Do you have long car journeys to make over the Christmas holidays? If so, make sure you read my top tips on coping in the car.
1: Include every service station possible in your route plan. You may as well. Your children will demand you stop every fifteen minutes for a wee anyway.
2: Keep the lunchbox hidden. If they see it, they will want it, before you are even out of your postcode.
A note on lunchboxes: Old raisins take a long time to fish out the packet as they get clumped together with age. This may buy you a some (short) peace. Crushed crisps are always a good choice too. Kids love them, and the empty packet can be saved for inevitable car sickness later.
3: Pack hand-held fans and woolly jumpers. Your children will never all be hot or cold together at the same time.
4: They will never all want the same CD on, and if they do, it will probably be so annoying it may make you want to drive into the back of the next passing lorry.
Invest in portable DVD players for them all instead. Once installed, spend some time trying to work out where the play button is without turning round in your seat. Essential technique.
5: Prepare for the inevitable “Are we there yet” questions well in advance of the trip by sitting under a slow, dripping tap for a long time.
6: Point out sights/objects that are not actually there. This may buy you five minutes of peace as the children try and find them.
7: Remember that the children can hear you swearing at the Sat-Nav/ spouse and WILL repeat it in a later conversation, at school.
8: It is impossible to wee neatly into anything in a moving vehicle. It is illegal to hang children out of windows in moving vehicles. You can never get the smell of wee completely out of a car seat.
9: It is impossible to insert a straw into a carton of juice without spilling it whilst in a moving vehicle.
10: A quick blast with a Super-Soaker water pistol stops a sleepy toddler from nodding off, or spouse.
11: No matter how sneaky you think you are being, your children can hear the rustle of a sweet wrapper from miles off. So can your spouse. If you have one, they’ll all want one. (sweets not spouses)
12: Nothing you can say or do will stop children from kicking the back of your seat.
13: If you make the car hot enough, you might get them to fall asleep. The driver may fall asleep too however, so do this as your own risk.