I flew my family to Adelaide for my graduation ceremony this week. Poor suckers. Even I was bored and I was the one being celebrated!
The flight was long and boring. Cailee’s go to manipulation when she doesn’t get what she wants is to say she needs the toilet, knowing full well we will drop everything to avoid being covered in piddle. So she was up and down the aisles pointing out funny looking passengers and pressing buttons in the toilet (without actually going of course). In classic “Girl Who Cried Wolf” style I did ignore her once in the past only to have her drop a pile of crap onto the floor, so I tend to humour her now.
We went to Port Adelaide when we landed because Cailee wanted to see dolphins. We went on a dolphin cruise but it was a really shitty day and didn’t actually see a single dolphin. I did see some pretty impressive container and general freight ships and it may have been me and not my child who was pointing at them in wonder and waving to the deckhands.
At the conclusion of the ride, she very matter-of-factly informed me that there were no dolphins because the sharks got hungry and ate them.
Another day, we went to the zoo and got to see the only pandas in the southern hemisphere. The panda looked pretty much like I do most Saturday nights.
We then made the terribly informed choice to go to the children’s section of the zoo and feed the goats and deer inside their enclosure. Big mistake. Big scary goat with devil eyes ripped the bag of food straight out of Cailee’s hands as soon as the door was opened. Then about six of the fuckers stampeded us and Cailee just about shit herself. I thought it was funny, but I was still on the other side of the fence and not being mauled. We grabbed another bag and headed over to the other side of their enclosure where the less psychotic and more docile animals were chilling. So we thought anyway.
Cailee looked on very calmly and actually quite amused as Bambi tried to eat her. “Look mummy! He’s eating my shirt”. Her mirth grew as James was subsequently molested by two goats, a grand total of about a zillion times. Every time I put my camera away, these two freaky looking reject goats jumped on him, pawing at his chest and trying to eat his beard. I laughed my head off at his revulsion, as they were tracking sheep poo all over his shirt. Hey, it wasn’t MY shirt.
The day after was James’ birthday and we went to Hahndorf where I told him we would eat the entire town. I am not entirely sure he believed me, but upon our arrival we set about eating the following: pork belly, white chocolate cheesecake, fresh strawberries, pastries, sampled local cheeses and then ate an entire block of one, two types of licorice, some biscuit and dip samples, home made icecreams, samples from three different lolly shops and to top it off, a chicken krakau which is a cheese kransky wrapped in chicken wrapped in bacon smothered in a creamy garlic sauce with red cabbage and mashed taters and is just utterly divine!
We wandered through McLaren Vale and marvelled at the sheer amount of wineries. If I’d had time I’d have taken him through the Barossa and then he’d have been really flummoxed. Sadly being the designated driver because I married a total wimp who refuses to drive in a city, I couldn’t sample all the tasty beverages. We trotted off to Victor Harbour where it was exceptionally windy and I tried to teach Cailee how to play mini golf.
She was pretty terrible at it. She didn’t quite grasp the concept that you need to leave the ball where it lands to make the next shot. She kept picking it up and bringing it back to us. I suppose when you try and reward good behaviour with treats like you do a dog, it’s inevitable she’d pick up some doggy traits. The urge to throw her a stick was strong, but I resisted.
We also went through the SA Art Gallery. I love the art gallery because it houses one of my favourite paintings that is always reproduced in mythology textbooks – it’s one of Circe poisoning the water. Can’t remember what it’s called, but I love it. Cailee was remarkably disinterested in the amazing paintings but obsessed with the statues. We walked into one gallery and she stops in her tracks. “Mummy! What’s all that mess?” she asks, pointing at the floor where this was…
“Oh that’s not mess love, that’s more art.”
“That is NOT art mummy, it’s just rocks!”
Yes, my daughter has clearly inherited my limited capacity for art wank and I love her for it. This was out the front of the gallery…
“Mummy! That house is falling down. That’s not a very good house.”
All of which led us to Thursday where this happened.
It took me six years to finally earn my degree. Six years of serious frustration and anger. I felt like a complete twat at the ceremony catching up with all the other students who are all working in fancy hospitals and doing wonderful things. I couldn’t even tell them when I start my grad position. Oh yes, I do have one, but I don’t have a confirmed start date beyond 2014 ANY TIME. This led some of them to question how bad my grades were, despite the fact that I have an impressive array of academic awards.
Actually, now that it’s all over I’m seriously considering what to do with the rest of my life. I really like studying. I know, I’m insane. But this semester, my English degree is really making me question my priorities because I feel excited about what I’m doing more than I ever have before.