Holidays, they’re wonderful. I used to live for my holidays, that blissful couple of weeks spent lazing about on a sun lounger for hours on end, casually flipping through a magazine whilst simultaneously working on my tan and sipping a cocktail.
But there are two types of holidays: There are holidays and then there are holidays with kids. And sadly, the word ‘kids’ generally negates the word ‘holiday.’ Going on vacation with children typically requires careful consideration and strategic planning both of which are to be executed with military like precision. Which sadly is less like a holiday and more like work.
Take our latest family holiday for example. We are in New Zealand for the school holidays visiting family, which happen to be scattered from one end of the North Island to the other. This being the case we had the option of either hiring a car and driving from Wellington to Auckland (approx. a 6 hour + drive) or catching a domestic flight. To me it seemed like no contest; I would choose to fly, a quick relatively easy one-hour flight. My husband however, decided he would rather hire a rental car and in doing so, sentenced us to a six and half hour drive trapped in a steel prison, with whingy and grumpy children. (WTF? – Where’s the Fun in that?)
A long-distance road trip with kids is not for the faint hearted, (its for the incredibly bold or dare I say stupid). The only way we were going to survive this trip was with much consideration and careful planning. So, in preparation we purchased the equivalent of the boy’s body weight (each) in snacks. I figured it was harder for them to whinge when their mouths were full. We also made sure their iPads were fully charged, gave them essentials like a bottle of water and a jumper each, and finally, we built a barrier in the middle seat, (like the Berlin wall – separating East from West) so that that neither boy could accuse the other of encroaching on their space.
Planning complete and we were on our way. The peace lasted a mere forty-five minutes. This is all it took before boredom kicked in and the world’s most annoying question was asked. ‘Are we there yet???’ Not. Even. Close.
We managed to travel another half hour or so in silence before an ‘urgent’ toilet stop was requested. We were of course in the middle of nowhere. No worries I thought, we can just pull over to the side of the road and do a sneaky ‘tree wee,’ right? Wrong! It was of course a number two that my son needed to do. Unsurprisingly I didn’t fancy my son using a leaf to try and clean up his business with and so I told him to ‘hold it.’ This of course lead to an agonising half an hour’s worth of listening to ‘I really need to go’ and ‘when will we be stopping?’ until we reached the next regional town.
Toilet pit stop over, and we were back on the road, this time we got about 10 minutes of blissful silence before one son decided he didn’t like the way his brother was looking at him and so he says, ‘What are you looking at you idiot?’ Naturally the other is not going to let this slide without retaliation, so he fired back with ‘I’m looking at a super idiot’ and then started whipping him in the face with his jumper. Full blown war had broken out, (so much for my ‘Berlin Wall) and the boys had now engaged in a yelling match of epic proportions. I yelled at them to be quiet, which fell on deaf ears. The fighting only escalated from here, now they were both swiping at each other and yelling at the top of their lungs. I looked over at my husband and he had a vein in his head that was bulging and threatening to blow. Without warning he opened his mouth and roared at the kids, telling them to zip it or get out! It had the desired effect, instance silence befalling the car. I wish I could say the story had a happier ending from here. But sadly no, it seems my kids are slow learners, as there were several other altercations between this point and our destination. I am pleased to report that we did all eventually make it in one piece.
In summation: Road tripping with kids. Not a brilliant idea. Next time I am definitely investing the money and flying, better still, we may even invest extra money and fly business class while the kids sit back in coach. Now that is starting to sound more like a holiday already!
Love and Light Always, Bel x
About the author
So, who is the Princess in Steelcap Boots? That’s me; shopaholic, chatterbox, book lover and collector of pink things. I am the girliest of girls, who happens to live in a house full of boys – my husband, my two sons, even our dog is a boy! Life in my household is hectic, loud, messy and most of all smelly! When I’m not immersing myself in reading or writing, I can usually be found wielding an electric drill and donning a high-vis vest and a pair of steelcap boots, whilst at work in my husband’s business. (For evidence click here)…