Okay, so if you are ever unsure about how your relationship is with not only your partner but also your kids….. Take a road trip!
An unplanned one. One you haven’t thought out, planned for or even spent time trying to figure out what’s what.
Then see if you all come back in one piece, or if you all come back at all!
Let me take you down memory lane. It was a little while back now, but at the time we needed yet another car.
My husband had a thing with never hanging onto a car for to long.
We needed not just a car… but a car that was in Victoria.
Living on the Gold Coast one would think after the hours he had spent looking, there would have been one closer. Well there wasn’t.
So without the money having cleared in the bank ,the four of us set off on a plane to Melbourne.
A young daughter aged 8, a teenage boy aged 14, myself and my husband. We had no idea what the car would be really like, or even if the money was going to clear in time, but I trusted the hours it seemed my husband had spent on cars for sale and in the end all would be okay.
I even managed to imagine the beautiful scenery, the laughs we would have and the memories we would make!
The hard part was I didn’t even know where we would be sleeping…. this sent my OCD and planning brain into overdrive. A few deep breathes and quiet restrained meditation I managed to just go with the flow. I mean what could go wrong?
I should have realised that all would not go as planned when my daughter kept asking; ‘mum, what are we doing?’ ‘where are we staying’, ‘how long will it take’, ‘Is there a plug for my iPad?’. My reply was valid and honest in that I said; ‘I have NO idea darling!
This is what happens when a 40 year old male has an idea. I am sure if I had said, “honey there is a great dress in this shop in Melbourne that I have to see”, he would have laughed at me and turned up the TV!
FAST FORWARD – skip the plane ride and near death experience in the Taxi from the airport.
Well we pulled up and the Nissan Patrol, chunky mans car, was in the drive way.
I left the two men to do their thing, while I got the kids organised to start the long trek home. The whole time I was thinking to myself, lets hope this car is not a lemon!
Once all the finances had been settled we got into the ‘new car’. The husband and kids exploring all the new things and me just sitting int he front seat thinking I hope we make it! How different we are!
Spending the days driving for hours on end with a continual nagging feeling that the car was a ‘lemon’……… only to have this fueled by the air con shutting off …….. and then the speakers stopped working…… and being told, ‘do not worry this is normal!’
You have got to be kidding!
Not only do the long drives test your patience but also your ability to sleep in weird and wonderful positions.
I also managed to keep everyone happy, all while feeling flustered, as I had to clean the husbands sunnies, peel a lolly wrapper for the daughter and unpack the condoms we had bought for the teenage son who wanted to see how big he could get them to be if he held them out the window.
Does this sound normal to anyone else.
Mum, whens lunch? Babe, can you make me a sandwich? Mum, can you change the song? Babe, could you get me some water? Mum, how long until we stop?
Babe, why didn’t you see the sign? (Me thinking; because I was making you your bloody sandwich on my lap, on the lid of an esky traveling at 110kmh with no air con in the middle of summer, what bloody sign??)
My reply: Sorry darling, all my fault, I will be sure to keep my third eye out for all the signs next time!
I swear I was was a second away from doing a tuck and roll out the car! The patience was being tested, the fuse being shortened!
Three days later, two motels, a lot of coffee, lollies and country hick towns we were almost home.
Now I must share with you some tips should you ever have the desire to drive and unplanned trip of 1800km….
- Take your own pillow – and one for each of the kids as they will fight no matter what. If you don’t you will find they steal yours just when you need it most!
- Toilet paper – As the need arises often when you need it most being in the car with an old man and two young children. Oh and of course it will be right at the time when you just passed the last toilet stop for the next 100km!
- Pack music – I think we could all sing the lyrics to the full CD of James Blunt… I still, today, 5 years on cannot play the same CD! It has scared me for life! One CD – 3 days. You do the math with how many times we listened to each song!
- Remember you will forget something, and no matter what or who did it, it will be YOUR fault!
- 5. Wet wipes are essential – you can clean up anything and everything with these! If you remember to pack them!
It was a long trip and we all survived, but I must tell you what append to the car. Well it was in fact a lemon and we sold it three weeks later.
I was right after all!