1. The traffic lights. So we’re driving along, the baby is asleep, the toddler is happily watching the world go by out the window. All is good. Until we approach a set of traffic lights and they turn red. I brake as much as I can to put off the inevitable. We creep forwards. We eventually stop. The baby wakes up. The toddler starts shouting. Peace is destroyed. Thanks traffic lights.
2. The kicking. The conversation goes like this. Me: ‘Stop kicking the seat, please!’ Stanley: “OK Mummy”. Pause a few seconds. Me: “Stop kicking the seat, please!” Stanley: “OK Mummy.” Still get kicked. I pull seat as far forward as I can. Pause a few seconds. Still get bloody kicked.
3. The music selection. I get in car, switch on engine, and start enjoying my pre-selected radio choice. Oh yeah, the music is good, the sun is shining, the kids are happy. Life is good. Stanley: “Mummy, can we listen to nursery rhymes?” Me: “No Stanley, we’re listening to Mummy’s music today”. Pause a few seconds. “Mummy, can we listen to nursery rhymes?” “No Stanley, we’re listening to Mummy’s music today”. Pause a few seconds. “Mummy, can we listen to nursery rhymes?” I switch on nursery rhymes. I am weak. So weak.
4. The inevitable questions. Stanley: “Mummy, where are we going?” Mummy: “We’re going to the park.” Stanley: “The Park?” Me: ‘Yes, the park”. Pause a few seconds. “Mummy, where are we going?” Repeats 15 times until we reach the park.
5. The mess. Oh how I miss the days when the only mess in our car was a magazine I had slung into the back seat and a takeaway coffee in the cup holder. If my children ever eat in the car – and this sadly happens – it is inevitable that the entire back seat and floor mats will be covered in crumbs. In fact, our car seat never recovered from the time I passed back a pouch of banana baby puree to a hungry baby when stuck in traffic. And the car still has the vague whiff of banana.
6. The loo requests. Before we leave the house. Me: “Stanley, do you need a wee?” Stanley: “NO!”. Me: “Are you sure? As it’s a long journey in the car and we won’t be able to stop. Why don’t you try anyway.” Stanley: “NO MUMMY, THERE’S NO WEE COMING!” We get in car and drive away. Five minutes later. “Mummy, I need a wee”. Give me strength.
7. The dropped things. Baby cries. Me: “Here Wilfred, have this toy/dummy/comforter”. Contorts self to pass it to them. Pulls muscle in back and neck. Two seconds later. THUD. On the floor. Every time.