I’m a horrible daughter. And I have a tendency to lead my nieces and nephews astray. I’m the bat-poop crazy aunt that all the kids love; the same aunty that terrifies their parents. I’ve written blog posts about the atrocious things my children have done in the name of fun; and I’m starting to realise they may get it from me! If it’s genetic, it’s my parents fault, not mine.
One holiday weekend we were staying on my brother’s cattle farm in the Australian countryside. My mum has a caravan on his farm that she sleeps in when we visit. It gives her peace and quiet away from all of her grandkids, as she’s now in her 70’s.
I took the kids shopping one day, and on the way back to the farm, I told them stories about how Nanny was “absolutely terrified” of earthquakes. They were all roaring with laughter. It was during this trip that I hatched a clever scheme … one that would give us all a good laugh if it went according to plan. I devised that when Nanny went for her afternoon nap in the caravan, I would gather the kiddies all together and we would surround the caravan, then start gently rocking it from side to side. I had them convinced that if it woke Nanny up, she would think it was an earthquake! I had them in hysterics in the car, and they were begging me to “do it today Aunty Cath!”
It just so happened that as soon as we arrived back on the farm … you guessed it … Nanny was in the caravan, fast asleep.
I gathered all the children around me like a mother hen and told them that even though they were laughing hysterically, we had to be very quiet or Nanny would know it was us! One of the oldest children’s job was to hide behind the car and use their mobile phone to film Nanny coming out of the caravan. The rest of them then surrounded the van, and I had my burly strong sons on the corners to get that van a rockin’.
I counted … one, two, three, GO! … and they put their shoulders to the metal sides and put all the strength their little bodies could muster into starting a rhythm. It began to gently sway, then the biggest grandkids got that van shaking from side to side. They were red-faced and having the time of their lives. We heard a noise inside, but true to their word, they kept that van rocking.
Suddenly – the caravan door burst open, and Nanny flew through the opening screaming “E A R T H Q U A K E!”. She ran down the steps and bolted for her life, completely disoriented. By this time, the kids were screaming with laughter. Nanny saw the older child duck behind the car with their camera in hand, and as she looked around and gathered her bearings, noticed her beloved grandchildren’s heads popping around the caravan, all roaring and screaming with laughter and love, having the time of their lives.
She put her hands on her hips, and bellowed at the top of her lungs … “CATHY!”
Why do I get the blame for everything? And how did she know it was me?
© 2015 CEW