Parents of children old enough to squabble, will be familiar with the following:

Shotgun – this means, I saw it first, I’m getting it first, OR I’m NOT doing it first!

No Backsies – this enables the child to run up, hit someone, and acquire immunity from any slaps back.

Spotto – requires the child to punch everyone in the car, when they spot a yellow car whilst out and  about

Yeah-nah – translation: I’ve thought about it and you can stick it!

“Shotgun” is the most frequently used around here, and doesn’t Fitty hate it! He has outlawed the word, but this hasn’t lessened it’s use or effectiveness around our home.

Every time we get in the car, the word Shotgun is the first we hear. It means “I get the front seat”. 7 has mastered this technique and it is usually her sitting up front on the school bus runs. Every now and again 8 outsmarts her and cops a few harsh words from 7, for being so quick. 8 has learned to enjoy his victories, limited as they are. If only they designed a family vehicle with 3 extra front seats.

Shotgun is also the first word they use when they have to do the dishes. 6,7 and 8 have the responsibility of setting and clearing the table, washing up, drying up, putting away and wiping down surfaces in the kitchen and dining areas. These tasks are completed with the MAXIMUM of fuss, fighting, and competitiveness. I have even heard 7 say ” but I carried that fork out for dad when he was at the barbie. Why do I have to help with the dishes?”

None of them, for some reason, want to do the washing up. They compete for drying and putting away duties. If you are wondering why a household of our size has no dishwasher, the answer lies somewhere in the complex mind of Fitty. He says we DO have a dishwasher, 3 in fact. 6,7 and 8. Fitty believes that dishwashers use too much water, and as we are on tank water and rely on rainfall, (remember that? – RAIN… wasn’t it nice?) or the local water carting cartel, who wear diamonds and 3 piece suits bought from the profits of selling water at 250% mark up! Whoops! Getting a bit off track here, anyway, Fitty says NO to a dishwasher, and the best advice I can give him at the moment is to just wait until we renovate the kitchen, by then it will be too late to stop me from buying one!

The “yellow car” game was introduced to 6 by my nephew Ryan, on holiday in Qld. Thanks Ryan! The game took hold, and soon every time we got in the car I began to fear for my capillaries. I bruise very easily, and would often look like I had been beaten about the arms and legs after a small trip to the shops. This was not helped at all by the fact that I continually forgot about the yellow ute that 2 is putting back together parked on our block. I could dodge every punch on the street, but would arrive home and cop a punch at the top of the driveway!

6 is probably going to be a solicitor. I say this because he comes up with the most complex and convoluted arguments as to why he should or shouldn’t do stuff. Most of the time 7 is fairly helpful, but not so very helpful as 8 who deserves a special mention here. Fitty and I are astounded sometimes by just how little he complains, and how quickly he responds to requests from us. 6 and 7 could learn a thing or two from him!