It’s rare we have to go shopping in a big town, but it does happen once or twice a year. I try to shop online and have everything delivered including food, and today it reminded me why. I started the day by announcing I wanted to leave the house by 9am, which I was fairly certain meant we should be in the car by ten. Sure enough as 9am came, we had the usual “I cannot find my toothbrush” which was followed by “Who had my shoes?” Sorry kids but I try and wear my own shoes these days, I find people point and laugh when I wear your pink butterfly shoes. Following ‘Hunt The Shoes’ we had the usual “I can’t put my coat on!” I bet if I announced we were going to a toy shop we would have found the toothbrush, shoes and coat in record time. I felt fairly happy we could set off in the car now, that was until I was told the kids needed to pack some toys for the journey. If you were a fly on the wall in my house the banging noise was me banging my head on the wall whilst sobbing “Why me?” I wouldn’t mind but the car journey to a big town was only 45 minutes, and they already had snacks and juice packed for the journey.
Two kids and a wife packed into the car, I was a proud man, wearing a giant smile, until I almost got the seatbelt buckled up. I was then confronted with two children who were dying of hunger, and had a raging thirst! What?! You must be kidding me, we haven’t even moved off the driveway and we are already unpacking food rations! It did occur to me that picnics were going to get easier. We could just sit in the car outside our house, as it has just taken most of the morning to get out the front door. As we started the journey, and I mean started, by which I meant we were now at the bottom of our road, we had a scream last heard in horror movie. As we listened to the sobbing and wailing we gathered some toy had dropped on the floor, and he needed it back urgently. We managed to reach behind our seats and find the toy. We then continued to proceed out of our road. Open highway, wind in our hair, munching in the back, and screaming followed by “He hit me!” As part of parenting you should be giving refereeing classes. We listened to both sides of the arguments and, like a court room, passed judgement, and asked the guilty offender to apologise.
Now we had hit our first roundabout which was at the bottom of our housing estate, the food had run dry, and the water rations had now run dry. We now had spitting in the back of the car, hitting, and arguments about who had drunk the most water. Seriously, we are not camels, please could we pack it in, and no more water otherwise you will need a . . . . . “Daddy, I need a wee! It’s coming, Daddy I can feel a dribble!” By now we were going over bumps and hills faster than the Dukes of Hazzard. As we screeched into a space on the side of the road, I ran to the back and grabbed the portable potty, and stood in the rain whilst my son emptied his bladder. Now you may laugh but outside it was now like a monsoon, and my little girl on the other side of the car asked if I could I shut the door as she was getting a little wet. Sorry my little ray of sunshine, but I am standing in the torrential downpour and I have more water in my pants swirling around than our local fishing lake. Forgive me for that little rain drop dampening your hand, I know you are allergic to water and washing, so I will be quick. The ride to town was followed by more arguments, and pleading for food and water as the lights were fading, and muscles were wasting away by the second.
A very short mission into town, and it must have tired them out walking in town, as they both slept on the way home. I cannot tell you how precious that time was when we could drive the car in silence, with no arguments or emptying bladders. As we arrived home very refreshed I was definitely feeling nothing could dampen the day, until my wife decided to hoover the floor, to find two under six year old thieves had stolen the hose to the vacuum cleaner. Currently the mood is a little sombre, as the thieves are undergoing interrogation. Me, I stood up like a proud man, ready to stand his ground and take on the atmosphere like a man as I hid in another room!
Well Dorset Dad, what did we learn today? Well I can safely say sell the tyres to your car, and put it on bricks outside your house. No more arguments in the back of the car, no more driving like a lunatic to race to a lay by to empty bladders. But why not sell the car? Well you need the car, to go for picnics, as judging by my family we could not hold our for food or water past our front door, so I will put a picnic blanket in the back, and buff the car every few weeks. Yes I have saved a fortune on car expenses, and boy am I feeling pleased with myself!