It was lunchtime and we had decided making lunches would be a more cost effective exercise.Â Wrong.Â Did I really believe that I was my own father reincarnate?Â Who really thinks kids are happily going to eat soggy tomato and cheese sandwiches when other kids are eating hot chips and burgers?
Along with the kids, I pushed away the offending lunches and got some decent holiday food and kept reminding myself that spending the equivalent of Bangladesh’s GDP on lunch was part of the fun of family holidays.Â I quietly smirked to myself thinking of my old father who had similar sentiments about holiday expenditure and whom I convinced myself I’d never grow up to be.Â Happily, I am my old man in some ways.
Next stop was the petting zoo, I do love the smell of sun warmed, furry creatures and freshly cut grass.Â One of the boys ran up to the lambs and launched into a version of Mary had a little lamb that would make Julie Andrews proud..Â And yes, their fleece really was white as snow-¦
With the afternoon sun descending over the theme park gates, one small child passed out in a stroller with a drink held upright in his tightly clenched little hand (he too gets that from his father), I took my eldest down to do some father/son bonding and eat ice cream.
We charmed the shop ladies with changing our minds over ice cream selections and happily licked and dribbled chocolate and caramel flavours down our faces and arms, it was fantastic.
Daddy and the boys slept in the car on the way home back to my sisters, aching and sore from walking so far, but dreamily happy and rested-¦
The drive home started in earnest and progressed in a slow fashion.Â For the next six hundred km’s we stopped every 10 minutes to let our son hurl the contents of his empty tummy out onto the highway.
At one stop he got out, was sick and then hands in the air (again..) proclaimed his wellness, filled himself up on lemonade and then exploded clear foam from his little face two minutes later..Â The friendly waitress from the cafe grated up green apple to help soothe his tummy -“ and no, it doesn’t work.
After visiting more crazy relatives, the final journey home to the Emerald City paced well. I looked up into the sky and clouds and thanked whomever was listening for such a magical holiday and quality time with my wonderful children.Â Looking over them in the back seat, asleep, I knew their minds were dancing full of stories, colours and tastes from their trip away.
A precious memory for them and for me, reliving the memories of my childhood, now as a father in my own right.Â It was an amazing journey as a dad, as a son and now as an ex husband, that will maybe cycle a similar journey for them one day.