Day Twenty-Two: Ibis Trouble – Tuesday 21 July 2015

The Ibis is on the upper end of the budget hotel list but certainly toward the bottom end of the pleasant bird list. Today Milo had a face-to-face encounter with this winged leathery miscreant.

It appears Milo has entirely forgotten how to go to sleep by himself, or indeed how to stay asleep in his cot. Last night was unsettled to say the least and poor Kuepps bore most of the brunt. Seemingly tired of tormenting his mother Milo was up before 0600 and reasonably cranky right from the get-go. Kuepps handed him off around 0645 and headed off to work, a little bleary eyed and planning how and when she might be able to nap under her desk, Costanza style.

We ran through our tricks pretty early on this morning; inspecting the plants from inside the living room, inspecting the plants from outside on the balcony, rolling Milo’s vast selection of balls back and forth to each other, chasing Huckleberry (AKA Suckleberry, AKA Punckleberry, AKA Hucklebelly, AKA Huck-Bomb), chasing Suu Kyi, throwing the colourful wooden rings down the stairs, stabbing things with the plastic spoon, pushing Elefun over, crawling through the tunnel, throwing things into the Hellofresh box, pulling things out of the Hellofresh box. Alas all of this only got us until about 0800 before there was eye rubbing and insistent whinging.

Milo was reluctant to let me settle him so there was no option but to get into bed with him. We slept comfortably like this for about an hour or so but by 0915 we were up again with Milo not particularly refreshed.

By 1030 we had eaten second breakfast and were in the car on our way to Centennial Park for a change of scenery. The change wasn’t immediately well received but after about 30 minutes of intermittent complaining Milo fell asleep in the pram (as is becoming a feature of the modern Milo era). This proved successful and we managed to stroll for a pleasant hour or so through the parklands and ponds. I had dressed like hipster dad rather than practical strolling dad so was ready to sit down by the time he awoke anyway.

We dashed to the cafe and ordered a hot dog and a quinoa salad to share (along with Milo’s fruit pouch, super high end organic mega cracker and dried apricots). Lunch was progressing very well until a local deviant Ibis, who had been circling us for about 20 minutes, finally decided we had eaten enough of our lunch and his claim on our leftovers was at risk. This creature was not even vaguely apprehensive about my feeble shooing gestures, or even the spectacle of me waving my hat in its direction. First it ate the small pile of detritus I had piled up on the table (I don’t like food detritus on my plate), then it ate Milo’s stash of reserve chicken I had separated from the rest of the salad, then it tried to eat the plastic lid of Milo’s fruit pouch, then the pouch itself. By now it was about 10cm from my son with its ridiculous beak flashing at us, looking like a pointy, shrunken, dehydrated elephant’s trunk. I tried to keep my cool but was starting to panic a little, it was by now not even flinching at my gesticulating and whatever I tossed at it the creature caught in its beak and casually tossed aside. Finally I realised the menacing recalcitrant was after the handful of rocket Milo was pushing into his mouth. There are two unusual aspects to this sentence; firstly that Milo was willingly feeding himself rocket and secondly that a wild bird would be interested in it, I guess we were in the Eastern Suburbs.

Just as the beast was about to lunge we were saved by our barista who launched himself at the fiend and tossed a bucket of water upon it. We thanked our saviour, gathered what was left of our lunch and walked casually but swiftly back to the car.

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Moments before the attack

After our ordeal you would think Milo would be more than ready for some peaceful sleep, not so. We had another tussle before his afternoon nap which eventually resulted in me lying with him again until he was snoring (foolishly I still had my shoes on). Daytime co-sleeping is a troubling development.

I managed a little gardening before Milo was up again with about an hour of playing before mum arrived home, a long day for her. After cooking Milo a mega omelette he gave us an hour and a half or so of peace so we spent it in style with pizza, West Wing and champagne (well, at least sparkling Australian white). He was up again before too long so here I sit in bed with him for the third time today tapping away. Alas, it is a rest day in the Tour so fingers crossed for a peaceful night.

  • Total number of West Wing Episodes – 10
  • Centimetres from certain Ibis death – 10
  • Winter temperature in Centennial Park today – 20
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