The Rascally Trio are careering around Marine Gardens like mad things. They are on a Christmas trail to find a dozen posters depicting the Twelve Days of Christmas and I have indicated (nothing stronger, but they know
me so well) that there may be a reward at the end for those who (I) find all twelve posters and (ii) proceed to sing the well-known Christmas song all the way through. With actions.
I had suggested to their mother, Middle of the Darling Daughters, that it might be a good idea to bring their scooters so that it wouldn’t be too much of an issue if they had to continuously retrace their steps in search of overlooked posters.
I knew, from experience, that there might be much retracing of steps, having already followed the trail and solved the mystery riddle with my Little Sister and her fella last week.
To be honest, when my sister, her fella and I were following the trail we didn’t argue, not once, about which one of us had been the first to spot each poster. The same cannot be said for the Trio. Cries of “I saw it first!”
“No, you did not!” “It was me, I was here before either of you!” echo around the park. At one particular Poster Stop, we are serenaded by a lovely gent on a ukulele who plays and sings a ditty of his own composition, all about the Trio
and the fact that they had all come first.
We break off for a short time for the Rascals to satisfy their considerable appetites with chicken nuggets
and chips in the café while my daughter and I enjoy coffee and bowls of chips. Delicious! Faris, eldest of the Trio, studies the piece of card on which we have collected the letter clues so far and announces that he has already solved the puzzle - the
message (perhaps not surprisingly) spells out “Happy Christmas.” We are, however, missing a C, an R and an M, I point out so our Mission is not yet completed.
Back out in the park after our scrumptious lunch, we quickly locate the final poster and begin the pantomime of singing the song. At least, Faris, Tala and I do our best though Contrary Lil (younger of the Twins by one important minute) prefers to go
her own way. I don’t think it is out of embarrassment at our antics - Lilia doesn’t “do” embarrassment.
One of my problems is that,
while I am fairly well up on the verses up to and including “eight maids a-milking”, I tend to come adrift after that. Is is ten lords a-leaping? Or drummers drumming? How many dancers are a-dancing? How many pipers a-piping? The Trio are looking
to take their lead from me and I am making a Right Royal Mess of it.
Back to my house and it’s the Opening of Presents where I have to assure Young
Faris that it’s not the size of the parcel which matters, it’s the importance of the gift within. Fortunately the emergence from the wrapping paper of something he has had near the top of his Santa Wish List makes my point extremely effectively.
Before all of these shenanigans, we had driven to the hospital where Mr B is an increasingly unwilling patient to drop off another bag of treats for him. I have absolutely
no idea if he is receiving them - I suspect this daily drop-off ritual is more for my own benefit than Mr B’s. Although we couldn’t see him (or even know which window might be his Ward) the Trio waved their very best to send him every wish for
Christmas. Why couldn’t they see him? they all protested, echoing my own inmost thoughts.
Don’t worry, I told them (with all the confidence a
Nanni could muster) - he might not be able to see them, but I was as sure as sure could be that he would be able to feel the love...