I like being helpful always, but especially in situations from which I can benefit.
So when I offered to take my 11-year-old sister and eight year-old brother to the Sydney Royal Easter Show, it was absolutely 100% a way of getting my parents to pay my entry fee.
I didn’t think much about what would happen beyond that point… the entry gates were the extent of my foresight and once through them my day would be filled with soothing animal parades and many prizes.
Young children have this sort of… habit.
Sure they’re cute; they’re adorable and smart and easily impressed and watching them grow up is an absolute blessing.
But what they like to do most is ruin things.
Ruin things with tears; ruin things with whinging; ruin each and every vision you set in your mind of a perfect day with their incessant screeching and complaining about how sore their legs are and other tragic hardships.
“You don’t UNDERSTAND”, they’ll say. “NOBODY in this family even CARES about me.”
“I’m sorry, you’re right”, I’ll say. “How could I ever understand the hardships of a well-off white 11-year-old.”
Listen: Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo ask their kids to review their parenting performance, on This Glorious Mess. Post continues after audio.
So. The Easter Show.
For those of you who’ve never been, the Sydney Royal Easter Show is an annual fair attended by families who enjoy setting fire to large piles of money.
It’s the largest fair on the planet (I made that up but it’s real big), showcasing everything from ferris wheels and roller coasters to skill testers and animal competitions.
Feel like watching some equestrian showjumping? Easter Show.
Sitting on a shit-plonked bed of straw patting a litter of baby pigs? Easter Show.
Those weird rotating-head fellatio clowns? Easter Show.
I was responsible for myself and also my younger brother and sister for the day, which is more people than I wanted to be responsible for. In an ideal world? I would go alone, pat some animals, win a prize, and speak with no one.
But this is not an ideal world.
Here’s how the day went down.
10.04am – One hour till departure. Both kids are watching TV and also nude.
10.12am – Write mobile number on brother’s arm. Encourage children to dress selves. Met with cries of ‘Do we have toooooo…’
Yes. Yes, you have to. Being clothed is definitely a pre-requisite for leaving the house.
10.16am – Brother comes downstairs. Shorts, t-shirt, socks, camo backpack. “Hey dude. How about shoes?”