Shhhh! Quite little one!”
I was trying. Really I was. But my wellingtons were squeaking.
I was sitting on the kitchen table and my dad was dressing me. I had my rain coat on and my wellington boots because we were going to wash the trucks that my dad drove.”
We had to be quiet because at the other end of the house my baby sister and mum were fast asleep. It was hard to sleep with a baby in the house. We were all tired. But dad said that mummy was the most tired because she had to get up all the time. I wasn’t too sure about that. Being a big sister was pretty exhausting.
“Okay, lets go.” said dad, picking me up off the table and plopping me on the floor.
Squeek! There they went again. It was because they were new. We had just bought them at the shoe shop yesterday.They were bright red and dad said that the rubber wasn’t used to having feet inside them. So they squeaked. I looked down at the toes. “Shhhh!” I said.
Dad laughed. “Let’s go Meggs.”
My name wasn’t Meggs. Dad just called me that after the comic strip Ginger Meggs. It was because I had red hair just like Ginger Meggs and dad liked both the comic strip and my hair. Ginger Meggs was always pretty naughty…and a boy…but I didn’t mind. I liked my real name, but I liked dad calling me something special too. And I guess I was a bit cheeky too. Maybe it was because I had red hair?
Anyway, dad and I were on a mission. We snuck out of the house, squeaky wellingtons and all, and headed for dad’s truck which was parked down our street. I always got excited walking past the Chew’s house with all of their boys hanging out the window watching us climb into the truck. They were the biggest Irish family in the street with the most boys, and I knew that they were all jealous that I got to ride in dad’s truck, especially because I was a girl. Sometimes I would look back at them all and wave goodbye with a big smile.
Pretty soon we were at the truck depot. Dad got all of the cleaning equipment out of the store; buckets, sponges, a big broom and the hose. Then he started soaping up the cab – that’s where the driver and the passenger sit. The back of the truck was as big as a house and dad had to use the old broom to wash all of the panels.
Dad gave me a sponge and a bucket of soapy water to wash the tyres. Truck tyres were huge and much bigger than me and pretty soon I was covered in water and soap suds. Tyres were hard to wash because they were black and it was hard to see if the dirt had come off, so I scrubbed them as hard as I could just to be sure.
Dad came over to inspect my work. I jumped around in the puddles while I waited. My wellies had stopped squeaking now that they were wet.
“Good job Meggs.”
I looked up at him beaming. Dad always thought I did a good job. He always saw how hard I tried. Then he got down on his haunches and handed me the big industrial hose.
“Here you go little one, take the hose and wash all of the suds off. I’ll just be on the other side soaping up the back.”
This was the best part of washing trucks. The hose. You had to hold the hose with two hands, especially if you were little like me. Otherwise it could escape like a big snake and spray water everywhere. That wouldn’t be good because the boss yelled at dad for making a mess and wasting water even though it was my fault. So I was extra careful to hold on tight.
I washed down the tyres, then the doors, then the big side panels of the body. All done. No more soap. The truck looked pretty clean to me. I looked down at my wellingtons covered in suds and washed them off with the hose. Then I saw some suds up near the roof of the truck. No problem. I pointed the hose up so the stream of water arced over the truck to rinse off the roof.
I nearly dropped the hose.
Who screamed? Was that Dad?
I stood still, holding the hose down on the ground. “Dad?”
Something squishy was coming around the truck. Maybe a monster had gotten dad? It sounded really big and huge and…
“Carolann what are you doing?”
Dad stood in front of me dripping wet. What had happened? Had the monster licked him?
“I’m washing the truck dad.” Maybe dad had forgotten I was helping him. Maybe the monster took his brain? Michael Chew said that’s what monsters did. They ate brains and people and naughty kids. I looked past dad and then behind me waiting for the big squishy monster to come and get me…after all I was named after a very naughty kid.
Dad came up to me and took the hose away. Oh no, now I wouldn’t have anything to protect us with. Didn’t dad know that water melted monsters? It was in the bedtime book that Michael Chew had. Water melted monsters and goblins and witches. We didn’t have to worry about goblins and witches, just a big monster.
Dad crouched down next to me. Well that was good. Now I could stand in front of him and protect him by punching the monster and kicking it really hard. I put a big scowl on my face and made a fist like Michael taught me. Come on monster. Just try to get my brain!
“Honey, you wet me with the hose.”
I looked at dad.
“See, when you point the hose up on the roof of the truck like this, the water went over the truck and drenched me.”
I watched the water fly over the truck and heard it hit the concrete on the other side.
“Oh.” I squeaked.
Oh no. I looked down at the ground and my lip started to move like I was going to cry. Oh no, the monster was me!
The dad started to laugh.
“Funny thing! Trust you to drench me with the hose!”
I looked up at dad. He was laughing.
He threw his heard back and laughed again.
I giggled. Oh dear. I had soaked my dad through with the hose. Hahahaha!
We laughed until dad wiped the tears from his eyes.
He looked down at me.
“Little monster, ” he said as he ruffled my red hair. But he said it with a big smile on his face. Like being a monster was a good thing. Maybe it was. Maybe it was ok to be a bit of a monster sometimes. As long as you didn’t eat brains. Just made people laugh.
We packed up the cleaning stuff and climbed back into dad’s truck to head home.
“Squeak!” said my wellingtons.
Dad land I laughed.
Yep. I was the monster in wellington boots.