Urban dictionary defines “hospital pass” as: a panicked pass in a sporting match, to a player likely to be tackled heavily as soon as the ball is received.
I define “hospital pass” as: two parents leaving the country and asking their eldest son to look after his two younger siblings.
For 10 days.
While he works full time.
And they start school.
I’m torn, really. I don’t know whether I should feel honoured my parents entrusted me with their two youngest children for ten days, or sour at the fact I had no choice in the matter.
It’s day three of ten and they’re alive. But I’m a little peeved at the lack of nomination for Father of Year.
I’m in envy of my siblings, and their opportunity to have me as a Dad for the week.
My sister (11) and brother (8) are both blissfully ignorant as to how little I care about them misbehaving.
I’m approaching these ten days with a long-term goal in mind: when I hand them back over to Mum and Dad, they must be living. That will be a mission completed successfully.
Anything that happens in the interim is irrelevant; unimportant; meaningless.
Listen to Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo discuss the perils of suddenly becoming a single parent, on This Glorious Mess. Post continues after audio…
10am – Drop parents off at Sydney International Airport. Compulsory kerbside goodbye hugs while many men in yellow vests shout some things.
Brother and sister sad etc. Drive away from drop-off point complaining about poor organisation of airport traffic. “Why is there one lane? Biggest airport in Australia. Not good enough. You’d think they could do better”.
Realise am becoming my Dad.
10.15am – On way home. Small voice from backseat asks about Concord plane crash. I explain fire and many deaths etc. Teaching moment. Pleased.
4pm – This thing happened where we arrived home and I forgot about them for five hours.
4.05pm – Shout out. No response. Plan search through house. Make toast in case search is long and arduous.
4.06pm – Scour upstairs. No one there. Finish toast. Rations low.
4.08pm – Sister watching videos on computer in living room. YouTube. Much laughing. Safe and also alive. Success.