mummy is always tired

The Road Trip…..Up North

on May 13, 2014

We all went on a road trip last weekend.  Our destination was ‘up north’ so there was a long way to go.  Whilst I was really looking forward to the weekend away to see our friends, I was ever so slightly dreading the actual 4 hour drive up there.  Afterall – 4 hours + 2 children + confined space = potential social services intervention.  On the whole the journey up there was good, we did the usual ‘dirty lunch’ stop – i.e. fast food.  I’ve always thought that a dirty lunch stop is part and parcel of any holiday, it’s the only occasion which I feel I can justify all that salt and grease.  So we all trooped up the stairs to the Burger King at the Keele services – at least we’d done some exercise to get there I thought.

The children were most excited about their burger and chips and even more excited at the potential toy ‘treat’ inside.  The ‘gift’ if such a term can be used for a hideously bright hunk of plastic – turned out to be a rattle the shape of a bird – clearly manufactured as part of a commercial exercise for the latest kids movie.  Sadly the marketing had no effect on either us or the children as we had no idea what film this was advertising and the new toy was henceforth referred to by our eldest as ‘the rattle bird thing.’

Now, they don’t often eat fast food so there is the novelty factor, but not even I could cease to be amazed at the speed at which they shovelled up chips or how greedily our youngest could cram processed meat into her mouth.  It got to the stage where she stuffed so much burger into her mouth she choked and threw up (we apologise to the lady at the next table who saw a kids meal eaten in reverse.)  Sometimes it makes me feel like a bad parent, especially when I think back to the first road trip we took our eldest on.  On that occasion we went to a KFC – in my eyes not nearly so bad as a dirty burger – it’s just chicken, right?  So, our eldest was about 8 months at the time – well into eating solid food – so we thought, let’s just give her what we’re eating because frankly I didn’t have the time to make her a packed lunch and to be even franker – I couldn’t be bothered.  We tucked into our lovely fried chicken meal – so far so good.  Until a woman and her baby came and sat on the table opposite us and in direct contrast took out her baby’s changing bag and whipped out a 3 course homemade meal for her little darling.  Oh dear.  Well if I’d had any doubts about my parenting skills here they were highlighted right in front of me, you may as well have stuck a giant foam finger above my head saying ‘lazy parent.’

But that was then and now I am too exhausted to have such worries about my skills as a parent.  Any doubts I did have, evaporated as the weekend evolved (so clearly all that shouting doesn’t fall on deaf ears.)  The children were remarkably good – they most definitely kept their ‘company manners’ up all weekend.  We were even saved the shame of our eldest pulling out her party trick and crapping in her pants – she managed to do not just one but two number twos in an actual toilet!  She was so excited about this that everywhere we went thereafter had to be marked by a visit to the toilet or bathroom – just so she could see the set up and make sure everything was in order.

The highlight of the weekend (bar the fact I didn’t have to scrape out poo from anyone’s pants) was the wind up walking granny toy that we discovered at the parents of our friend.  This was the ultimate shut-them-up-toy, they spent 2 hours playing with this (thank you to Ken for patiently winding it up each time).  They were mesmerised and as they lay on the carpet watching granny zimmer frame her way across the hearth there was silence – actual peace and quiet.  Amazing.

And so after many, many cocktails too yummy to remember (or was that the quantity involved) we packed up the troop and set off in the car.  Even before we’d got to the motorway there was snoring coming from the back of the car.  Clearly keeping up company manners was just too tiring and they miraculously slept the whole 4 hours back home.  So there we were, able to nurse our Eurovision hangover in the car – bliss.



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