Finding our way home

>> Wednesday, 4 June 2008

We're on our way home, but have stopped off in Singapore for a couple of days to catch up with some friends (as you do...).

We arrived yesterday evening after leaving Green Island on Monday and overnighting in Sydney before setting off on the first leg home. The weather as we left far north Queensland was of course beautiful; not too hot, a balmy 25 deg C, and the ferry trip back to mainland was across a sea as smooth as a millpond.

The Boys adopted an older couple as surrogate grandparents on the 50 minute trip; they had made the mistake of showing interest in chatting about fish, and that was it. It was interesting and slightly embarrassing to watch their demeanour change from benevolent bystanders to our family adventure, to that of two slightly hunted people who had forgotten - but are fast-being reminded - of how full-on time spent with young children can be.

The ferry was on the small side and almost completely empty, so Husband and I were busy keeping a weather eye on Boy #2 who was doing a fine impression of a meerkat, popping his head up in one row of seats to grin cheekily at us, before disappearing from view and resurfacing somewhere else a minute or so later. It was rather like he was participating in some bizarre kind of 'bat the rat' game...

Whilst we were trying to make sure that his younger brother stayed inside the cabin, Boy #1 was engaged by 'surrogate gran' in conversation as she attempted to inform him of various interesting facts about the fish featured on the promotional video being shown. However, the fact that he had spent the previous day on a pontoon on the outer reef, and was even tempted into the water on a couple of occassions, combined with his exhaustive study of that underwater classic 'Finding Nemo', means that he sees this as his area of speciality. After crocodiles, of course - but that goes without saying. As a result, he either corrected her (in his defence, I will say he was usually right), or downright ignored what she had said in an attempt to continue her education on the finer points of the plot of his favourite film. This consisted mainly of recapping Marlon the clown fish's epic trip to rescue his son from an aquarium in a dentist's surgery, and in a discussion of what the pelican that gives him and Dorey a lift is actually called...

I was always a bit wary of over-confident children, but am fast coming to realise that when it's your own the last thing you want to do is squash them down. Still, a conversation on not interrupting and listening to what other people say, came later. And no doubt will be repeated. And repeated. And repeated...

In any case, by the time we docked surrogate 'gran and grandad' couldn't get away fast enough, with Boy #1 calling goodbye and waving Splashy the cuddly shark in their general direction to illustrate one of the points he had made about a Great White's teeth...

And we still can't remember the pelican's name.


aims 4 June 2008 at 15:35  


I'd probably be like that too....smiling a welcome - grinning teeth shark goodbye...

Not being a parent means you can only take them for so long. Then you start searching the eyes around you to find the guilty party to hoist the little ones back on to.

Home soon huh?

Samurai Beetle 4 June 2008 at 18:01  

The Pelican's name in Finding Nemo is Nigel. Yeah I'm going to do really well with kids - I already have all the Pixar movies memorized and I know their pantone colors! Counter effect of working with Disney/Pixar licensed characters for 7 years. Weee!!!! Fun.

Elsie Button 4 June 2008 at 18:07  

Oh I love it - very funny - he sounds adorable - and bloody good for him! Nemo rocks!

Nora 4 June 2008 at 18:20  

Other people's children can wear you down pretty quickly before the patient parents realize it is happening already, being immune to the not so cuteness of their own offspring. I too have gotten that haunted ambushed look in my eyes when beset upon by another person's little sweetheart and I am a very patient person. You do reach an age when even your own grandchildren aren't all that cute anymore. Let's face it, we are beyond that certain age and just don't have the patience anymore. Thank god almighty we're free at last!

Carolyn 5 June 2008 at 07:39  

What an excellent adventure. I've loved hearing about it. Safe onward travels!

Couple of other notes...

I just read the online Telegraph article in which you were mentioned. Congrats!

And... Best of the Blogs voting has ended, but thanks anyway. Punk Rock Mommy won and I'm so glad she did.

Hadriana's Treasures 5 June 2008 at 18:53  

We haven't got past the opening scenes of Nemo as yet...too traumatic for my daughter. I'll have to watch it on my own when they've gone to bed!

Grit 6 June 2008 at 08:30  

i am a big fan of chattering children!! i think it's wonderful that children tell people about things that interest them. and i think children's ideas are interesting! as adults we want to share things that are important to us and we feel lonely if we don't. surely the same applies for children. & no-one has to do much with a chattering child; after the first fifteen minutes just providing polite 'uhu' background noises is usually enough.

Potty Mummy 6 June 2008 at 20:26  

Hi Aims, right ball park on the name, but Samurai Beetle got it right - thanks for having a go though, it sounded right to me.

SB, ah I remember the days when I would have known that off-pat too. It's particularly embarrassing that I forgot since I too worked on a promotion for that movie - toys for cereal packs, a bit of a roller coaster to be honest! And you're right - all that knowledge can come in handy (when you're able to access it...)

Hello Elsie, and Nemo is the king of the ocean, no argument. (And what was that question, btw? Do you need an e-mail address?)

Hi Nora, you know I always thought that is probably one of the best things about being a grandparent - you can hand the kids back when things get a bit frantic...

Hi Carolyn, thanks and we did get home safely if somewhat jet-lagged. Thanks too for the congrats on the newspaper article. And sorry you didn't win - haven't read the blog that did, but it must be good...

Hello Hadriana, I know just what you mean about Nemo - but do what we (still) do - start it after the upsetting opening scene. Wrapping them in cotton wool it may be, but I'm just as soft as you sound!

Grit, you described it perfectly. I'm a fan, too. Though admittedly, more of my own chattering children than other people's.

Elsie Button 6 June 2008 at 21:37  

yes! you can email me at and i will reply...

(please don't be disappointed with what i have to say - with time going by, it has been blown out of all proportion!)

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