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. This will continue in the same vein for the entirety of the journey, be it 5 minutes or 5 hours!
Then there is the fact that I am trying my utmost 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!
The other thing that my son started doing at one point was to scream, ‘a car! A car is coming right at us Mummy!!’ as we were at roundabouts. Obviously his knowledge of right of ways was sorely lacking but there is nothing more unnerving then starting to pull out onto a roundabout and someone starts shouting that you’re about to crash.
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 and carry on getting the bus whenever possible! 😀