It’s been over a week since we’ve returned from the sunny South Coast, Weymouth and the journey across there was not for the faint-hearted.
We had two small children in the back, a Disney CD in the player and no wine at all because I can’t drink any. That sums up our whole journey but I’ll share a few highlights with you.
We had a party to go to that morning and although we didn’t have to go, we just couldn’t not show our face. Especially since we were going to be away from a family we generally see a few times a week. We had to say our goodbyes in the most emotional way. Because that’s how we do friendship.
Before the party I needed to get a present, a card, pens to write in the card, wrapping paper, tape to tape up the present and I figured teeth were our best bet for scissors. Don’t say we’re not prepared.
Because we know we’re not.
So before we headed to Tesco I quickly loaded up a few bags for life with food for our caravan, saving us precious minutes once we returned home and then I hunted for the car keys.
The keys weren’t on the peg, where they always are. Where we keep them. That’s where they live. On a little peg labelled ‘keys’. They weren’t there so I called to Darren because he must have disappeared to the car this morning to breathe into a paper bag or something and he said he’d given the keys to me.
The conversation went a little like this.
“Babe, where are the car keys?”
“I gave them to you”
“No you didn’t”
“Yes, I gave them to you”
“What the f*** are you talking about? When? When did you give me the keys? Do you remember handing me the keys?”
“Yes! I gave them to you earlier”
“I have no keys! We need to leave ten minutes ago to be on time so unless you’re up there inventing a machine that travels back in time can you come and help me find them”
“Well think about where you put them”
“What do you mean where I put them? You never gave me the sodding keys!”
“AH! I found them…”
“They were here… In my pocket…”
Darren nearly died that morning.
We raced to Tesco at an incredibly speedy 30 miles an hour, threw our bodies out of the car, spent a significant amount of time deciding on a suitable present then were back in our car in under three seconds.
We had a short debate in the car about when we should get petrol. Do we get petrol now and not have to stop later or do we get to the party earlier and stop later?
These kind of life decisions are as important as those discussed in parliament.
That was when I pulled a Darren. I’d just paid for everything in Tesco but mysteriously my card had disappeared. I couldn’t find ANYTHING. The bag, my purse, the emergency snacks and I only knew where the kids were because they were strapped in.
So when it came to paying for our petrol Darren didn’t like the idea of just driving off, apparently they have cameras coming out the wazoo so he paid while I felt a little card shape in my pocket.
Ah, that’s where it was. And the bag is in the boot. I remember now.
After the party we then had to load our car with the suitcases, stroller and bags of food like we were competing in a game of Tetris.
The last two pieces to add to our Tetris wall for the win was the kids. They sat nicely on top like the ‘S’ shape and we started the first part of our incredibly long journey with me in the driver’s seat.
Twenty minutes into the journey our son said he desperately needed a wee, so bad it was coming out apparently. Being on the motorway thirty-six miles away from the nearest service station this was not music to our ears and it was difficult to explain to an impatient three year old that mummy can’t stop on the side of the motorway with lorries hurtling past at seventy miles an hour, just for a wee.
I ended up turning off into a little town to stop at the side of a less busy road so he could relieve himself. We asked our daughter if she needed a wee too because we can’t keep stopping and she said she didn’t.
Darren and I swapped seats so he could drive, because I don’t have a clue where I’m going. I know my way to Essex, Buckinghamshire and all around Kent. Anything else and I’m out.
Well, you know what’s coming next, our daughter needed a wee. Eurgh. And this one is going through the terrible twos right now so her patience is even worse than her brother’s. So we stopped again down another slip road before continuing.
For the next hour we listened to children complain relentlessly about sitting, being bored, being hungry, not liking their snacks, not wanting their sibling to look at them, wanting to look at their sibling but not being allowed and not being able to reach something that was in their lap.
We stopped in the services for everyone to breathe for a moment and to fill the children up with a respectful amount of food so hopefully they’d have that feeling where they’re so full they could sleep for a week.
The following four hours was worse than the previous two on the road, but this time we managed the occasional five minute snippets of peace when Ed Sheeran or another toddler approved artist came on the radio. They were in love with the shape of poo. Kids. If it rhymes with poo, wee or bum it’s freaking hilarious.
One of the stops we had to make was so bad it was almost funny.
It was about half an hour from the caravan park so we started to see light at the end of the tunnel but we were both so done with the varying emotions of our children that we had no oomph left to care. The kids both needed a wee once again so we stopped in a petrol station just behind a Little Chef.
Our daughter’s wee turned into a poo and my son covered his trainers in urine.
I’m just going to leave you with a visual of the fact that my daughter was hovering over grass, and yes, I scooped that little lump up like I was picking up hot coals.
Once we’d loaded the beasts back on top of the Tetris mountain we went to leave the car park. Those with common sense would have exited the way we came in, which seemed to be the main road, but not Darren. Instead of going straight, he turned right practically running over a man that resembled Stinky Pete from Toy Story, nearly drove into a car, ended up in someone’s driveway and left through a little gap that said “entry”.
Then we had a long three minute debate over his poor choices.
His only plausible sentence was “well, he shouldn’t have been in the road”. Maybe not, but I’m pretty sure it was a private road.
When we saw the signs for the caravan park we were staying in I was filled with so much love. Nothing could compare to the feeling of knowing that you’ll be able to escape in a matter of minutes.