Driving – 11th February
After a mammoth car journey (6hrs driving with a 2yr old and a 1yr old!). We finally arrived at our Scottish destination, a beautiful cottage in the heart of Ballater. A quick dash to the supermarket and had a pizza for dinner.
Relaxing in the evening, I sat and contemplated how one can ‘best’ prepare for a journey of that length with 2 toddlers and a dog! Top Tips and Top Don’ts from us below:
How to Survive a Long Car Journey with Kids:
1. Download ALL the episodes of anything and everything you think your littles will watch on Netflix (yes, you can now download and watch later with no wifi on Netllll, who knew!)
2. Pack EVERY snack under the sun and chuck them into the back at the first hint of a whinge.
3. Make sure you have the dummy and/or comforter and a back up dummy or comforter.
4. Have adequate tunes for the journey, and by this, I obviously mean a nursery rhymes CD (kill me now!). I have no idea how they know, but as soon as you even try to flick to anything remotely close to being in the Top 40, they demand ‘my songs’!
5. Take a pack up tea for when you arrive otherwise you’ll face a fraught ‘quick shop’ where you will buy a bunch of food you don’t need in a frantic bid for a quick and peaceful dinner.
What Not To Do (Tried and Tested by us!)
1. Don’t pack just one measly snack per child; thank goodness for my Mum who baked us a box of cookies and absolutely saved my bacon. Half the box was gone before we’d even crossed the border!!
2. Don’t got without a pack up lunch, which will mean you will stop at services and pay ridiculously high prices for mediochre food and drink, and whilst you try to eat them, the bigger one will charge around like a nutter and NOT eat the sandwich you paid £3+ for.
3. Forget a pack up dinner, so will end up doing a mad dash to the supermarket for dinner and breakfast provisions as naturally the following day is Sunday and everything will be shut!
However, despite the lengthy journey and crazy 2hrs frantically trying to unpack the car, shopping and put everything away, we managed to get both kiddies off to bed around 7.30pm and instead of working like I usually would during the school term time or watching tv, I actually sat down to read my book. The second of what I hope to be a series of 12 in my #ayearinbooks2017 challenge. It was blissful! And the cottage is gorgeous!
Hill Walking – 12th February
After a somewhat challenging morning, trying to get the children to eat breakfast, shower, chase the children round the house, we made it out of the house at what I thought must have been close to 10am, when in actual fact it was 8.50am!! (we usually struggle to get out of the house by10am on a weekend, so this is some kind of record!) I thought we were going for a walk round Ballater and perhaps to the park; but no, we ended up hiking up a hill with both kids in tow.
Daddy carrying L in the backpack and holding the dog lead and me in charge of H. The hill was a 15 minute walk away from the cottage, but onwards and upwards (literally). It was a bit rough going for the first 10 minutes or so (H kept saying ‘it’s too slippery for me’) until we found the easier circular route, and thankfully by this time H was really getting into it and L was just starting to not get into it…..but we soldiered on. As we reached the peak (a whopping 315m), the snow got slightly thicker, but the sun was out. By this point, L had reached the end of her tether so we let her loose at the top along with her brother and the dog. A quick snack and we were soon on our way again with an even whingier L…..
We marched down as fast as we could trying to laugh about walking along with an overtired, crying 1 yr old, which is actually quite loud when she’s in a backpack! At the bottom, her brother decided he was too tired to walk anymore and needed a cuddle (his clever way of being carried). So we swapped over and I carried Chief Whinger and Daddy had H on his shoulders. We took a minor detour (aka wrong turn!) at the bottom but made it home in time for lunch: Scottish potato scones and cheesy beans, yum.
After lunch, Daddy and I were counting down the minutes until nap time; how am I going to survive when they don’t nap!? An hour later and the ‘sanity saver’ had arrived (Alleluia!) and I even managed a 10 minute zizz myself. Phew.
Stay tuned for some more Scottish Adventures….and hopefully some snow!
Comment with your top tips or top don’ts for long car journeys with children.