Road trip: EIEIO

Number of kilometres driven: 450
Number of hours travel time: 5.5
Number of stops: 1
Number of hours Harper cried NON STOP for: 1.5
Number of times we pulled over on the freeway: 3
Number of times Daisy told me we should never have had Harper: 6
Number of lolly pops consumed: 2
Number of Freddo Frogs consumed: 2
Number of times I threatened to turn around and go home: 2

So. We made it. Intact. In one piece. I was frazzled to say the least. Nerves frayed, a stress headache that lasted for hours later, and the memories too fresh and raw (and an eye twitch) for me to write about it last night. I mean it was fine, it really was, but when it was bad, it was so bad that it I wondered why I would attempt such madness and swore to myself that I would never, ever drive by myself again over long distances.

The problem was the 19 month old. It’s always the toddler right? She wasn’t a fan of being strapped in. She wasn’t a fan of the headphones for the DVD player. She wasn’t a fan of the book reading. Or snacks. Or choice of music. Or sleep. Or her sister. Or funnily enough, my yelling about her dislike of all said things.

A personal low point was at Raymond Terrace to just past Bulahdelah (over a 100kms and approx 52 minutes) when she would not. Stop. Crying. Pulling over just delayed things and made the inevitable departure worse. So I just had to keep driving, knowing that eventually she would stop. Exhausted. Right?!  She put up a pretty good fight though which had me yelling things like “do you want me to crash the car and WE’LL ALL DIE BECAUSE I CANNOT CONCENTRATE FOR FUCKS SAKE WILL YOU STOP CRYING?!” Yes. I said that shit. Out loud. What was in my mind was much worse. Which lead Daisy to cry wishing her sister was never born and then lamenting and fixating on death for the entire trip explaining to us all that we will die. What will happen when we die. What happens to our skin, our bones, when we die which spiked the toddler’s interest at least stopped crying for a moment but instead had her saying for 10 minutes after “My die! MY DIE!”

Good times people. Good times.

I know it won’t be like this forever. And that one day both kids will get in the car, whack their headphones on and not talk to me for hours and I’ll miss this. The madness, the chaos, the humour of it all. But right now, like the stitches up the wazoo post labour, the pain is fresh. And real. And I am ignoring the fact that we have to drive back on Sunday and do this all again. At least I will have Rob with me to drive, just drive while I throw things at the baby and rub her leg while she sleeps and keep the travelling show going from the passenger seat all the way home. God bless mothers.


  1. I’m really sorry but I laughed (and cringed) when I read this, because I’ve been there (am still there). It also made me think about the loooong car trip we’re planning in January with 3 (eek) kids. What are we thinking?!

    Reading this was like travelling in the car with me, swearing including. Why do bad things always happen in car trips around Raymond Terrace?

    You’re there now, so enjoy every moment. Have a wonderful holiday, my friend. xxx

  2. oh those days of toddlers on long car trips.
    thanks for the laughs!! (trust me I feel your pain)
    so glad you arrived safe. all of you!
    now breath and have a good time!!
    c xx

  3. Anonymous says

    I totally understand Harper crying at Raymond Terrace – I do the same when I visit, considering I grew up there!! (I know).

    Enjoy the Farm…

    Sarah from Canberra.

  4. we just did a 5 hour car trip in nz, add into the mix a 4 year old that had seperation anxiety from his own car and his own car seat and a two year old who surprised us all by getting car sick, its no fun. i love that you admit to saying that stuff out loud, you make me feel normal 🙂 i’m glad i found your blog …

  5. LOVE your honesty and the humor that is underlying in this post.

  6. I am totally feeling your pain! When we drive anywhere I am like the tourist bus operator – constantly facing the back seats, entertaining, singing, feeding, changing movies…. To make matters worse, my husband refuses to stop for ANYTHING!!! Once you are in the car you must get there as soon as humanly possible – bodily functions can be fixed and cleaned at arrival!

    Good luck for your return journey. You could always drug them.

  7. If I wasn’t cracking up enough reading this…but I fairly choked on my muesli when I read Sarah from Canberra’s comment on her pretty place of birth!!!!!!
    Ah sweet memories of the Pacific Highway, the fights, the whinge that never ceased……the back I pulled every time I twisted around to whack……YOU!!!!!
    It will get better (marginally) until such time you’re heading south with Daise at the age of twenty something for a fun road trip to visit rels in Victoria……now that’s when road trips turn into fun trips!!!! X

  8. Oh Beth. You poor, poor bugger.

    But “My die. MY DIE!!!!” Classic!!!!!!!! Laughed till I snorted.

    Would it make you feel any better if I said I laughed because I’ve been there? No?

    Wait until you’re the geriatric in the backseat, whinging about everything, while Daisy and Harper take turns trying to soothe you. That’ll learn ’em.

  9. Sounds very normal to me dear Beth.

    Though I know this does not make you feel any better at the time.

    My last road trip 2 weeks ago sans husband. I actually plugged my earphones into the ipod so I couldn’t actually hear the whinging unless it got above the earphones. I think I stunned them into silence with my bad singing.

  10. Hahahaha, I laughed then I sympathised for you.

    What a trip! Damn girl, you are superwoman! That is a LONGGGG way to drive with 2 kids on your own.

    Enjoy the farm. xx

  11. Oh honey! Reading today’s post took me back to my family road trips, when I was a wee pup. My Mamma would often say ‘ if you keep distracting me, kicking my seat, and getting me to look at your shit, WE WILL CRASH AND DIE’. She was also well known (within the family) to get out of the car and walk the rest of the way home. I witnessed this on several occasions! Victor Harbour to Stirling, SA was a real doozy!
    Just remember to grit ya teeth and smile 🙂
    Enjoy the country XX

  12. Felix once screamed from the airport to Berrima NON.STOP because MORE PLANES I WANT TO SEE MORE PLANES MORE PLANES NOW.

    I have not only made the threats to put children out on the side of the road I have stopped on the side of the road, I have got out on the side of the road, I have unbuckled the child’s seatbelt while on the side of the road and started to LIFT.THEM.OUT.OF.THE.FUCKING.CAR on the side of the road.

    You know what that does – scar the other children FOR LIFE.


    still do it.

    have been known to do it on the drive home from the inlaws in Belrose to our place in Narrabeen. YEP – a 15 minute drive.

    Good times indeed.

    • I distinctly remember a time when I was traveling in the car with my mum, her best mate and two kids, and obviously we were being disgusting because they kicked us out of the car, drove off and hid around the corner to teach us a lesson.

      Lesson learnt!

  13. I am travelling home to the folks on Sunday with my 3 kiddies, a 7 1/2 hour trip. I’ve done it quite a few times and somehow we get through it without a DVD player. The last time one of my friends came with us, I think she is scarred for life. Particularly when I told her we don’t stop for lunch. Her response “WTF???”. My reply “Do you really want to draw this agony out any longer, eat in the car. The kids have to and so do you, toilet stops only woman!!!” Harsh I know, but its a fucker of a trip and I just want to get there and guzzle a bottle of wine….

  14. I just laughed out loud at all of your blog. As i have a 2 year old and a 6 month old, all of my long distant car journeys sound so like this. I felt your pain, i felt your eye twitch. After our drives i always end up with a massive headache.
    The terrible thing about these car trips is that you stress about the return journey your whole holiday. That’s when you ask yourself…Is a holiday worth it?

  15. After reading this post I laughed that I felt like an antique..we never had headphones for our kids! Actually I used to like being in the car with them ‘cos there were no distractions and we had to talk to one another. We have had some amazing conversations and it made us a lot closer..the car games were fun too and corny..and I’ll never forget a car packed with kids yelling to ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ for two hours to the coast!

  16. Anonymous says

    You need to get one of those sliding glass walls like in a limo. I’m desperate to get one installed in my car. 🙂

  17. you were right, I shouldn’t have read it! oh man this is just what I needed on the eve of our 10 hour trip:)

    your harper would love my tillie, devil child who has the hugest tantrums and cries and cries and when the others are just looking at her staring. wish me luck.


  18. If I hadn’t sprayed soda out my nose laughing I might feel more sympathy for you 🙂

    Just think how funny this post will be when Harper drives her children to see you in 25 years!!

  19. Moiaussii says

    I really really feel for you.
    We were only Yesterday reminiscing about a long (long) drive from Coffs Harbour to Sydney with a 2 and 4 yr old in the back. It got so bad that from Newcastle to Sydney we drove with all of the windows down to drown out tge noise

    It didn’t work.

  20. Travelling in cars for long distances with small kids can be nightmarish. I dread anything longer than 90 minutes, it always leads to “are we there yet” chorus. Which is oh so painful. Hope you have a grea time and that the pain was worth it

  21. My son (who is now 10) cried (with pure rage) all of the way from the Algarve to Lisbon airport (3 hours), then all of the way back to London on the plane (another couple of hours). Of course we had a gorgeous young thing sitting next to us grimacing. We had planned our trip so he would be asleep almost all of said drive to the airport then be a happy chap for the plane trip. He was about Harper’s age I might add. How wrong we were! I had totally forgotten about that until I read your post, so there is hope for you!

  22. oh how I hear you. my 19 month old DOES NOT enjoy the car in any way shape or form.

    So when hubby says to me “lets go down to the farm” (his parents) place which is 13 FUCKING HOURS AWAY by car, I am trying to find a multiple of ways to say “why dont you just take Lucy” (5, who enjoys DVD zombie land) I can think of a multitude of other things to do, like stab my ears with knitting needles, drink battery acid (you get the picture) than drive to country victoria with said infant. She will cry, just like Harper NON STOP.

    We did it THREE TIMES last year in oct, then xmas and again in march and I vowed we would never do it again until xmas 2012 (when we are next due to have xmas with inlaws)

    I am NOT spending my holidays doing that. NO NO NO.

    /end rant.

  23. Maaaate – I am Leigh, Edenland’s sister, I have been stalking you for a few weeks now after I asked Edenland for a few blogs to read as my usual’s were boring me! I have been meaning to comment for a while now and I may or may not have called Edenland the other day saying I want to go to Babymac’s DIVINE house and get her to cook me some porkbelly and admire her hot windows and get her to take me to her vintage haunts and then come back to her DIVINE house and drink lots of champagne and red wine with her and laugh and chat and give her some advice about a tricky 4 year old girl (my tricky girl is now 7) – phew! Anyhoo, this post had me LOLLING a LOT! Mate do yourself a favour and go to JBHiFi or Dick Smith or some such and get the BIG juicy earphones for your kids DVD player, my lil guy happily wore em from about 13 months (I KNOW!!) – they’re expensive, but lifechanging and you will NOT regret it! Love your work Babymac – Leigh xx

  24. My die.

    Beth, am sitting on my couch, shivering my arse off. Every prick in this house is grating on my last remaining nerve. And I read “my die” and chortled so bad. I didn’t tell anyone why .. they’re just relieved I didn’t stab them.

    My. Die.

    Thank you. xxoo

  25. I died just reading that. Seriously died. It sounds like hell on earth.

    I cannot IMAGINE driving SOLO with 2 kids in the car. I’m lucky to drive to my parents’ house solo with the 2 kidlets in tow. They live 30 minutes away. That’s as far as I roll solo.

    I have newfound respect for you Beth.

  26. Hahaha! I loved this lady. Not your pain of course, but the post is GOLD! Especially the part about Daisy wishing Harper was never born… oh that girl has style. It sounds so much like something Angus would say about Felix… in fact, he HAS said that about Felix.
    Brave soul you are travelling all that way on your own. Hope you can decompress somewhat over the next few days xo

  27. Oh, this is flippin hilarious – for anyone who is not you.
    Try to enjoy the stay.
    You have some options for the return trip at least (sedatives – you or Harper, maybe hiring a lady car for yourself?)
    Thanks for a belly laugh at your expense. My die!

  28. I love how you can be totally honest all the while keeping that humour I love so much!! I think you are a brave woman..I start getting hot flushes whenever I have to take ONE child the three hours to see hubby! Hope the trip home is better..if not there is always phenergan 😛

  29. snorted till my die reading this post. and there is something evil at raymond terrace. like the bermuda triangle of road trips. love your writing to a million pieces.

  30. I’m glad you shared. Laughing a lot and totally there with you!

  31. One of my boys hated car travel from day 1. It lasted until he was about 4. I have many memories of my crying and screaming in the car because he just would not stop crying and whingeing. I would dread going anywhere with him that required more than a 15 minute drive. Sometimes singing would work, or CDs, but not on longer trips.

    I am happy to report that at 9 he gets himself plugged into any one of his electronic devices and all is quiet in the car, even on long drives.

    This too will be a distant memory, soon….


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