It is currently half term (yay!) and as it was Nathan's graduation in Chichester today (so any excuse for a holiday) we are spending a few days in Littlehampton where we arrived yesterday.
Travelling with kids is never great, but in our Citroen Picasso we usually manage ok, it fits everything in brilliantly (even all the crap I bring 'just in case' even though I always take it but never actually need it – my running clothes for a prime example) and the back seat is spacious even for 2 car seats and a teenager to have enough room not to annoy each other. However the Picasso is having a few mechanical issues, and so we didn't trust it for a long journey. Unfortunately our other car is an Audi TT, so there was no chance of fitting us all in for our holiday. Instead we swapped the TT for the week for Mr Totsy's brother's car, a Seat Leon.
It was a bit of a mission fitting everything in and Milly was wedged in between the car seats with no room for manoeuvre but we managed it (let's just say if the Krypton Factor was still a thing we'd definitely be contenders – I say 'we' but I actually just mean Mr Totsy as car packing is most definitely his job) and off we went.
Twenty minutes into our 3 and a half hour journey Tinker started asking the question every parent hates. No, not 'Where do babies come from?' I mean 'Are we nearly there yet?' And kept asking. And kept asking. And kept asking. And kept asking.
I had imagined Totsy would sleep most of the way there, she loves a nap and it was the perfect opportunity for a lovely long sleep. She slept for approximately twenty minutes, before waking up in a right grump.
Snacks were my first line of defence. Yes it was only 10am, but I was soon passing Quavers, malted milk biscuits and bananas into the back seat (I soon regretted the Quavers, being in a confined space with cheesy crisps is really not great).
Once the snacks ran out, Totsy was bored. She decided smacking/punching Milly was fun, so kept on doing it. Milly was understandably unimpressed, the stress levels in the car were starting to rise. I trotted out a few more malted milk, discussed getting an in-car DVD player, muttered that on the way home we would make sure we hadn't packed the iPads in the boot underneath what seems like everything we own, then Mr Totsy and I reluctantly handed over our phones to the little ones to watch CBeebies and for a while things seemed to calm down.
Then suddenly Totsy was sick.
Not just a bit of baby sick. Proper sick.
Milly was utterly outraged and complaining loudly. The baby was covered in sick (and lets face it, if I thought the smell of cheesy crisps was bad, this had not improved things one bit) Tinker was asking 'Are we nearly there yet?' for the 23,573rd time. We pulled off the motorway and fortunately after a minute or two (felt like a lot longer) came to a Tesco. We tried a baby wipe clean up in the car park but it soon became clear that a whole change of clothes was going to be required. You would think as a mum with 25 years experience I would have a spare change of clothes for the littlest to hand. Nope. All the kids clothes were buried in the bottom of the boot underneath all the 'just in case' crap. Rookie mistake. In my defence, I can't remember the last time she needed an outfit change! The thought of unpacking the boot onto the car park, then repacking it was so horrific, I decided to run into Tesco for a new outfit and change her in the baby change room. So I did. No problem. Totsy by this stage was seemingly absolutely fine, so we put it down to a mixture of inappropriate snacks and car sickness (especially as she is still rear facing).
We decided we might as well all go in for a cuppa so once the littlest was changed, clean and had only the faintest whiff of baby sick we settled in the cafe. We all relaxed and felt just about ready to get back into the confines of the car.
On the way out Tinker was given some Trolls pictures to colour in which she was very pleased with so she was happy, we were all looking forward to our holiday and soon we had everyone safely back in the car.
No sooner had we set off than Mr Totsy looked at me with a panicked face. 'What????' I asked. He replied 'You know the troll pictures, Tinker had? I put them underneath the rear windscreen wiper while I strapped her in…' Although it was difficult to tell as it was pretty impossible to see out of the back window with the boot piled so high with much more crap than any family could possibly need for a 4 day holiday, it appeared that the trolls pictures were no more. Oops.
And then a little voice in the back seat said 'Are we nearly there yet?'……………………………………
To sum it up:
Number of times Tinker asked 'Are we nearly there yet?': approx 93,176
Number of healthy snacks eaten: zero
Number of unhealthy snacks eaten: several
Number of times Totsy threw up: once
Amount spent on a new outfit (including a pack of 7 vests and a pack of 3 tights because it is apparently impossible to buy these singularly): £25
Number of times we wished we had the iPads within easy reach: at least 37
Number of times we were forced to listen to The 1975 by Milly: far too many
Number of times anyone appreciated my comments about how pretty the leaves are this time of year: zero
Number of times we considered booking another holiday for the future: absolutely none
How relieved we were to finally arrive at our destination on a scale of 1-10: 10
Fortunately however, holidays (unlike life) are much more about the destination than the journey. And now we are here, we really are having an absolutely great time (whilst keeping our fingers crossed that Tinker doesn't suddenly wonder what happened to her Trolls pictures!)