Driving with children.

Part of today was spent driving with my children. I am a car journey survivor. Sort of! Let me outline every journey ever since they had the ability to talk.

Before we leave I hydrate and feed both children. Send both children to the toilet for a pre-journey wee.

5 minutes into the journey they are dying of thirst. I’m in a catch 22 situation. Give them a drink and there will be a further cry of, ‘I need a wee!’ a few minutes after.

Don’t give them a drink and endure hours of whinging.

Then there is the fact that I am trying my upmost to concentrate, being as that I am in sole charge of all our lives and motorways are scary places. They care not one jot about the imminent risk of life loss posed by me losing concentration, oh no, the main joy they find in car journeys is that they have my undivided attention as we are all trapped in a box together with no escape! 😉 It’s a chance to talk at me incessantly.

The conversation through most of our journey earlier went like this; ‘Mummy? Mummy? Mummy are we still in our town?’ No ‘So are we in the town we’re going to?’ No ‘So where are we?’ Somewhere in the middle. ‘Oh! So is that the town we came from?’ On repeat.

If I’m really lucky, one, (or both!!), will sleep, (this is rare, read here for more on this!), I will be torn between rejoicing and worrying about the effect of the lolling on their necks. The worry will plague me. Until they wake up. When I will wish desperately that they were asleep again!

At some point when they are both asleep, there will be an argument.  Today’s went like this; ‘my friend Ned has green and silver sunglasses.’ ‘They’re green and gold’ ‘They’re silver’ ‘Gold‘ ‘Silver‘ ‘GOLD’ ‘SILVER’ ‘He’s hitting me!’ ‘She pinched me!’ ‘Arghhh!!!!’

(That last bit was me by the way!)

The other issue we always have is over music. They can’t hear it in the back, if I turn it up, one will declare it too loud, then the other will moan they can’t hear and we get caught in a vortex of loud/quiet with one or the other crowing or moaning until my frazzled nerves result in me turning it off. Then they both moan/whinge/cry!!

At some point, ok ok, points during the journey I will inevitably threaten to turn around. But not in the way I’ve made it sound here, sort of calm and measured, usually it will be a massive screech as I run the words together in frustration, ‘RIGHTIFYOUTWODONTPACKITINTHISINSTANTIAMTURNINGALLTHEWAYROUNDTHISROUNDABOUTANDDRIVINGHOME!!!IMEANIT! AREYOULISTENINGTOME?!?!?!’

The whole journey will be accompanied by the dulcet tones of the chilled out sat nag lady suggesting I take the next exit, the exit coming up in 3,2,1, the exit I just passed, wondering if I’d like to turn around when possible.

Sometimes, it’s so loud and so stressful in the car that I don’t notice I’ve missed my turning until we’re halfway into a county we weren’t supposed to be anywhere near, or worse, a country!

Phew! That was a cathartic rant! I know I can’t be the only one who finds it stressful so please, share with me your worst car journey stories! The funnier, (probably only with hindsight!), the better!

Meanwhile, I’ll crack open this vino! 😀

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72 Comments

  1. We have a three hour journey soon and I am DREADING IT.

  2. Oh god, brings me back to when my brother and I were young ones in the car, we must have driven my mother crazy! I’ve all this to look forward to Very well written, I was feeling your pain! #bigpinklink

  3. My aunt was once driving her kids and one of my cousins kept saying, “Mummy?! Mummy?!” And she was late and stressed and told him to shut up and let her concentrate until she got through the traffic and onto the motorway. Once she had got the difficult part of the journey out of the way she said, “Okay darling, what did you want to tell me!” And he said, “You forgot the baby.” He was asleep in the car seat still on the hall floor! It’s a legendary tale in our family. Also I love the term Sat Nag! Am I 10 years behind on this one? #bigpinklink

  4. It is hard work!! Made me laugh though and writing about it always helps

  5. Oh no sounds horrendous! I haven’t endured anything really bad as our first hasn’t arrived yet, and me and my brother were, of course, ideal car passengers (ahem) so I guess I have this all to come! #bigpinklink

  6. haha Sat nag lady! Love that description! #feelyourpain #bigpinklink

  7. I keep thinking of all the poor sods stuck in the traffic at Dover with children- god, could you imagine the whinging?! #bigpinklink

  8. Aww this sounds painful! Our two have a big age gap (12 years) but we still have to stop suddenly for a wee for the eldest and chat all the way ahhhh. Thanks so much for hosting #bigpinklink xx

  9. We went to the seaside at the weekend and it took over 2 hours and that was…interesting! Are we nearly there yet? How many minutes until we’re there? What does that sign mean? Argh! and then the dreaded car sickness… x #bigpinklink

  10. Can I feel smug now that we live in Jersey as it means the longest we ever drive anywhere is 20 mins at a push. Actually, no as this Summer we are heading back to the UK and doing a bit of a road-trip visiting family and friends. What were we thinking????? 😉 #bigpinklink

  11. This made me laugh out loud. Every journey is like this!

  12. If it’s not drink bottles, it’s tissues….it goes on and on and on. Painful. #bigpinklink

  13. So far car journeys aren’t too bad as he’s still so little, although we did a 200 mile trip recently and for the first 50 miles he was crying haha. But I am not looking forward to this in the future and if/when we have more kids…I am one of 4 and our car journeys were always interesting, I was usually car sick too!

    Sat Nag is a brilliant phrase! I find driving stressful at the best of times so this could be my future. #bigpinklink

  14. This has made me glad I can’t drive! Walking is a bit like this as it is! Kids, eh?! They’re never happy! haha 🙂 #BigPinkLink

  15. Oh yes, every parent will relate to this and sympathise. It doesn’t get much better as they get older. I have friends who put a child in the front and one parent in the back to prevent back seat fighting. I don’t personally agree with this, but needs must I guess. Teenagers plug in to their music, but have it so bloody loud, you can’t hear yourself think! Alison x #bigpinklink

  16. Haha!! Love it, and love the picture. I have all this to look forward to but it did remind me of my childhood. My brother used to try and open the car door and once was successful, on a motorway!! Central locking was not a feature we had at the time.
    #bigpinklink

  17. Being in the car with my daughter can be a bit of a nightmare, so I know where you’re coming from! She hates sitting in her car seat unless she’s drowsy. I often have to let her play with my phone in order to get her to stop whinging – either that or bribe her with endless snacks. #bigpinklink

  18. We’ve had some very shouty/screamy car journeys, but I fear the worst (this!!) is yet to come… The eldest is the worst for moaning incessantly, but the youngest is still ok… The youngest still doesn’t have the vocabulary for arguing either, and they still can’t reach each other for pinching purposes!! But I know we have this coming, and it’s scary when I don’t like driving that much anyway, knowing that I’ll have incessant torture to deal with at the same time!! Aaaaaargh!!!!!!!! Thanks for cohostessing!! Xx

  19. Oh it sounds like such fun!! I do not drive which is really annoying most of the time, especially when most of the other people I know can drive. But I think that if I could drive, and the journeys were like this – then I might not bother after all lol. Driving scares me as it is, but this would be terrifying! I think I will stick to being a passenger for now #bigpinklink

  20. Haha i’m glad our two are a little young for this but I’m sure they’ll display these behaviours in the next couple of years. I know for a fact it’ll drive me potty! But, like you, i’ll find solace in wine!
    Potty Adventures
    #bigpinklink

  21. Our car journeys definitely have elements of yours. Now that my oldest can (mostly) read, we get her to read signs and such, and then the younger one gets mad that she can’t read. Or one falls asleep and the other takes great joy in poking and prodding the sleeping one until they inevitably wake. Then lots of grumping and complaining! Some car trips are fine with some real conversations – some are not. It’s hard to tune them out, isn’t it?
    ~Jess
    #bigpinklink

  22. Oh dear sounds like a barrel of laughs! My Piglet hasn’t got the memo that all babies are meant to fall asleep in the car – we had a 3hr journey in June which was extremely painful! #BigPinkLink

  23. The Tale of Mummyhood

    I hate car journeys with children, its a complete nightmare! Hope the vino went down well!

    #bigpinklink

  24. cracking open a vino sounds perfect haha! I find travelling hit and miss tbh. sometimes he is good and other times it is hell. a dvd player has def helped 🙂 #bigpinklink

  25. Oh dear this is so very me! I am such a nervous driver – I mean seriously. I’m one of THOSE types that clings onto the steering wheel with my nose touching the windscreen sticking to the EXACT speed limit and checking my mirrors every 12 seconds (but probably totally ineffectively as I’m too stressed to even know what I’m looking at). Add to that my little one screaming at the tiny one because he has removed his socks, or my personal fave of “Mummy. Wook at dis…” (No explaination follows). Driving and I do not get on. My hubby only just allows me to take them out, especially after the “Stop Mummy! The baby fell out!” incident. (He hadn’t actually fallen out, although he had managed to get out of his car seat somehow and had vanished behind my seat where I couldn’t see him at all). Terrifying stuff! Such a great post though – thank you for the giggles. #bigpinklink x

  26. We did a nine hour stint to the Dordogne a few weeks ago. I sang Ten Little Monkeys for an hour of it.

  27. For us – so far – long journeys have been fairly good on our nerves (4 yr old & 1 yr old). Having said that, my youngest nip can’t talk yet, but Christ can she whinge & roar, holy sh*t. Once she falls asleep, peace is restored. Nip 1 is always good in the car. It’s when Nip 2 can talk, that’s when our car journeys are gonna be likes yours above and that day is coming fast! Great, funny post. #bigpinklink

  28. YES!!! Am with you on all of this. I’ve had arguments break out about the type of music, the level of the music whether the windows should be up or down and the air conditioning on or off. Yesterday on the way to my daughter’s friend’s birthday party, I had to pull the car over to tell them to stop talking to me incessantly as it had made me get lost and I couldn’t (bloody well) concentrate! #BigPinkLink x

  29. Lol!! I fear I have all of this to come in a couple of years, must remember how quiet our journeys currently our with a 7 month old! #bigpinklink

  30. we have this every car journey! totally feel for you its better when one is in the front and one in the back they cant poke each other then.. #bigpinklink x

  31. Haha ! You just described our car on every journey brilliant post thanks for hosting

  32. Oh god, this reminds me of being in the back of the car with my mum driving!! My two are still a tiny bit young to be quite so annoying but I KNOW it will happen soon. The bit with the sunglasses is hilarious 🙂 #bigpinklink

  33. Ahh it sounds so stressful!my boy is quote good in the cat, he does get whingey around the 2 hour marl, that’s when we stock his toddler songs on and he’s normally good then until he falls asleep. Your cat journey reminds me of times I’ve been in the car with my sister and her 2 kids..they fight and moan the whole time! Xx #bigpinklink

  34. I’m exhausted just reading this without stepping into the car! Who’d be a parent? #bigpinklink

  35. My middle one could talk the hind-legs off a donkey. He’s a nightmare in the car and always asks twenty questions about every single thing! #bigpinklink

  36. True Story!!!! 🙂 #bigpinklink

  37. Oh the joy of the car journey I love it! Sounds familiar. My worst car journeys were with my youngest when I used to pick her up from nursery on the way home from work. It was 25 min journey and she was usually very tired. She went through a phase of throwing things from the back. It was so hard to concentrate when you are getting hit on the head by a water bottle, toys and once a pair of shoes!

    Love the sat nag!

    #bigpinklink

  38. We can still be in the parking lot, buckling in when little cries out, in the moaniest of moans, “Are we there yet?” You have my empathy and I feel your pain. Beautiful rant! #bigpinklink

  39. So so accurate!! I thought twin DVD players might help- once we ‘debate’ whether Frozen or Lego Movie goes in first I then have to listen to the satnav lady compete with ‘Let it go’/’Everything is awesome ‘ as my kids sing along at top volume. So two pairs of haedhones (Frozen and Minions in case you were wondering) later and now I get to enjoy the kids out of tune warbling minus the music, which is equally painful.
    Oh, I also learned the hard way that if you let a child play Minecraft on your iPad while driving , the child will throw up all over your IPad. Nice

  40. The lovely car journey. I am lucky my two are yet to the bickering stage. We usually listen to disney songs, my favourite or Elvis. Lately the kids vote Elvis more than not. They do however start the are we there yet two minutes into the journey #bigpinklinky

  41. Sounds like my childhood all over again. There was a famous drive to Tenby which often gets brought us even now!!!! I was shouting i don’t wanna go to tenby over and over! i also fell in a big hole we had dug on the beach…not cool and then after walking off in a huff got a bit lost… then on the drive home whilst in the service station i wasn’t looking where i was going and walking head on into a huge lamp post…not a fun holiday!!!! thanks for sharing the rant..and now breathe x #bigpinklink

  42. It turns out my car journeys aren’t actually that bad after all! Although I refuse to go anywhere that is more than 15 minutes away haha x

    #bigpinklink

  43. It is so frightening to be in charge of driving a car when the kids are doing their usual competitive attention seeking :/ My two have both loved getting their arms out of the straps too, and before you know it they are migrating all over the back of the car :O
    x Alice
    #bigpinklink

  44. Ha ha I think I got worn out just reading that… I hope the wine helped as well as the rant!! I am not looking forward to this stage of parenthood!!

    #bigpinklink xx

  45. Hahahaha…I hate to tell you this, but the music volume one my brother and I still do when I’m the car with my dad now!! Whoops!! Thanks for sharing your journey with #bigpinklink 🙂

  46. I have a driving lesson tomorrow. I have visions of wholesome days out and weekends away in our lovely family car, just Piglet and I, Mummy and Piglet, hiking in Wales, camping in Devon, the occasional day out down the motorway a bit…The reality is sure to be more like you have described. When I eventually get round to passing my test! #bigpinklink

  47. I totally get this! And yet my husband insists than driving to France every year is a good idea. This year I stayed behind with the kids and flew out later. It was marginally less painful! Thanks for letting me know we’re not the only ones! #BigPinkLink

  48. Urgh the volume thing!! I have this every journey. And if I have the satnav on, my eldest will chime after every instruction “what did he say? Make him say it again mummy” by which point I’ve forgotten completely which exit at the roundabout I’m meant to be taking… #bigpinklink

  49. This is our car journey. Down to the letter. What a hate the most is the backseat driving! “Put your hands on the wheel. Mummy, you’re going to fast. The music is too loud.” Arggghhh! Sometimes I forget I’m the one with the driving licence or am the actual adult! Anyway this cracked me up!!

  50. Leaving our holiday home today and about a 4 hours journey is awaiting us. I am prepared: snacks, toys , blankets… Fingers crossed…Another beauty…
    #myphotography #bigpinklink

  51. So glad mine doesn’t talk yet! Eating my words later!! #bigpinklink

  52. Haha! I am afraid mine aren’t funny yet! Smallest hates her car seat and just screams for any time she is travelling and awake. Biggest is fine as long as you play Beatles songs and answer questions about them VERY precisely. If you are wrong about who sings Magical Mystery Tour or which Beatle plays the rhythm guitar, he will also scream. Fun times 😉 #bigpinklink P.S Thanks so much for featuring me 🙂 🙂

  53. Wine at the end of the day is always a winner, that sounds like a stressful car journey to me. Our stresses whenever we go in the car at the moment is that my daughter is always sick! The car seat then needs to fully come out and the cover washed after every drive…….so annoying. Hope the journeys have been better this week for you. Thanks for hosting. Claire x #bigpinklink

  54. Argh I embark on many a long journey with two, Slough they are both under two so sleep is usually likely. But I too then stress about the bent over neck situation (I have before been known to pull over and try to re-adjust!! – I know!) recently we decided to drive home at bed time in the hope they would both sleep. Best.decision.ever. The future of travel. We both had a quite and peaceful (and stress free) journey home. Hallelujah. Anyway enjoy the vino xx #bigpinjlink

  55. All my car journeys are like this – only made worse by the addition of my two sausage dogs. One of which does not travel well and usually vomits on one or both child… I was so fed up of doing the journey to may parents via car that this time we took the train. My advice to you is NEVER take the train instead 🙁 #bigpinklink

  56. Oh my word Louise, I totally agree with this! I hate driving with the children, it’s such a nightmare! What I hate even more though is when my husband is driving and he decides to go the ‘scenic’ (i.e. 3 hours longer) way because it’s ‘a nice drive’. No, it’s not a nice drive. There are children in the car, it will NEVER be a nice drive.
    Nat.x

  57. Ohhhhhh I dread this. Great post, and thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  58. Haha! I don’t enjoy car journeys with babies & toddlers but really not looking forward to older children! #bigpinklink

  59. Oh no!! We are constantly thrown question after question and then repeat too!! Drives my OH bonkers! We took Monkey down to Italy in the car when he was about 15 months and it actually wasn’t too bad. If he had been older I think it would have been harder work!! Thanks for hosting #BigPinkLink

  60. Mummy and the Mexicans

    I can’t drive but had been planning to learn soon… Until I read this post! Maybe it can wait. Do I really want this kind of stress?! Although at least I only have one little one, perhaps she won’t be that bad. I have a feeling my husband and mother in law would be much worse passengers! #bigpinklink

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