So we moved. I can now justify my title of “Norn Irish Mummy” as I am officially a mother residing in the North of Ireland. Transporting all our possessions (including two small children) across a body of water was a piece of piss. Yeh, fecking, right…
- One year olds with chicken pox do not make good travel buddies.
We had our road trip back to Co.Down booked months in advance. We were to bugger off to a wedding in Warwickshire on the Friday (our first over night jaunt with no offspring), then spend a day hungover arguing over the packing with two small children demanding our attention, to then abandon our home on the Sunday morning at 6am to catch the ferry in Wales mid afternoon. The plan was flawless. Until number 2 got chicken pox on the Thursday. A few fruitless messages later in an attempt to find alternative childcare for the day of the wedding we decided to be absolutely horrendous parents and send our pox- ridden child into nursery regardless of his contagious state simply so we could get pissed and have a sleep in. Yes, we are those parents. Get over it. He was contagious 2 days before the spots appeared…one more day wasn’t going to kill anyone. However, travelling for 14 hours with a one year old who has chicken pox is enough to kill someone, so much so that we added an extra stop into our journey resulting in us having approximately 1 minute to spare in catching the ferry. My husband explicitly told me this was my fault for asking him to purchase a croissant for our poorly child at the over priced service station. Our hate for each other was strong as we boarded the ferry to make new lives for ourselves as newly divorced single parents.
2. If the toddler wants to walk down some stairs just let him.
Hubby and I put the whole “we’re going to miss the ferry because of you” scenario to one side to continue our magical journey upon the Stena Line crossing. This is essentially a floating restaurant which seems to cover every demographic in the country, except the rich people go into a little glass booth at the front of the ship and the rest of us have to fight over seats and the last portion of fish and chips. Chickenpox child napped a little, the three year old was entertained with arcade machines and some very poor performance pieces laid on for the lower classes. We realised that we were on tantrum territory as the ship was docking in Dublin so quite literally needed to abandon ship as quickly as possible. In order to do this hubby took the lift with the buggy and the three year old and I took the stairs. Only he was so bloody slow and we risked being crushed by the masses that picking him up and carrying him seemed like the only option. I should have bloody known better. Our son had the most catastrophic melt down that people were backing away from us. I’m sure I heard utterances of pity as the public thought I was dealing with a child with “severe difficulties”. No, my child just wanted to walk down some stairs and I carried him. He was going so mental that he had to be held down to be strapped in his car seat. Meanwhile the rest of the entire ship had disembarked and was queuing behind our vehicle to get off the ferry. Approximately 10,235 eyes were on us as we pinned our psychotic child into the car against his will and tried to manipulate the 49 bags back into our car to be on our merry way. Holy hell. Next time he can take the stairs and take the risk of breaking his neck amongst the clientele of steerage.
3. Sleep patterns.
Hubby and I resumed our non-talking “why didn’t you just let him walk down the bloody stairs?” status in the car as this is how we like to travel best. The three year old fell into a horrendously deep sleep as you would after thrashing your body around for 45 minutes in full public eye and the chickenpox child wined for the full 90 minute drive to Co.Down. So when we arrived at 8pm (bedtime) the 3 year old was as bright as a button (we all know how bloody bright they can be) and didn’t fall asleep until 11pm. Exactly what you want after a 5:30am start and a journey which seemed to last 9 days. The 11pm bedtimes haven’t exactly continued, but fucked if we can get our three year old to go to bed anymore. I genuinely can’t remember how to do it. I mean he just gets out of his bed, walks downstairs and starts talking to us all. Hubby had the bright idea of watching Animals of Farthing Wood with him in bed to make him drowsy. Please note, if you haven’t watched this series since the mid 90s I would think twice about viewing it again. It is simply harrowing. Baby mice get impaled, pheasants get shot, hedgehogs run over and young rabbits murdered. I used to quite “fancy” fox in the cartooney kind of way, however he is actually a massive dick whose interpersonal skills are questionable and leadership abilities need to be developed further. Turns out hubby was a little obsessed with said children’s programme when he was younger and thought he would indulge himself at the three year old’s bedtime, we are now trying our best to curtail this unhelpful nighttime routine as presently hubby and I are binging on the journey of a collection of woodland animals on a nightly basis and have to restrain ourselves not to watch 6 episodes in one sitting. Bedtime is now a communal affair with all of us wondering which creature is going to die next. If only it was available on Netflix.