We did it, we drove all the way to the channel tunnel, got onto the train and made our way to our holiday home without losing our minds or the children in the process.
We set off at 6am and headed for Folkestone. It was early, I was tired and my husband was driving. As we left the M32 and got onto the M4 (for those not Bristol based, it’s 10-15min into a three-hour journey) Bertie pipped up “are we there yet?”, my thoughts ‘bloody hell, this is going to be a loooooooong journey’. He was told to go to sleep but he was clearly on an adventure so why would he do something so stupid? My husband then suggested I should got some zzzzzz, intially I refused but he kept pushing it, so hey, why not?
Neck rest in place, head comfortable, clearing my mind commenced….. go to sleep, he said, have some rest, he said. NOT BLOODY LIKELY “I’m hungry” came from the back seat, “Amy, can you sort him out please, I’m driving” came from the driver’s seat. I was lulled into a false sense of security and it, pissed, me, off. Bertie was chucked something of no nutritional value and I attempted again to drift off. I was so close, soooooo close until something which felt like a cat, brushed past my nose…WTF! It was my husbands very hairy arm, he was trying to ‘help’ me by moving my seatbelt further down so I could sleep. I was nearly asleep and he woke me up, I just wanted to be left alone, fat chance, I gave up at that point.
Luckily Evie slept the whole way but every five minutes from Bertie we had either “I’m hungry, I want something to eat”, “are we nearly there yet?” or “have we been on the train yet?”. NO, NO and NO.
It was a beautiful day and when we arrived at the terminal we were able to eat our sausage sandwiches and drink coffee whilst Bertie and Evie played in the park. We embarked on the train and it wasn’t as daunting as I anticipated, it was a train with cars on, exactly that, it didn’t even cross my mind what was above my head.
The journey was very quick, luckily for me. We were one of the first cars on the train, so I had Evie climbing all over me before we’d left the terminal, Bertie quickly followed suit. During the journey I’d had enough of being climbed on by both children so they were passed to their father. I decided to get into the car to create a bit of space between them and me, two seconds later they followed me and started touching me again FFS…argghhh….gerooff (obviously I didn’t voice this), I then pretended to go to the toilet, for as long as I could.
The saving grace for the whole driving experience was the audio collection of Julia Donaldson books and The Lion King on CD. I somehow managed to listen to Charlie Cooks’ Favourite Book a million times but managed to zone out every time and I still don’t know the story, the song however, I knew all the words by the end of the holiday. My favourite was The Lion King, I feel I’ve missed my calling in life and I should be snapped up to be part of the musical in London. Bertie and I loved it, we sang the songs, he even knows the words, my husband, did NOT enjoy it. On our last leg of the journey home the misery grump banished it and refused to allow it on again “Oh I juuuust can’t wait to be king” then I’ll banish him.
We did have a moment during the last hour home, my husband and I looked at each other and knew what each other was thinking. We were those people, the ones who drive an estate car, with a baby shouting their dislike of being strapped into a car seat (how dare we do such a cruel thing to her?), a 4-year-old playing (very loudly) with a Pom Bears packet, a load of crap in the back (the two boxes of wine and box of champagne were exempt) whilst listening to Charlie Cooks Favourite Book for the millionth time. All we wanted to do when we got home was have a shower and watch rubbish TV, NOT, unpack the car and children, whilst trying to stop Evie escaping out of the window into the rubble of a front garden. God knows what her plan was when she’d actually made it to the outside world, probably shout for someone to come and retrieve her, “how dare they leave a window open for me to escape and then do nothing about it!”. That girl is going to make me prematurely grey, give me a few years and I’ll be dying my hair for the first time.
I’ve just checked The Book People, the audio collection of Julia Donaldson are on offer for £9.99. I’m more excited about the Roald Dahl collection for £18, the BFG, not even a miserable husband can get bored with that one. Father Christmas already knows what to give Bertie this December.