Kids in a sorry state over bike ride
THE biggest problem with living on a bus with the kids is, ironically, the same thing which makes it wonderful: their company.
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry,” screamed Miss10, half-a-step behind a crying Miss7.
I could tell from Miss10's protests it wasn't the sort of "I'm sorry” which comes with genuine remorse so much as it was "I'm sorry you're going to tell Mum and Dad about this”.
Naturally - and by that I mean because Tracey wasn't around at that moment so I sort of had to - I asked what happened.
"She ran into me with the bike,” sobbed Miss7.
The grazed skin on her leg confirmed some sort of altercation, but as any parent of more than one child would know, there's always two sides to a story. Even if there's not.
"It wasn't my fault,” said Miss10. I suspected as much. I think Miss10 will end up being a solicitor one day. Like her old man, she loves to get her teeth into a good argument. "I yelled for her to get out of my way but she didn't.”
"So why didn't you turn and miss her?” I asked.
"Because I was too busy pedalling.”
I thought about that. "Pedalling?”
This genuinely seemed to confuse her.
"Why would I have been braking?”
"So you didn't hit me,” shouted Miss7, pointing at her injured leg.
"But I told you to get out the way and you didn't,” said Miss10. "In fact, the more I think about this the more I think the accident was entirely your fault.” Adding, presumably because she's not one to hold a grudge when she's blaming someone else for her own mistake, "I accept your apology.”
And with that she walked off.
No, she didn't get far.
A short time later - 10 minutes to be precise - she'd done her time out to think about where she'd gone wrong with that exchange and was to be found seeking out a freshly bandaged Miss7 to issue her with a proper apology.
And by proper I mean formal.
"Here's my apology I made for you,” Miss10 told her little sister as she produced a sheet of paper with a flourish and then proceeded to read it.
"It says I am super, duper, duper, duper, duper sorry.”
"Okay,” said Miss7.
"So you accept my apology?”
"Yes,” said Miss7.
"Good,” said Miss10, handing a pen to her sister, placing the paper on the table and pointing to a spot. "Now if you'll just sign here to say you recognise this apology...” Miss7 made a scribble, "...and now here to say I have permission to be your sister again...” more scribble/some giggle, "... and here, if you want to say you enjoyed doing all this signing.”
Like I say, living in each other's pockets means we're there for every squabble - and OMG there are lots of them - but it also means we're more likely to be amongst it when they're getting along and getting stuck into the fun stuff together.
Fair trade, I say. God, I'm loving this big lap idea so much.
But also, can I just add how super duper excited I am at the moment. It could really come in handy having a solicitor in the family.
Learn more about Bruce's efforts to raise his family on little more than laughs at bigfamilylittleincome.com