Last year we went camping in Southerness in Dumfries and it was an absolute disaster. It was wet, windy and I forgot the gas bottle and the pump for the lilos. They were sat waiting by the door when we returned home! We managed as we had nice camping neighbours who kindly lent us a foot pump and we bought a gas bottle the following day. All in all, I’m not very good at planning holidays. This year I left the organisation to my mother-in-law, Sarah – and it was lovely. A gorgeous little terrace by the sea at Arnmouth in Northumbria, surrounded by family, a beach, and stunning scenery. Who could ask for more!
Well…… me to be honest, I want another holiday, and one I don’t have to sort out myself as my previous record is so bad, and one that ideally we don’t have to pay for. I’ve found a competition to win 7 nights in Crete and have had to submit an article on the subject of ‘Traveling With Kids.’
This is all part of my ongoing quest to pay my way, despite being at home and not working. Obviously I do my best to feed, clothe, and raise my kids as best as I can, but I’d love to be able to contribute financially too. Entering competitions is one of the ways I try to do this. So here goes nothing. This is my article, and if you could send lucky dust my way, I’d be most grateful.
Traveling with Kids
It was the end of a disasterous camping holiday in Southerness, Dumfries. I lay soaked tot he skin, face down on the tent canvas praying that it wouldn’t take off in the high winds. My husband was sopping wet, dutifully pulling up tent pegs, rolling up the tent and muttering expletives.
The kids were dry as a bone in their full length waterproof suits. Tom and I thought we’d look ridiculous in similar outfits and had refrained from buying any – which we now deeply regretted.
D (4) and S (18 months) thought everything was hilarious and laughed and giggled, blissfully unaware of the pelting rain and of the huge problems Tom was having with securing the luggage to the roof. Wedged into their seats, surrounded by duvets, sleeping bags and luggage, they thought it was a great adventure
In contrast, we were bickering about the suggested sat nav route and were very worried about the luggage simply falling off the roof on the journey home.
Off We went! The kids were fidgety immediately and Daisy was definitely not happy with the wildlife magazine I’d dragged out of my luggage for her to read. I couldn’t reach anything else. She passed it to her brother, who dutifully and joyfully ripped it into pieces whilst inexplicably shouting ‘Dad, Dad, Dad!’
Down the country lanes we went, up went the volume in the back! S had a dirty nappy and was inconsolable, so we had to stop, prize him out of his seat and change him. He did fall asleep shortly afterwards so that meant a bit of calm.
The journey took approximately five hours, a lot of patience and a million and one silly games. The two most successful were’ I Spy’ and ‘Guess the Animal.’
D always won ‘I Spy’, because I could never work out her clues, eg. ‘I spy with my little eye, something beginning with W’ which would turn out to be ‘Tree’ and impossible for me to guess. It kept her occupied though, so I was happy to play along!
Both of them seemed to love the animal game. I’d pretend to be a tiger, and D would shout ‘Tiger!’ and S would do a fabulous and ridiculous impression of one. This was all while I strained sideways and backwards, towards the middle of the back of the car, stretching every muscle that wasn’t already knackered from taking down a huge tent in high winds.
I like to think that Tom found the game fun too, but he probably spent most of the journey wondering why he’d married such a nutter.
Other inspired games, consisted of ‘Spot the Red Car,’ ‘Wave at Other Drivers’ and ‘Check the Luggage is Still Tied to the Top of The Car.’
We eventually arrived home,and I had a moment reminiscent of the pope kissing the tarmac. I’ve never been so happy to be home in my life!