All I really wanted was a nice Sunday out.
Bit of kicking a ball around a park followed by a nice lunch. Preferably in a restaurant where we could fob the kids off to a supervised play area and then sit quietly in the beautiful sunshine, having a few quiet Sunday beverages watching the world go by. Was. Never. Going. To. Happen.
See Jack the 4 year old, received some 2nd hand football boots from our friends just over two weeks ago. For two solid weeks, those shoes have only left his feet when it was time to sleep. And even then, he was reluctant to part with them. He has stood on my exposed fingers and toes with the studs no less than five times. So many expletives. So, so many expletives. So with that we figured we should take him and his boots down the local oval and use them for what they were intended, kicking a football.
At around 11am, we all got ready to leave the house and head out. Oh wait, the receptacle of bad attitude, aka Maddison the 11 year old, was still in bed asleep. Sleeping off a big night of doing fuck all it seemed. I shotgunned not to be the one to wake her and retreated to the car and waited for her to appear. She appeared at my window five minutes later, dressed for what I imagined you would wear to the apocalypse. Our conversation went like this:
HER: Can’t I stay here?
HER: Why not?! I don’t want to go to the stupid football ground.
HER: We always do what they want to do, never what *I* want to
ME: Well what do you want to do?
HER: I don’t know. Nothing.
ME: Get in the car.
We turned up to the football ground and exploded out of the car as only a family of 5 jam packed into a ridiculously small car can, and made our way over to the oval.
This is when Maddison thought it would be a top idea to position herself right under the goalposts. Right where Jack was making it his mission to kick the ball over said goalposts. We told her to move, she chose to ignore us. Two balls to the head later, she still refused to move but was sobbing silently.
Sam was wandering around constantly returning to lament on the litter situation, often referring to it as a “wasteland” and surely a sign of the “end of days”.
As for Jack, the reason we were even down at this godforsaken oval? Well he’d lost his shit almost immediately. We were either kicking it too high, too low, too fast, too slow. There was no pleasing him. He did manage to kick it over the goalposts twice. 2 times out of about 54 attempts meant 52 meltdowns.
By the time he’d got himself wedged in the tree he had climbed in a fit of rage, we called time on the Morley football adventure. Time to activate part B – relaxing lunch. Oh, but not before Jack coat-hangered himself on the rope he failed to see on the ovals perimeter.
I’ll admit at this point I was ready to throw in the towel, go home and commence drinking. Screw a nice steak; we had cheese tubes in the cupboard and all manner of alcoholic selections atop the fridge. But we soldiered on, determined we would have a nice day out. Damn it.
For some unknown reason we decided to try somewhere we’d heard about yet never actually been. It was in a dodgy area, yet people were raving and we were a family wearing football shoes and thongs, we were hardly in a position to judge.
11 year old Maddie was still moaning over god knows what, peeping up from her angsty Vampire book every so often to shoot me daggers. The two boys had settled in nicely to a game of 'Catch the Cop' which I assume is reverse Cops and Robbers in the playground I had surreptitiously swept for used needles and Phil and I sat down in the sunshine as planned.
Then we were asked to leave. Well leave the sunshine. Apparently only people smoking could sit in the sweet area where you could actually keep an eye on your children. As we attempted to move ourselves, Phil accidently knocked his beer and in turn, gave Jack a bath in Peroni. Cue the screaming. Not because he was soaked in beer, but because now he’d have to get “naked!”
We settled into more appropriate seats and I started reading the Sunday paper. As talk turned to the Ekka (Brisbane’s Royal show), Phil declared we were going to go this year. News to me as a) he usually fucking hates the Ekka and b) I don’t even have a b. I was thrown. Immediately the kids went nuts scouring the show bag guide. Maddie decided Sam would be getting the Mega Moron bag which of course Sam took umbrage at and the name calling commenced. Jack fell from his chair after being repeatedly asked to sit still and the other two had upped the ante and started a slapping war.
I was mopping up beer, yell whispering death threats under my breath and mechanically chewing what was really good steak. I looked at Phil, he at me and I shook my head. I turned serenely to my three
animals children and quietly told them that there would be no more Sunday Lunches and there would definitely not be a trip to the Ekka. I also may have said they were a bunch of ingrates. At this point all three started to cry. Sunday bloody Sunday.
Ahh, how’s the serenity?