A giant bag of skittles and 43 needles
Today, late afternoon but last year, I was nervously pacing beside our station wagon while the girls sat inside it leaning from the backseat to the front, warming their hands with the heater up high. Music was blaring inside the car but I could barely hear it through the car doors and with my mobile pressed against my right ear and my hand over my left. I was trying to block out traffic noises, bird noises and the occasional kid noises that came sporadically through the space at the top of the car window.
The girls watching my pacing intensifying and laughing while wide-eyed, then moaning while eye-rolling and tapping on the glass which is more amusing for any parent to watch than irritating. Especially when there's four kids doing it all at once. I was in no way going to let their dramatics distract me while on the phone, trying so hard to listen, to the recruiter discussing with me, ME! the role I've been dreaming of.
I'd rattle of the list of questions I needed to ask and turned away from looking at the car to see the beautiful snowy mountains, where we had been staying and felt my nose freezing a little while the recruiter talked about working in Bali.
I caught a glimpse of a car door opening and quickly covered the mouthpiece of my phone, narrowed my eyes and growled. At them. As you do. Um, don't you?
"We are progressing your application to the next round, the interview is Wednesday, what time would suit you?".
Ridiculously calmly I suggested 10am, thanked the recruiter and hung up. I gave the kids the finger, the one that meant 'I'll be one minute', raced into the service station shop that was beside the carpark that was beside the park and bought THE BIGGEST BAG OF SKITTLES you've ever seen. Why the shop had industrial sized bags of skittles, i'll never know but I'm pretty sure it's for when your Mum has to break news to you and doesn't know how your'e going to react. Times like theses.
I opened the drivers door of the car where my darlings were still breathing, thankfully and leaned in to turn down the stereo which was quieter anyway than the off the hook screaming with joy (because I hadn't bothered to hide the skittles) and shushed them while sharing out the candy. And sat down. And turned around. And calmly stated that I have an interview to work in Bali for a year and how do you all feel about that.
They grinned, rainbow teethy, chipmunk cheeky grins and I was happy with that.
This was a well thought out, cunningly devised technique...
No, it wasn't. Although, fast-forward ten weeks and the skittles got our family through 43 needles, the vaccines required by my organisation for living in the tropics, so THANKYOU skittles.
It's called the Rainbow distraction technique, TM.