I love travelling … which is just as well, as my family is all over the place and none of them do it; my folks live in France – 1400 kms away from our home in Bavaria, Germany. It’s a flippin long way. Driving alone, I can just about manage it in one hit – not really advisable, but has been done a few times. With a 3yo it doesn’t even come into question, so trips to see the grandparents are always a big adventure for my little one, with an overnight stop and picnics (in the warmer weather). I am, however, blessed to have bred a child who travels superbly well. In fact, I am in awe of his unbelievable staying power and his (almost) perfect behaviour. He is a total nomad and is in his element when we’re on the road. He takes after his mum in that respect, thank Heavens, (one of the few useful things he has inherited from me!) as the 20 hour trip over two days would be a complete nightmare otherwise.
The older he gets, the more communicative he is in the car, which is great for us both in many respects, but … ! The following are little snippets of conversation I noted from our last trip back after Easter (and have only just got around to writing up). Let’s face it, however gorgeous and good he is, 20 hours in a small, confined space, is a very, very long time….
L: Mami, where are we going?
Me: We are going home now Poppet
L: Back to our home?
L: Your home and mine home?
Me: Yes, home to our home.
Me: Because our holiday at Grandma and Grandad’s is finished, so we’re going back to our house in Germany
L: Why is it finished?
Me: Well, because we said to Grandma and Grandad we would stay for 10 days and we’ve been there for 10 days haven’t we.
L: Why did we stay for 10 days?
Me: Well we couldn’t stay longer, because Grandma’s poorly and she gets very tired if we are there for too long, so now it’s time for us to go back to our own house.
Me: Why what?
L: Why do we have our own house?
Me: Well, because… because that’s where we live and it’s where our things are – your toys and your bedroom and Mummy’s books and her computer
L: But you have a puter at Grandma’s house. And you have a puter – aNOTHer puter in your bag. In the car *pointing* here.
Me: Yes but we can’t stay at Grandma’s house.
Me: *help* Well, because that’s her house and ..
L: AND Grandad’s house!
Me: Yes, AND Grandad’s house. But we have our house. In Germany. And that’s where you go to Spielpark and that’s where Papa is.
L: And Helmut.
Me: Yes, and Helmut. And Helmut’s an old man who would miss you very much if you didn’t come back.
L: I missed you Mummy.
Me: Did you Poppet? When?
L: When you were at Grandma’s house.
Me: Oh no! Why did you miss me Sweetheart?
Me: Oh! Okay … but why did you miss me?
L: Because you weren’t there!
Me: er, yes I was!
L: NO! You weren’t! You were in your bedroom.
Me: Oh! Was I working? Is that why you missed me? When you were playing outside with Grandad?
Me: Oh. *silently* : I’m so sorry….
* * * * * *
L: MAMI TRAC-terrrrr !!!!!!!
Me: *jumping out my skin* What? Oh, YAY!!!! What colour??
L: *shriek* AND HAYbales!!!!!!
Me: OH my Goodness! HAYbales, that’s fanTASTic! Where would we be without them!
L: Mummy where are we going?
Me: *not again* We’re going home.
L: NO! We’re going to the hole tail.
Me: We’re going where??
L: To the hole tail.
Me: Erm…. ???
L: YOU know… with the Tessst-errrrossa.
Me: Ohhhh! Haha! to the hotel??!
L: YeS! To the hole tail. With the red tessssterrrossa. On the wall. That hole tail.
Me: *still laughing* yes darling, we are… to that hotel.
L: Where’s Grandad?
Me: Well I guess he’s at home
L: With Grandma?
L: and Nina and Bella?
L: and Mystique and Mystere and the cows!
Me: yes Poppet.
Me: Hehe, what’re you chuckling at?
L: Mystique is sooooooo fat!
Me: hehe yes, she’s enormous
L: Mami, Mystique’s NORmus.
L: Mami Mystique’s normus and YOOOooooj.
Me: She is Sweetheart. She’s a fat cat.
* * * * * *
L: Mami what are you doing?
Me: I’m driving, Poppet, what are you doing?
L: Why are you driving?
Me: Because we wouldn’t get very far if I didn’t.
Me: Because the car can’t drive itself and we want to go home don’t we
L: Why do we want to? …. Mummy MY MAN!!
Me: What? What’s the matter??
L: Get him!!
Me: Get what, what’s happ..
L: Mami my MAN fell down you need to GET HIM!!
M: Oh Sweetheart, Mummy’s driving, where is he?
L: Down there! Look!!
Me: Darling I can’t look, if I look back I’ll crash the car … where did he go, on the floor somewhere here or down the side?
L: THERE!! Mummy there! no!!! NOT there, THERE!
M: Babes I can’t see, I can’t look down there Poppet or the car will go boom!
L: *real tears* you CAN! He’s THERE … Mummy you CAN get him, you NEED to get him now!
Me: Okay, okay! Listen, let me slow down a little bit, but I can’t stop Poppet … let me … is he .. here … somewhere … Babe, can you see him? Did he go down here… here, where Mummy’s hand is … ?
L: NO!! HERE!!…
Me: Oh God, L darling, you’ll have to wait Sweetheart, I really…. can’t… is that…? ah… no, but look! I’ve found your dinosaur, you were looking for him earlier…
L: But my man’s THERE Mummy!
M: OK you know what? do or die or a walloping great fine if I get caught… where the… ow… oh my G……….. HERE!! Take it and for Heaven’s Sake keep hold of him okay??!
L: Mummy. you shouldn’t. say. God.
* * * * * *
Me: Yes Darling?
Me: Yes Darling?
Me: … Poppet are you OK?
L: Yes, but Mummy?
Me: Yes L, what’s the matter, are you OK? Do you need something?
L: Where’s Grandad?
Me: *sigh* He’s at home with Grandma and the animals. Would you like a drink?
L: Mummy I’m coming out.
(140km/hr on the motorway)
Me: No Sweetheart, you stay in your seat please, we’ll stop for a peepee break at the next service station okay? … L.. darling, please Poppet, put your arm back in … L PUT YOUR ARMS BACK IN ….
L: but I don’t need peepee Mummy
Me: then put your arms back in L and sit still … look out the window and see how many deer signs you can see …
Me: Can you see one? … look! here’s one coming up, out of this window, can you see?
L: Mummy I’m coming out to you!!
Me: Sweetheart you can’t come out or you’ll go boom if Mummy has a crash and you’ll hurt your head
L: Why will you have a crash?
Me: Well I don’t want to crash, but if I did ..
L: But I want a cuddle!
Me: Oh Babes, here, cuddle my hand for a second … here … ow .. don’t pull Sweetheart, owOW darling! Babes you’ll just have to hold Mummy’s hand verrry gently…
Me: Ow because owww, darling my arm doesn’t twist like that … I tell you what, you just blow Mummy a kiss and I’ll catch it and I’ll blow you one, okay? Here you go …
* * * * * *
Me: You see, you did need peepee, I thought you did!
L: But Mummy, that blue man didn’t say hello!
Me: No he didn’t did he Poppet
L: Why not?
Me: Like I said before, I don’t think he saw you. He was talking to his friend.
L: Why was he?
Me: Well, because he was there with his friend, just having a bit of a chat. Wasn’t he.
L: Yes. But Mummy?
L: The yellow one did thrrrow her coat on the floor!!
Me: Well I don’t think she did it on purpose Poppet, she just put it on the back of her chair and it fell off
L: No!! She did thrrooow it! She shouldn’t throw. things. on the floor!!
Me: No she shouldn’t, you’re right
L: Mami I want to go back!
Me: Back where?
L: To the yellow lady
Me: Well we can’t go back Sweetheart, we’re already on the motorway
L: But I wwant to go BACK! She can’t throw her coat on the floooor!!
* * * * * *
L: Mummy do I Spy!
Me: That’s a good idea! I spy with my little eye, sommmmething beginning with … um… ooo!: Wuh!
L: I don’t know!
Me: Well what can you see that begins with Wuh?
L: Ummmmm, wuh … wuh-w-w-wwwooooozies
Me: hehe that’s not really a word is it. Can you see a woozie?
Me: What else? Something you can see? Coming up there, in front, …… NOW! … there! look! … can you see? … and it’s gone. Did you see it?
L: What was it?
Me: A wuh for wwwwwindsock! Like last time … a great. big. windsock. Did you see it?
Me: Your turn!
L: I spyyyy with myliddleyyyyyye .. something binning with … ummm …. with …. Mummy there’s a LORRY! with more lorries on it!!
Me: Wow! That’s amazing. And look! the one at the back’s the wrong way round!
L: Mami he’s driving BACKwards!!!! Do I spy again!
Me: It’s your turn Poppet.
L: I spyyyy with myliddleyyyyyye .. something benig… something binngin .. Mummy, it’s something binn…ing with … ummm …. with …. Wuh!
Me: Oooo Wuh! Let me think, what can I see that begins with Wuh …. um Window?
Me: Water? Water begins with a wuh doesn’t it.
L: It’s not water that I can see Mummy!
Me: umm well I don’t know then … there’s not much to see along here. What is it?
L: Errrrrm, it’s aaaaawwWwwwOOOzie!! Mami, where’re we going? …..