We do long car journeys well now, me’n’thekids. We’re used to the 6 hour trip to North Wales to see Grandma, we know the rules and it all runs smoothly, except on the M25 of course where so often things don’t run at all.
‘Me’n’thekids’ this time meant three of them (it’s quite exciting never knowing what number it’ll be!) and it was the usual fizzy chewy sweets and salty savoury snacks junk-fest, and I bought them all magazines as a ‘holiday treat’ as I always have done. Or ‘mazalines’ as they still insist on calling them, like they did when they were three.
It’s great now they’re all teenagers, long car journeys are much easier. There’s no screaming in the car anymore and nobody vomits. They still do the pretending to be little kids thing and whine ‘are we nearly there yet?’ and it’s still just as annoying as it always was. I guess I still do the same things too though to be fair, like constantly saying ‘There’s a speed camera sign there but look there’s no speed cameras’ and ‘I can’t see any hidden in the trees. Where ARE they?’ and I hope that’s just as annoying for my kids. I think it is.
As we drove and drove and drove I was thinking I love the fact that they always want to do things exactly as we did them during car journeys when they were small. Although we take a huge selection of CDs it’s the ones that we always used to listen to in the car that inevitably get chosen. We have a HOLIDAY SOUNDTRACK. I never knew I was creating that when they were little (and I say ‘I’ deliberately there, they didn’t get a choice). Oh and that’s another annoying thing I still do to them, I say ‘Listen to this! This is my favourite song of all time!’ a lot.
So the script, the soundtrack, the sweets’n’junk, the mazalines, it’s all exactly the same as we did long car journeys when they were little children and I love how such simple things draw us together as a family, our shared history. Without the screaming and the vomit. Bliss.