Here on Baylys Beach, on New Zealand's north island, my husband shows his true, non-law-abiding Kiwi colours by giving the girls a driving lesson - confident in the knowledge that, you know, being six and seven shouldn't preclude one from learning to drive.
In a comfortable fog of jet lag just hours after arriving from Singapore, we drive up and down, up and down this gloriously deserted beach, the girls taking turns behind the wheel and me keeping a wary eye on the rising tide. Later we let them sprawl out in the back with the van door wide open as we take turns at the wheel. Doog's favourite New Zealand singers (Bic Runga and Dave Dobbyn) are cranked to the max and we are blissfully unaware ... until a guy in a Jeep drives right for us, gesturing wildly towards the back of the van.
“Hey! HEY!” he screams. “Your kid!”
And we're all like: “What? What? What?!!!”
And he’s yelling “Your KID! She just fell OUT!”
And there in the rearview mirror, yes indeed, is our Molly sprawled out on her back, spitting chunks of wet sand into the air. We do a quick U-turn. A mouth full of sand and barely a tear - now that's one tough kid. She's even cool enough to re-enact her tumble for this picture, and then we all hastily agree on one thing: Never, under any circumstances, tell Grandma.