You'd think that as the children become older and supposedly more sensible and mature that the humble car journey would or should become easier, possibly even a pleasurable experience....I am at this moment in time chuckling at myself at how that is soooo NOT the case. Whether it is the fact that I have such a varied age range among my little darlings with the rather annoying six year old at one end and the slightly moody teenager at the other, I am not sure but it edges on the side of ridiculous, far beyond comprehension so I thought I'd share, surely I'm not alone....am I??
We have plans to go on supposedly lovely trip to Welsh borders for party with male friend so suggest (requesting politely at this stage) that children pack only essential items as with five in the car plus camping stuff, room will indeed be at a premium.
Two children pack sensibly for trip one decides that she has more rights than rest and packs very large bag for self with so say 'essential' items. Hmmm bet you can guess where this is going!
Bag is opened and 'essential' items are checked and passed as all other family members have followed instructions so there is space (just).
30 minute warning is given as to time of departure and need for children to get dressed and consume an adequate breakfast to beat hunger pangs for next two hours.
5 minute warning is given, one child is still cooking toast whilst another is in pyjamas.....
I make what seems like endless journey's to the car hauling stuff from the house. Amazingly there is just enough room for small number of belongings from friend who is to travel with us.
ETD is upon is and abuse in the form of 'I ate you' echos from the upper floor.....
Five minutes later all children are in the car (as is hound) and we are ready for off......
The Little Lady has smuggled her double duvet into the car in the foot well....hmmmm! Decide to make a point of insisting duvet is returned to house so that said child realises that BOUNDARIES AND RULES ARE NOT FOR BREAKING........am confronted with a stand off in the form of said child sitting in the car and refusing to budge. Decide to call off trip until duvet is returned to house....still waiting!
Two (now seemly well behaved children) return to house whilst said child remains in car....with duvet.
Ten minutes later (now late to pick up friend) and said child stomps into house with duvet which she dumps in hall.
Take two...we're off.
I glance into the rear of the car and it seems Miss P has created a cordoned off area for Small Boy (blocking off his area of the car with a blanket suspended between the front seat and rear of the car) because he has a cold. It is not long before red partition is pulled down by Boy who proceeds to sneeze over Miss P.....1st war begins!
Within no time at all the whines of 'Muuuuum....' are ringing in my ears. A large thump is returned from Small boy to complaining teenager who retaliates.....Am glad to have very blocked ear at this point as shrieks and complaints are directed my way!
Distract children with lovely Katie Mellula CD which has soothing effect and momentarily calms situation.. Miss P complains that we have over played CD so radio is engaged instead.
It's not long before the sounds of 'How long until we're there' can be heard......Random time comes from mouth.
Next are the long drawn out bubbling sounds as Small Boy inhales copious amounts of snot back into nasal passage. Everyone is grossed out and gagging at sound. Suggest using tissue to blow out contents but instead am informed by teenager that Boy is covering single nostril and alternating blowing and snorting snot in and out of nostril. 2nd war begins as teenager covers Boy with partitioning blanket to muffle the sounds. Further bashing and tears.......
Friend comes to the rescue with 'Boiled sweet therapy'.
Location of party is questioned and friend sets phone SAT NAV to help us out. Modern technology is not working according to plan. Chaos breaks out as minor discrepancies are heard from the back and I'm distracted but lack of direction from friend and technology. Decide to pull over.
Look at old fashioned fail safe map and familiar self with route, friend takes much needed pee and I offer children packed lunch. Arguments from the Little Lady as to the size of her share of baguette. 'You've given him the bit that I wanted.....' Offer water.....'Mine's the pink cup......mine's the blue...I want purple' Blue cup is given to the child who requested purple....'I wanted purple'....'Yes friend has that one so you have blue'...'Well I'm not drinking it as F has a cold and it's touched his cup, I don't want a cold'.....arrrrhhhh 'Go without'.....
Show good example by finishing Boys drink not worrying about prospect of cold!
We reach village of destination. But cannot find house, do not have exact address and no phone signal....Small Boy removes his seat belt. I ask him to put it back on...Boy refuses....we stop car and wait until seat belt is re-fastened......sigh......it goes on......
Eventually reach destination.......