Car journeys, I used to love them. In fact at uni I was known to love them so much that I would go for a pootle. Pootle being grab a friend jump in the car and drive around randomly until you get lost then find something to do. It was on my pootles that I enjoyed a day at a wild owl sanctuary, found several fab country pubs and went rock climbing.
Occasionally the car would be abandoned in favour of copious drinking at newly found pub with no worries about suffering a hangover the day after or the stress of having to retrieve car before 7am as there were endless jobs to be done and how would we manage without our EU regulated car seats.
Fourteen years later and it’s not just the invention of sat nav that has put an end to pootles; it’s most definitely the conception of 3 children. In fact that’s not fair to the baby; I could pootle with her all day. It’s the four year olds that have turned a relaxing excursion in the car into a cross between mastermind and an episode of outnumbered.
I reckon I have been asked about 86 questions in two hours. My favourite so far being ‘mummy what is your most favourite thing in the whole wide world – it doesn’t have to be food!’. We tried to impart some learning as we drove past Stonehenge but our attempt at a history lesson was soon lost when twin boy spotted a pig farm on t ‘other side of the road and started screeching with excitement, philistines!
We have had three ‘I need the toilet stops’ from twin girl all conveniently spoken as soon as we have passed a service station or a junction so we have to drive listening to the tortured cries of ‘it’s coming’ and ‘I can’t hold it.’ Twin boy has been very quiet on the whole toilet front , no doubt he may have a present waiting for me when we arrive at he who helped create them’s parents house.
Other questions which I have struggled to answer in this epic journey include ‘why do I have wet stuff in my mouth if I am not supposed to spit?’ And ‘why does Barbie have boobies but no gina?”. (If you don’t know what a gina is, think about it). Occasionally I have tried to close my eyes to try and get back some of the sleep that has been taken without permission in the last four and a half years, this is a rookie mistake. This action is met with ‘mummy are you asleep?’ ‘Daddy is mummy sleeping?’ ‘Mummy why you not talking?’ The repetition of questions can turn any decent dream into a nightmare.
Our journeys always end the same and this one is no different. We always know when we are five minutes away from our destination as suddenly silence hits the car like it is the dead of the night in a graveyard, punctured only by the soft snoring of two ‘so beautiful and peaceful when sleeping’ four year old twins. And now it’s time to wake them up again…..