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It is pouring with rain.  We are on Day 2 of an 800+ kilometre drive from Exmouth to Monkey Mia.  We have stopped for the night at the small port-town of Carnarvon because Alice has been screaming for hours in the car.  

Dave and I have just gotten into our first argument of the trip and I am finding it difficult to cool off because we are literally in the middle of nowhere. Mia, the official trip commentator, swiftly put us both in our place.  ‘Mr David’, she said,’just because someone is mean to you (referring to my less-than-choice words) does not allow you to give it back to them.’  Such insightful words spoken from the mouth of a babe might better have been applied several hours earlier… but for now we were driving in silence.

It seemed the honeymoon stage of the trip was doneskies. The excitement had worn off (at least temporarily) and I had woken up this morning with a sudden realisation that I now lived in a caravan. What was I thinking when I agreed to this?

You see, despite our geographical transportation from the Sydney rat race to paradise, it became apparent that the caravan had not been equipped with a magic wand that ensured the garbage still got brought out, laundry got folded, children slept and were well behaved. Combined with the fact that Dave had completely forgotten not to attempt to speak to me before I had my morning shower and double shot of coffee, there was seemingly going to be a bit of trouble in paradise. Perhaps today would make a good reality tv show.  

Having gradually begun to adjust to travelling and living in each other’s pockets 24/7 seems to have the effect, as a family, of putting the best and worst of each of us under a giant magnifying glass that is squarely aimed at the sun. Sometimes the light refracts to make a beautiful rainbow, whereas other times the intensity of light through the glass starts a raging bushfire. Either way, we are only eight days into the trip so we are going to need to agree on strategies to make living in such close proximity work.  

I perhaps need to lower my expectations of Dave as a BFF who will always share my interest in sitting for hours sipping cups of tea and discussing Alice’s sleep patterns. Dave maybe needs to realise that when all three kids are going nuts, it may be time to land the drone, or stop fiddling with his boat (or other item of outdoor gear) and come inside.

There are new things I have learned from being in such a confined space with my beloveds.  While I don’t know if I will ever learn to love wearing my thongs to take a shower each day or bumping my head every time I get out of bed to feed in the middle of the night, I have been blessed with a unique confine of time to get to go deeper with those I love most.


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