Adventures with the Toddler – Chapter Thirty-one: The Corona Virus Version (For those still playing along)

Well it has been a long time between toddler tales. Most of that is my fault because time shakes itself from its worn tether and buggers off from me. So let me fill you in as a best I can before I start a new travel blog. That’s right folks, the family is off to South American for two weeks. Argentina, Chile and Uruguay

Discipline is still the order of the day. Teaching a child discipline that could give a damn about what threats I make leads to some wild times. I did threaten to sell it to gypsies one afternoon when it began playing up in Aldi again. Then the rest of the shopping experience was spent with the toddler telling me it was too fast and strong for me to catch it in order to sell it for gypsies. I kept correcting its grammar that I was going to sell it TO gypsies and not FOR them. Some people laughed who overheard the exchange, some scowled at me – but I didn’t care, it was funny as hell. The toddler wound its neck in thinking it might be sold to gypsies.

The baby and I have a lot in common. The main things however, are that we’re both bald and neither of us can get to our feet from the floor without holding onto something. But the baby is nearly walking. It’s nine months old and weeks away from striding itself across the room. It also loves its food and appears to be growing curly hair. It smiles all the time. The happiest little kid I’ve ever met, and every time that smile crosses its face, my heart swells and I fall in love all over again.

Then the Toddler chimes in —
“Da. Where does poo come from?” After tackling that particular issue, I was asked another big question. “Where does wee come from?” I gave the rundown on the importance of water and how it finally ends up in the bladder to be expelled. The toddler listened and did seem to understand. No doubt these tales will be told to all who will listen. After all, it doesn’t seem to be able to explain why we have night and day due to the rotation of the earth. Tides, is also seemed to grasp but less so. We’re tackling gravity now and learning a new word from the dictionary. A couple stick. Most don’t. But what does stick always amazes me.

The Toddler has started kindergarten. First day I was lucky enough to walk down with it as I had a late start at work. It was telling everyone we passed that it was off to kindy. It still tells all and sundry it’s off to kindy. It loves kindy and the growing up that has been happening is insane. It can express its emotions and isn’t afraid to express them, which is brilliant.

There was a long weekend here which is nice. The team and I have been working pretty hard and I was looking forward to hanging out with the toddler and taking the family to the Yarra Valley for lunch and to catch up with a dear friend. But then the fuckening happened and I came down with some illness that seemed to walk up to me and sneeze into my face. It happened on set and nursey took one look at me and sent me straight to the Doc and then right on home. Three days off work and the weekend to recover. I was tripping balls the first night. The scariest one was when I was convinced the toddler’s doll was fifteen feet tall and trying to tear my teeth out with its fingers. I slept in the toddlers room – which was once my office- which is now just an unused bedroom. This is what happens when I listen to people and allow blood to enter my alcohol stream. Wellness is horse shit.
“If you give up alcohol, you shall feel well.”
“I’d feel better by not giving it up.”
“You shall feel better. Its empty calories and your sleep will improve.”
“Sleep? With two little kids in my bed? The piss is the only thing helping me get any sleep at all! I’m forever being kicked, losing the doona and the scream dreams they have wake me to the point I have to give up sleeping at all.”
I don’t believe a word of it. I tried it for a few hours back in the early nineties as yoga was kicking off and everyone was bisexual for a couple of weeks. But my shadow began to chase me.

Anyway, I shelve the plonk and within five minutes – my body goes into shock. My cells begin to shut down and my shadow runs away as this horrible virus slips in. Two states I should never be in, sober or naked. The Doc said it wasn’t Cornavirus, but he did also try and sell me snake oil (cough syrup) and it was a Broadmeadows clinic. Not judging – but judging a little. Driving home was hell as my eyes were streaming. I had to keep pulling over as I thought I was going to crash because I couldn’t see.

New year and all that.

We took a trip to Maslin Beach in South Australia for the last week of the holidays. I had two weeks off and the toddler was pretty chuffed that every day was now Da and toddler day. It used this information to try and get its paws on croissants every morning. It’s an intelligent little beast and won a few rounds when we wandered off to the shops. I enjoyed myself enormously getting to hang out with the toddler, wife and baby-person.

For our trip preparations, the wife and I had the grand idea of bundling the kids in the car at three in the morning and driving flat stick for at least five hours while the children blissfully snoozed. I figured we could cover a lot of distance and make it to Maslin Beach in around nine hours. Stopping for breakfast and a pee.
Twelve hours after leaving Melbourne, we arrived at Maslin beach. Twelve hours due to stoppages:
“I need a poo.” Pull over for the toddler to have a poo. “Don’t need to.”
“Try.”
“Don’t need to anymore.” We get a hundred metres down the road. “Need a poo.”
I scream!
“Da.”
“What?”
“Need a wee.”
“Can you hold it.”
“No. Need a wee.”
“Argh.”
“What’s the matter da?”
“Nothing.”
“You just need to calm down da. Let’s stop. Think. And access the situation.”
“What in the blue fuck? Who are you”

Among poo stops, wee stops, baby wants fed stops, a lunch stop, a play stop and the soundtrack to Frozen 2 playing on loop – we finally made it to Maslin Beach and enjoyed a week of living like alcoholic dolphins as we swam every day and visited wineries.

I am writing this with the baby asleep in the crook of my arm. I’m tapping keys one-handed which is something I hate as I find it so hard to write this way. My thoughts are constantly on interrupt instead of flow. But alas, this is how I “write” now, with a baby in the crook of my arm. I’m no martyr and that isn’t where I’m going with this, but to be focussed on one thing is very hard when you truly need to split your focus in multiple directions when you have people depending on you for rent, food, laughs etc…

The baby getting to sleep of an evening has been my gig for a while now. Usually I’ll settle it into the crook of my arm and play it some music. We started with the Wiggles as it’s for kids, but it hated them. The Wiggles somehow evolved into black metal. It likes black metal and falls asleep pretty quick to it. It also likes to fall asleep to Marilyn Manson’s song – Tattooed in Reverse. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s white noise to the baby. That, combined with the bouncing of my leg to the beat, sends it off into lala land. Things only get tricky when I run out wine and the wife is still trying to trick the toddler into sleep. Which means I have to wait. But when the wife also falls asleep, makes for a fresh hell I’m never prepared for.

It’s a short one this time because, you know, time and all that. BUT – I do promise to be vigilant and do proper updates during the journey in South America.

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