Four months in to being a family of four, we decided we’d attempt our first family holiday. I use the word ‘holiday’ loosely; as it was far from relaxing. Worth it, for the people we saw; but I am still wondering whether we’ll ever recover from the actual travelling side of the whole experience.
To get to the ‘Big Smoke’ from our home, takes about seven hours in the car; so before we even started, we were asking for trouble. MIRACULOUSLY though, the 4 month old Car Seat Hater was AMAZING on the way over. We hardly heard a peep from her – sleeping most of the way. Even the 3yo was pretty well behaved – there was only one near-tantrum (who knew having a sweaty back could be so upsetting?!) about three quarters of the way there.
The next five days were a haze of incredible friends and family, late nights, early mornings, and taaaaaaaaaantruuuuuuuums.
Turns out, 3yo’s don’t respond well to too much stimulation and too little sleep. (And if we’re being honest, neither do I.)
Also, the baby decided that now would be a good time to squeeze out a couple of teeth. Who gets teeth at four months anyway?! How ridiculous.
Mr JB did an awesome job of chauffeuring us around in the city traffic; despite the yelling, bossing, and crying coming from the back-seat (and that was just ME). I DESPISE city traffic and distract myself by barking orders at the driver and white-knuckling the girls car seats as I’m wedged between them in the back.
But seriously – with three back-seat drivers, I think we had things covered. The baby cried; the big girl yelled at him to stop at the ‘red’ lights even when they were green; and I covered everything from speed, traffic signals, directions, pedestrians, and when Mr JB could scratch his balls.
C O N T R O L F R E A K !
I’m not entirely sure why I hate it so much – I never used to. It’s only been since having the girls; and I seem to be getting progressively more painful each time we visit the ‘Big Smoke.’ Nevertheless, Mr JB took it all in his stride, and proved my anxieties wrong, by not being involved in a fiery smash.
After a string of busy days and late nights, we were all eager to get home – back to our own environment and regular routine. We packed the car the night before we left, ready for an early start; but before we could hit the highway, there was one last thing we had to pick up..
You see, as well as bringing home the Baby’s two new teeth, we also brought home a new family member..
Meet Alfie. Aka: Alfalfa, Sprout, Alf, Alfred, and Daina (the last one courtesy of 3yo). Our imitation Golden Retriever.
He told me not to tell you, but he’s actually a Swiss Shepherd X Staffy – and he is all kinds of adorable. He fits the bill of being a “yellow” dog (3yo’s favourite colour); and helps to balance the male:female ratio in our family. You would assume that he caused all kinds of chaos in the car on the 7 hour trip home – but this guy practically slept the WHOLE WAY. (Hello new favourite child!)
Regardless of his perfect behaviour, picking up the pup still added an extra strain to the drive home – whoever wasn’t driving had to hold the pup, tend to the teething baby, and calm the 3yo’s tantrums. Added to this was the fact that it was hot as piss outside and Mr JB had food poisoning after consuming a dodgy pizza the night before.
The essence of my day was set early on when I forgot to check the service station toilet seat before sitting down. I barrelled in to the cubicle closest to the door (statistically the least used cubicle); I remember seeing that the water was bubbly, and thinking ‘beauty, the cleaner has just been through!’ When I sat down, I could feel a dampness under my legs and reassured myself that it was just cleaning solution that hadn’t yet dried. It wasn’t until I stood up and turned to flush, that I noticed that the whole toilet seat and lid was splashed with a suspicious coloured liquid. I said a quick prayer to the Public Toilet Gods, that the toilet in question had a dicky flush that when pushed, sprays water up onto the seat.
I pushed the flush button.
No such luck.
There was a 100% chance that I had sat in someone’s piss.
Somehow though, despite the urine; the food poisoning; the toothy pegs and the sleep deprivation; we made it home on the same day we left. The 3yo grizzled for the last three hours straight; falling asleep about five minutes from home. But we made it.
Sanity just intact.
Now excuse me while I spend the next fortnight wading through the piles of post holiday washing.