I got a hippopotamus for Christmas

I love prudent advice and wise insights.

During our trip around Australia, I shared a Cairns house and worked to save money for the next leg of our journey. There were 15 of us in that house, five nationalities and three jobs (two of which were mine). One of the other tenants was an Aussie with some parts of his face and body not pierced.

One evening after returning from the garden, he shared that, “Licking a cane toad is like doing coke, speed and pot all at the same time.”

I remembered that fact (if indeed it is a fact) not because it’s worth knowing, but because I amused myself slotting the word ‘writing’ into either side of his euphoric parallel and imagining it would still work.

It’s been a wonderful Christmas; days and days of cousins, entertaining, visiting, barbecues, swimming, tiramisu (last year it was trifle) and late nights. But it was almost cruel—how many late nights can kids have? The last ten days have reinforced that tired kids and tired mothers don’t work well together.

We have a week left of harvest and I’m looking forward to it finishing for everyone’s sake. Earlier today I promised myself that I’d be in bed as soon as the girls were (if not before). But now I’m enjoying the peace of the night with the sound of a header working in the distance, and (with no cane toads in sight) I’m content to write and feel the intense happiness it brings.

And now I feel bad. I’ve just reminded myself that having a hard-working, successful, intelligent husband, two daughters, wonderful families, a harvest and a string of very happy get-togethers over Christmas should have provided that euphoria this afternoon when I was instead consumed by fatigue and getting frustrated with Elsie’s behaviour that showed all the signs of the same.

Tomorrow we’ll have a quiet day at home. Just the girls and I. And I will sticky-tape the drinking straw to her face so she can be an elephant. And I will draw the outline of a giraffe so she can colour it in. And I will help her find the blue bucket so she can make wombat stew in the sandpit. And I won’t eat any more tiramisu.

Christmas morning was amazing. Watching your children’s faces on Christmas morning has to be like licking cane toads.

Santa found a yellow hippopotamus and a fluffy duckling and I couldn’t have been more touched by Elsie’s reaction when she sat the two together on the bench and announced, “I love this fluffy duck and this hippopota—hey that’s exactly what I ordered off Santa! He brought them for me! He really did!”

I hope that all of my readers and customers had a very Merry Christmas! Thank you for being either or both of those.

2 thoughts on “I got a hippopotamus for Christmas

  1. Oh your not alone, that I can tell you….crash and burn is all I can do!

    I LOVE that hippo, clever Santa for finding it and that weeny kitchen! OH MY!! Many a cup of tea to be made there in the future.
    Your Daughters are so very sweet, enjoy 🙂


    P.S I have made a note….no licking canetoads….yick!!


  2. What a gorgeous post, Larissa! Glad to hear it was such a lovely Christmas. Hope you enjoyed the wedding, too – can’t wait to see some pics of the outfit 🙂

    PS: Love the pic of the girls in the hats – too cute. Mika’s all crazy hair at the moment and I had to laugh the other day when Evie said ‘Mika, you look like Elsie!’


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s