Non fiction writing,  Parenting

The worst road trip we have ever had

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We had had a good holiday, it had been a busy week. All the excitement and all the planning was now over. We were leaving behind the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, the fresh air, the lush green hills and mountains. The last week was now just a memory and it will be a long time before we return. The journey is about 300 miles, we are now in no hurry to return and our next holiday will be closer to home.

The drive to Yorkshire had been a mostly happy one. We stopped at service station’s which the kids found fun. They both had a good week and were well behaved for most of it, the experience of time away in a Pine Lodge with a bubbly hot tub was something special. It was October half term and the heat in the hot tub in the evening was amazing.

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You may be wondering if the journey there was good? The holiday memorable, why are we not going back soon despite the distance? Well the holiday memory was tainted by my lovely 5 year old, then only 4, driving home. For breakfast before we started our journey she had had blueberries on her cereal. You may be thinking, that’s a nice healthy breakfast. Well it is, but when you are about 50 miles into your journey with another 250 miles to go, you don’t want to hear vomiting, then your 6 year old screaming and your 4 year old crying. Guess who got the blame for her being sick? Yes, it was me because I was driving, the stress started there. I pulled over on to the hard shoulder and got her out of the car. I mopped the blueberry of her as best as I could, blueberry is not nice regurgitated. Then proceeded to try and clean the seat, she then needed a wee, so I helped her do that at the side of the road. Then putting a towel around her and the car seat, I lifted her back in. My 6 year old meanwhile had decided to get out of the car, despite being told to stay where he was. As he opened his door there was a crash and there was his drink bottle now smashed by the car. Not a good start to such a long journey.

Once all back in the car, daddy had decided he was driving, because of course she won’t be sick if he is driving. A while later there was a cry of,
“I need the toilet” as we went flying past a service station in the fast lane, too late, we had to carry on. When we eventually got to a service station and got everyone out we found that she had wet herself. I then had to go hunting in the suitcases, for knickers and leggings and do my best with her car seat. After using the facilities, we continued our journey. There was soon the sound again of more vomiting, more blueberry goo, then more crying. We stopped at the next service station, cleaned her up and changed her top. We had a few more incidences of blueberries reappearing and more wet knickers. I regretted not putting a nappy on her, but she has been dry during the day since she was 2. However, on such a long journey where you cannot relieve yourself easily I should have foreseen a problem.

Lunchtime was another argument, daddy wanted Burger King, mummy had made sandwiches. Didn’t help that we parked in a Burger King car park to eat our dinner and we appeared to be the only people that stayed in the car, apart from using their toilets. The fact that our 4 year old was being car sick, I really didn’t want regurgitated Burger King in the car, she really would have cried at that and the smell of burger would have been awful.

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The journey felt like it lasted hours, we had changed her leggings and knickers three times and her top, I think, twice.  The fragrance of blueberries, sick and urine remained in the car and daddy drove the remaining 300 miles home. Our plan had been to share the driving, but the car sickness and the wet knickers added a lot of stress to the journey and the number of times that we missed service stations when we needed them also didn’t help.

I have memories of the Yorkshire Dales as a child, happy memories of staying in a cottage and climbing the Yorkshire Three Peaks, Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and  Ingleborough. Pen-y-ghent I would run up and Whernside I ran into a peat bog and will never forget it. I doubt that I will ever walk up them with our kids, unless daddy decides that he will do the journey again. It will be along time I think before he does and I don’t think I could manage the long drive alone.

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As we came over the Dartford bridge back into Kent we all cheered, we were nearly home. My daughter had now stopped being sick, I think also relieved that we were so close now to home. Our first stop before getting home was Morrisons for Zoflora, to help make the car smell fresher. When home, the priority was to just rest and relax, after spraying the car and car seat. I think I unpacked the suitcases the next day. Most of the clothes were clean as had been washed in the machine in Yorkshire. The blueberry and urine-soaked clothes went straight in the machine along with a few other items.

The children still have happy memories of our holiday and told their friends at school about the hot tub. For them the bubbly hot tub was the highlight, not the castles and beautiful scenery or the pine lodge. My daughter does still eat blueberries but is not as keen on them now as she was a year ago. I guess once something makes you sick you go off them, this is why I am no longer keen on doughnuts or raspberry yogurt! too much of something is often not good. Thankfully the disastrous journey has not traumatised my daughter too much and I’m sure the next time we do go on holiday she will be excited about it, however long the journey.

This post was in response to Lorna’s prompt for this week, Roadtrip, over at her blog, Gin & Lemonade

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