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Sunday, January 13, 2013

"Who flogged me thongs?"

 As part of the verbal slurs entrenched in every day conversations, they took to bestowing girly nicknames on each other.
“Mum! Harriet (Hagar) took my basketball shoes to his mate's and I have training in ten minutes!”
“They’re my thongs Tamara (Thaddeus) giv ‘em back!”
“You took my thongs on the weekend and lost them Jacqueline (Jonah)!”
“I’ll punch you in the head if you don’t giv ‘em back Patricia (Padraic).”

Shoes and the rightful possession thereof, was the common theme underlying a large percentage of the aggression.  I’m speculating that it was because they all had, more or less, similar sized feet. Most of Lulu’s shoes were auspiciously pink so she escaped any of the footwear- category altercations.

There was a whopping great wicker basket outside our front door which housed all of their mud splattered thongs, school shoes, runners, soccer and rugby boots, basketball shoes and the occasional mystery sock. Every week day morning there would be a panicked skirmish around the wicker basket. Shoes would be flying out in all directions as the boys attempted to identify school shoes (which unfortunately were all  exactly the same black leather, lace up type) while I sat in the four wheel drive watching the clock tick towards another late arrival at school.

One morning as my four wheel drive pulled up in the school drop off zone there was an earsplitting scream behind me. All doors of the car opened at the same time with five kids launching themselves out shrieking and shouting in obvious terror. Propelling myself out of the car at high speed I ran around to the collection of distraught and roaring children standing on the footpath to see what was going on.

Apparently a large cane toad had taken up residence in one of their shoes overnight and had delivered a lovely squishy surprise when the owner attempted to insert his foot. I shook the offending creature from the shoe and we watched it hop away down into a gutter looking slightly traumatised.
The mums in the cars lined up behind us probably had a good laugh.