Flaming shrimps! What the hell was I thinking. I decided to go road tripping this weekend – only to Wilderness mind you, not like it was to the outer Hebrides – and I thought it would be a breeze. After all, it’s only about 5 hrs away and my shorties aren’t that short any more; at 5 and 9 it should be easy peasy. No bottles, dummies (a.k.a. sticky lint collectors) or nap schedules to worry about. Just good music, a sense of adventure and a few snacks (I took my chances with MSG laden chips instead of psychedelic coloured sweets. BTW, chocolate milk is considered a health food on road trips).
But hell and damnation, I’d forgotten about “when do we get there”. I ask you, what kind of stoopid parent forgets about “when do we get there”? Aaron (a.k.a. Rainman) was kind enough to rephrase; how long have we been travelling mom? Such a considerate soul. He even did the time subtractions all by himself so that I didn’t have to un-necessarily tax my brain.
There were a couple of other things I’d forgotten about. Namely that my buddy, who thank the pope is a very understanding, loving, chilled, hippie type - has two girls. I have two boys. Geddit? I know that Rainman sort of fits a girly profile quite well, but Boys-Town Oliver does not. He’s wild, busy and quite frankly ‘woes’*. Fortunately, my mate’s two-year-old daughter gave him a run for his money. Phew! I prayed every night when she was pregnant that she would have a feisty little devil and apparently there is a god (and he listens) because her littlest girl is the foil to her older girl’s angelic demeanour. But I mean, she’s 2. You allowed to be cocky when you’re 2.
The other thing I forgot about was toy allocation. It should be mandatory that when you purchase toys (the more fun the toy, the stricter the rule) that you pledge allegiance to the “rules of the toy”. Something like: I do solemnly swear that under no circumstances, will I take these toys out if there are not enough to go round. You see, kids don’t like to share. The only reason they share is for the possible reason that should the situation arise in reverse, that the sharee will become the sharer. I can’t say I blame them for not wanting to share. Raise your hands, anyone who is happy to share her husband, her wedding ring or her Jimmy Choo’s?
Also, lets bear in mind that things like roller-blades are very tricky to share. One blade each? No, that sucks. 15 minutes per turn? That bloody well sucks too, because someone always looses track of time and there is the inevitable time extension request when it comes to handing over the gear. I think back fondly on the days (I don’t personally remember them, but my old queen has told me that this was definitely how it rolled back then) when all that children had to play with was the grass (big field, not just a couple of blades), the trees (big enough to hold several kids, not just one) and perhaps a piece of string (which we cunningly wove into daisy chains) and a box (for really cold days when the grass and trees weren’t an option).
The last thing I forgot, was that when winter-weekending with a dear friend and four kids of various ages who due to inclement weather have to be indoors, remember to pack the milk thistle. That should definitely be a mandatory ruling.
* for our international readers... “woes” roughly means “wild”