One of the most challenging things you can do as a parent is go on a long car journey with your children. By the end of it they are extremely fractious, grizzled, hungry, thirsty, and there is a good chance one of them will have wet themselves. You will be lucky to have retained your sanity.
On our last trip to visit the olds, it was about 5 hours each way. This involved the following incidents.
1) An hour into the trip Littl'un #1 pipes up with the usual "I need a wee!!!". Queue stop off at next service station for toilet break.
2) Five minutes later down the motorway Littl'un #1 pipes up with "I need a poo!!!" Queue stop off at next service station for yet another toilet break amid furious mutterings of "couldn't you go last time we stopped?" "But I didn't NEED to go then"...
3) Littl'un #2 then clearly feels that he has been left out of the equation for too long and starts whining. Luckily he is still in nappies so that is one problem avoided. (We did consider putting a nappy on his brother after point 2 but there you go). So then we start the great Feeding of Children to Keep Them Quiet part of the journey. Sandwiches, biscuits and crisps are passed to the back of the car and now the car looks like it needs a good hoover. Littl'un #2 is covered in jam and just out of reach, but he can still reach to smear jam all over the interior of the car. Littl'un #1 moans that he didn't want jam and complains mightily for at least 20 minutes.
4) Kids are sated for a little while. Mum decides to put some music on to keep them happy. Littl'un #1 has developed a taste for Meatloaf and after listening to "I would do anything for love but I won't do that" five times in a row, mum is ready to bail and hitch a lift for the rest of the journey. What started off as cute, Littl'un #1 singing along to Meatloaf, is now very annoying and when we try and put something else on he complains loudly that it is rubbish and "can we put Meatloaf on" over and over and over and over...
5) Finally we get to our destination. Kids get out of the car, and immediately say "can we go home now?". We have yet to face the journey home, and are considering ways to drug the kids to sleep on the return journey.