Thursday, 15 November 2012

Fear of travelling- irrational or fair?

I often observe myself and consider my thoughts and behaviour totally irrational.   It is completely out of my control, I can't stop myself from acting this way, so I just get on with it, like a total neurotic nut-case, sweeping through the crazy disorder!

Yesterday evening I found myself getting irrationally stressed out about going Christmas shopping with my little sister, how stupid does that seem?  We planned to travel 40 miles to Belfast and my crazy mind built it up to be a journey so long and tough that it would rival crossing the Sahara! I could not force the reasoning into my brain that this is not that far, before I was off on maternity leave it was my daily commute!

Why it was stressing me out baffles me!  Was it because it will be the longest ever journey my 12 week old baby has ever been on in the car?  Was it because by the time we travel to and from Belfast she will have been in her car-seat for over the recommended limit of time a child should spend in it in a day? Was it because it was the first long car journey I would be taking my toddler on since she has been out of nappies for a month?  Yes, all of the above stressed me out!  However the realities of the day involved much more bedlam than I could ever have imagined.....

Having packed the changing bag I made what felt like a totally overwhelming decision of which car to take today, (thought process including: which car was bigger, which car was easier on fuel, which car had nursery rhyme music in it and which car did I have my sunglasses in!) I decided on my hubby's car, mainly because the double buggy was already in the boot of the car! 

After breakfast I had the brainwave of taking the girls to mums and toddlers for an hour or so to wear them out a bit so  they would sleep in the car- oh how clever I thought I was.  Mums and tots turned into a nightmare with Brooke refusing to go to the toilet for the third hour in a row, stressing me to the max, and then torturing other mums (who were lovely and v understanding) to take her to the loo where she declared to them "can't go" and to top it all off she decided to pull herself up onto the adult seats by pulling on my arm which was holding a cup of tea that instantly flew everywhere AAAAHHHHH! Everywhere meaning all over MY top, belly legs and arm and a bit onto Brooke's sleeve.  What a scene to cause.  I panicked and rushed Brooke's arm under the cold tap and thankfully she had no harm done apart from a brown stain on her white Peppa jumper which she had a cry about.  Me on the other hand am still a bit red 12 hours later!

Needless to say, me being me, my plan to tire Brooke out completely failed.  No sleep in the car.  Zoe wasn't that tired either and liked to play the game where she was silent when the car was moving and cried every time we stopped in traffic.  This was great fun as we hit a mixture of grid-locked rush-hour traffic and what seemed like thousands of cars making their way to Disney on Ice.  Just when Zoe peacefully dosed over, still stuck in a complete traffic jam, unable to move the car, my heart sank as Brooke shouts "Mummy mummy I've a sore belly I need to poo!"  Me and my sister Grace just looked at each other with wide-eyed panic, there was nothing we could do, nowhere to turn as we heard a very loud 'motorbike' coming from the back seat followed my a horrible smell and Brooke saying "uh-oh!"  I could have just cried at the thought of what was going to be in the back seat when I eventually got pulled over.  Strangely Brooke wasn't upset though and about ten minutes later I got pulled over in the dark under a street light to examine the damage, but amazingly no harm done.  I said Brooke "did you not poo?" she said "no just a motorbike mummy!  Need to poo now need to poo now"  In a panic I grabbed the potty I keep in the car, set it on the footpath, in the dark, under the streetlight, as traffic flooded past and sat Brooke on it where she smiled "Just another motorbike mummy!" and got up all pleased with herself!

I have never been so happy for a day's travels to be over and I have to mention my complete awe of a friend of mine who managed to travel from England to Northern Ireland with her baby when he was only 2 weeks old to be bridesmaid at her sister's wedding- I salute you!  though I definitely think my fears of travelling are well-founded!

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