Black Friday: the car journey from hell

The next time someone comes to me claiming to be stressed I will point them in the direction of this blog post, ask them to give it a quick read, and then tell me if they still think they are stressed. If they say yes, I will be a good friend and help them accordingly, if they say no, then it is likely they have realised that the true definition of stress could be the utter horror of being trapped in a car with a screaming baby for 6.5 hours…

Last week my little boy went off on a road trip to visit his grandparents. We had a great time and he loved all the attention. Unfortunatley the trip ended on a bit of a downer owing to the nightmare journey we had getting home. We waved off my mum all smiles and chuckles and went whizzing down the empty motorway. There was me rocking out to the Chilli Peppers, and Phoenix rocking out with his Tommie Tippee mobile toy when signs started flashing on the motorway announcing the closure of the M40. For some reason I assumed this wouldn’t affect me (I’m a very optimistic girl you see) and I trucked on regardless. Then we hit it. A giant snake of traffic slithering into the distant horizon. God knows how long it went it on for, there was no end in sight. A lorry had overturned and spilt its goods everywhere and the WHOLE M40 was being diverted. Oh. My. God. At this point Phoenix was asleep and I nervously watched the clock as I awaited his hungry wake up call. It came after two hours of us being in the car and right on cue for his feed. Luckily at this point we were close to the junction of the diversion which had a service station so I dived in there for a feed and change. After a bit of a flap about what to do next, a frantic call to Ben to source an alternate route which didn’t exist, I bit the bullet and got back into the hellish traffic.

High on the joy of milk, Phoenix was quite happy playing with his toy again like it was the first time he’d seen it, and after an hour of this he drifted off for a nap. Once again I began to clock watch knowing that hunger would return all too soon. But that wasn’t all that was coming for us and it’s worth pointing out here that Phoenix hadn’t pooed for 1.5 days. I knew that something big was coming for us, and it wasn’t long into his nap when I heard a few eruptions and the familiar waft of baby poo. Oh. My. God. Tick, tock, tick, tock. The traffic was now total gridlock and not moving at all. The radio informed me there had been an accident within the traffic and police and ambulances went whizzing by. I was going no where fast, well just no where at all actually. A few stirs and murmurs were now coming from the car seat, and then it came. Welcome to hell mum.

I had Phoenix in his car seat on the passengers seat (you can switch off air bags in my car) and he looked at me with big sad eyes with his little lip sticking out; ‘why the hell aren’t you sorting me out woman? I’m sitting in a giant turd and need some serious milk! Why are we STILL in this car?!’ He became more and more hysterical and so did I. I never leave him to cry so am not used to seeing him get in a state and it was so frustrating not being able to get to him, I was literally stuck. So there we were both our lips out, both crying and both getting more and more hysterical. I couldn’t see how I was going to get out of this, I literally thought I was going to be on the road all night, no, actually FOREVER.

Once we’d finally passed the lorry the road opened back up into three lanes and we were off. I pulled in at the next services to attend to my screaming baby. I was so desperate to get home and calm him down I couldn’t be bothered to go inside the service station so just nipped into the car park and got feeding asap at the wheel. Once that had settled him down I tackled the nappy and it was at this point I regretted doing all this in the car. I have never seen a poo explosion like it in my life. 1.5 days worth of poo, and we’ve just started on solids too so it was a new consistency to cope with (see next post on weaning!). I haven’t been brave enough yet to check if the car seats are ok yet. Car cleaning is a ‘blue job’ so I’ll leave that for Ben (good luck).

So with that pit stop complete off we went onto the M25; ‘yes, this is it I’m on the home straight’. Bang, massive tears and screams, again! By now it was bed time and poor little Phoenix was desperate to be out the car and tucked up in bed with sleepy seahorse. I was trying to concentrate on my driving and not get put off when I heard the worst possible sound at that moment. The sound of a dummy hitting the floor. Oh. My. God. So I drove in the slow lane with my little finger in his mouth for about 5 mins until he went to sleep. Peace and quiet at last and home in sight. Then obviously, because this was already the world’s worst journey, about 15 mins away from home I hit more traffic. Grrrrr. At this point I was sending various SOS texts to Ben such as ‘get chocolate‘ and ‘put wine in fridge‘ and trying to stop myself from having some kind of in-car break down (does the AA do people break downs as well as cars?)

6.5 hours later I arrived home a weary, beaten woman with a sleepy bear cub in tow (he was wearing his bear suit in case you were wondering). Phoenix continued his sleep and I put him straight to bed while I hit the wine and demanded foot massages, trashy TV and slipped into the cosiest pj’s I could find. My lovely gorgeous husband was only to happy to serve me all night and he’d made the flat spotless and bought various amounts of calorific treats. Phew. The following day he was all smiles again so thankfully he hasn’t held it against me.

So there we have it, a definate milestone on my on-going mission to motherhood. And what is the moral of this story I wonder? Get the train? Don’t leave the house? Invest in a private jet? I’m not sure, but one thing is for sure, I’ve had my share of travel bad luck for this year.

Ems

P.S: Thanks for coming back, sorry I haven’t blogged for a while, guess I’ve been in trauma! Two more posts coming this week 🙂 Stick with me!

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5 thoughts on “Black Friday: the car journey from hell

  1. Honest Mum says:

    I totally feel your pain and have been there many times before, each time promising myself I’d never get myself and my baby in that situation again! You write so well too, love your blog. Pls do check out mine at http://www.honestmum.com

  2. Muddling Along says:

    I hear you – I can still remember an epic journey around the M25 from MIL’s with a baby that screamed the entire way… shudder

    Time to ask for satnav for Christmas? My little TomTom has a divert around traffic hell thing that is a lifesaver

  3. Claire says:

    What a gorgeous baby you have!

    Can I just say, I had to laugh at the title. I thought ALL car trips involving a baby in a seat ended up being from hell?!? Mine certainly are 🙂

  4. mummyfiles says:

    You poor poor thing. I often feel sorry for any mums with babies in the car when I pass a traffic jam in the opposite direction on the motorway, your first hand account makes me realise it’s just as hellish as I had imagined.
    Thank god it’s over and the boy is ok x

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