Matthew, our second child (and only boy) is 7 years old (and a bit).

He is so different to my girls, who are a lot more like me. This can sometimes make it hard for me to connect with him – admittedly, it sometimes is actually a real struggle that we are working on together. I feel like he has missed out on a lot of me. Firstly, because when he was born I a) had a pretty shitty birth which impacted my emotions a lot in the early days and b) I also had a toddler to care for and was learning how to be a mama of two. Secondly, because when he was a toddler, I was pregnant, and then I had a baby. So I really believe there actually is something to the “middle child” thing that people talk about. I feel like he’s not had the one on one time the girls have had. Haylee, before he was born (and now that she’s older and “easier” and we have shared hobbies), and Milly while the big two were at school. I haven’t prioritised time alone with him, which is something I wish was different – because I know when I have, he just lights up and feels SO special. I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with him on a deeper level. I feel like it’ll be like getting to know each of them all over again, without the distraction and “busy-ness” of life as we’ve known it.

Anyway, I feel like this trip is going to offer so much opportunity for this little guy. I think his sweet, sensitive, quirky and somewhat introverted soul will be well suited to this new lifestyle. He has never been a huge fan of school, so I’m excited to see him flourish when he’s learning things his own way. He has always seemed happier and more content when we’ve been camping, even though they’ve only been short trips so far.

If I was to describe Matthew in a few words, I would say he is: kind, sensitive, quiet, quirky and imaginative – he is the one out of my three who loves imaginary play and is happily able to entertain himself for hours with some game or scenario he’s created!

At the moment, he is absolutely mad about bikes, so I see lots of bike adventures in our future, and it makes me so happy to know that we can easily incorporate something he loves into our new life, on a more regular basis than what we do now. In fact, because he’s almost outgrowing his current bike, I’m thinking we might be surprising him with a new one before we leave! He’s pretty keen to get a real mountain bike with gears, etc.

I think he thought being interviewed was a bit funny, and a fun game, so our interview was quite funny – I should have filmed it though, because it was his facial expressions that really made it!

Anyway, here’s what he had to say:

Me: “So buddy, what do you think about this big trip”

Matthew: “It’s gonna be FUN”

Me: “What are you looking forward to the most?”

Matthew: “Bringing my bike, and riding my bike on the road”

Me: “What are some of the other things you’re going to bring with you?”

Matthew: “My ninja turtles!”

Me: “Where are you going to sleep?”

Matthew: “The middle bunk, because it’s medium high”

Me: “And what places do you want to see the most/”

Matthew: “The DESERT”

Me: “And what else?”

Matthew: “Ummmm……the BEACH”

Me: “What state do you want to see the most?”

Matthew: “I know the state, it’s in the middle, up the very top…..”

Me: “The Northern Territory?”

Matthew: “YEAH! That one!”

Me: “What do you think we’ll see there”

Matthew: “I don’t know”

Me: “But you just want to go there?”

Matthew: “Yeah”

Me: “Cool! What do you think it’ll be like to live in a caravan for a long time?”

Matthew: “BORING!”

Me: “Boring? Why?”

Matthew: “Because we can’t bring all our toys with us”

Me:”What do you think it’ll be like to have dad home with us all the time because he doesn’t have to work?”

Matthew: “………fun……..but we won’t get to have any more pancakes”

Me: “Well, we can still cook pancakes when we’re in the caravan! What about school, will you miss going to school?”

Matthew: “No”

Me: “What do you hate the most about school?”

Matthew: “Number facts!”

Me: “What do you think will be the best part about homeschooling?”

Matthew: (fart noise) “No. Bad”

Me: “You think homeschooling is bad?”

Matthew: “Yeah because you can’t play with toys”

Me: “Why not?”

Matthew: “Because you’re not allowed to, you just have to play without them.”

Me: “You’re allowed to play with toys!!! And playing can help you learn!”

Matthew: “Yeah like when you play with Ninja Turtles you learn that they’re from NYC”

Me: “What does NYC stand for?”

Matthew: “New York City”

Me: “Do you know where New York City is?”

Matthew: “I know it’s…..in the continent that’s up above us, that’s bigger than us”

Me: “What else do you think you could learn when you’re not at school?”

Matthew: “Deadly animals, off of Deadly 60”

Me: “Awesome! We might even get to see some Deadly 60 animals in real life! What other kinds of animals do you think we might see?”

Matthew: “An oooowl!”

Milly (butting in haha): “I know! A pig!”

Me: “Do you think we should go north or south first?”

Matthew: “North! Oh mum, there’s an understanding for north south east west. It’s called north east south west, never eat soggy weetbix”

Me: “What do you think we will eat for breakfast?”

Matthew: “Weetbix!”

Me: “Who will you miss the most when we leave?”

Matthew: “Jack” (our neigbour)

Me: “Just Jack? Who else?”

Matthew: “Granny…….and Ma, and Jack…..oh and Grandpa, and Pa”

Milly (butting in again): “Are you going to miss the entire galaxy?”

Me: “What food do you think we should take with us?”

Milly (butting in again): “Apples, carrots…”

Matthew: “Carrots….bananas…..and mum can we buy some more Uglies cookies? And choc chip bikkies that you make – they’re the BEST. And I’m going to help you!”

Me: “Do you think you could make cookies yourself?”

Matthew: “No way. I have to wait til I’m a teenager!”

Me: “Why?”

Matthew: “Because I have no idea how to make them” (his look here was so funny!)

Me: “Hmmm well that’s a lot of questions. Is there anything else you want to say? How do you feel about the trip?”

Him: “Good! Oh, and I also want to go to Western Australia”

Me: “So last question, do you think the trip will be awesome or terrible?”

Matthew: “AWESOME”


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