After a disastrous car journey with a then 4-week old Kitty in which she sobbed her way through an hour and a half of very slowly moving traffic because her newby parents hadn’t quite clicked that cluster feeding time meant ‘you must be in a house and not moving anywhere’ time, we’ve been pretty careful with planning long journeys. Some trips we know she’ll be awake at least some of the time, but if we catch it just right she’ll have a nice little snooze and wake up ready to rampage whoever’s house we’ve just pulled up to.
So when we set off back down south last Sunday evening, we innocently imagined that Kit, full of Grandma’s best steak pie and chips and satiated with all the love, cuddles and running around time that a full complement of aunts and uncle can provide, would wave bye-bye to her Yorkshire family, curl up under her quilt, and drift off to sleep as the miles of M1 trundled under our wheels.
Not a bit of it. She waved bye bye very vigorously, and then set about looking for leftover crumbs/ raisins/ hair bobbles secreted around her car seat. By the time we’d got to the end of the road it was time for her next game – “shooooooes! Mama! shoooooooes!”
We took her shoes off.
“Shoocks!” The imperious princess demanded.
We took her socks off.
“Shooooooes!”. They went back on again.
Now I pride myself on a relatively strong stomach but I suspect there are few people that can spend significant periods of time screwed up in their seat facing backwards dressing and undressing the wiggling feet of a one year old while travelling down the motorway. I am not one of them. So we moved onto Plan B (code name: time for Mama to bring out the big guns).otherwise known as a certain someone’s copy of In the Night Garden magazine complete with her favourite friends “Iggie”, “Pakka”, “Up-Doo” and “Tobiboo”.
Silence ruled (and I got to face the front for a bit).
In fact the silence continued so long we thought she might have fallen asleep, but no, there she was, still turning pages, a happy contented little girl.
Only as we approached the Coventry ring road did the magazine slip to one side and allow us to see how she’d really been entertaining herself:
And finally, one for the chin to round it all off!
Next time we travel, I think we’re taking lots of stickers, although the decapitated Upsy Daisy discovered this morning attached to the side of the car seat took a little bit of explaining, and no-one’s quite sure how Dada’s console acquired a teeny tiny blue and red Haa Hoo.