husband fanging it down the middle aisle of the plane with our daughter encased in a blue plastic bag, with the words “hazardous waste” written on it.
I follow down to the back of the plane, trying not to look at anyone, but seeing them all cover their noses. One lady remarked loudly that she was glad that this incident occurred after she had eaten her lunch. Gaz was squeezed into a cubicle with Georgia on a change table big enough for a newborn baby, but perhaps not an 8 year old, small though she is. While his filling half a bag with paper towel covered with crap, the queue starts to form for the other toilet. One lady goes in happily, seemingly unaware of the festivities going on over the way, and emerges 2 minutes later, with a hanky over her nose and mouth, dry retching. Then, bugger me if this bloke doesn’t wander into a scene that smells roughly like your local shit farm on steroids, and demand that the flight attendants fetch him a glass of wine, which he had apparently asked for before the Watson’s became the unofficial wine police.
Thankfully Georgia wears nappies suitable for a 2 or three year old and someone was able to furnish us with one from their supply. Seriously, what mother who has been changing nappies for 12 years doesn’t have a nappy? One of them MUST have fell out, I swear there were two in there.
But do you know what? Maybe we are getting better at this shit (pun intended). All was well that ended well, and in the car on the way home from the airport, I became lost in uncontrollable mirth about the baby in the bag incident, and the woman who nearly lost her lunch, and the guy who wanted a glass of wine so badly he was willing to step into hell to get it. We laughed until we CRIED. We’ll holiday again, my word we will. True believers, that’s us. Next time though, we might take some valium, and a SHITLOAD of nappies!
I’ll leave you with some photos from Yarramalong: