‘You can’t come,’ said Beaver to Daddy Pig. ‘It’s girls only.’ Daddy Pig didn’t look too put out to be fair. He might even have looked a little smug. And I realised that having girls probably means I’ll never benefit from everyone deserting me to go on a road trip.
‘You’re brave going all that way,’ said my mum when I announced we were going to visit friends in Wales and Bristol.
‘What on earth has he [Daddy Pig] done to deserve four days off? You can’t be having an affair. You haven’t got time with all that blogging,’ said stylist friend.
As the morning of our trip dawned, I wondered if they were right. It was slightly bonkers spending four hours alone in a car with a one year old and a three year old. Especially when Beaver has recently learned to undo her straps and open the car door. I imagined all the stunts she could add to her already dangerous repertoire as we flew down the M4. Yes this was definitely risky.
I am a bit of a martyr whenever we take a family trip. I say that I do EVERYTHING. Wash the clothes. Pack the clothes. Remember the travel cot. And the booster seat. Plus all the other junk that signifies this isn’t a holiday at all but our normal lives simply shipped to a different location.
Whilst I’m certainly not going back on this statement, that morning I realised Daddy Pig is more useful in this process than I give him credit for. Packing up a car with a one year old who crawls in fast-forward mode and a three year old who doesn’t do anything in fast-forward mode is a challenge, to say the least. After locking and unlocking the front door several times to retrieve something else I’d forgotten, I still had to stop 20 metres into the village to check I’d packed my toothbrush.
10.05 AM. Exhausted and wondering how I’d manage the four hour drive the sat nav was forecasting, only the hideous thought of having to unpack the car spurred me on. Plus if I could get to the A20 services by 10.30 AM, I could get a McDonalds breakfast.
‘Can we have the hand-clapping song?’ said Beaver meaning The Lumineer’s Big Parade, our last holiday song.
‘That’s on Daddy’s iPhone,’ I said then finding a random CD in the glove compartment, ‘How about Take That?’
‘Oh yes, good idea Mummy.’
Phew. No requests for that dreadful CBeebies album that makes you feel more suicidal than James Blunt. Progress indeed.
What with that and the fact that we reached the drive-through at 10.28 AM, our road trip was finally starting to feel like the one I’d marketed to myself when I first thought up the crazy idea.
It’s amazing what an Egg McMuffin can do.
COMING UP IN PART TWO ON TUESDAY: bachelors and egg mayonnaise, being Mummy AND Daddy, becoming the Von Trapp family and homesickness (literally)