The final part is a diary of the last few weeks and what has rattled through my mind at the strangest times. I donít compare to the writings of Bridget Jones, and Iím not even going to go near a knicker comparison.
Just what on earth were we thinking of taking this trip now? I mean thereís 3 children Ė the 6 year old will do fine, sheís definitely the sensible one of the party Ė the 2 year old is a maniac at the best of times, if he doesnít get thrown off the plane within an hour of take off Iíll be amazed Ė the baby will be 7 months old. Whose stupid idea was it to take a 7-month-old baby, along with two other young children, all the way over the Atlantic to Walt Disney World? I know, I know, it was my idea but when I originally came up with the idea there was only two children and I couldnít bring myself to cancel when the boy came along. Besides, everyone else said it would be fine and how could we not take him with us. So here we are, less than 5 weeks away from a 9-hour flight, two weeks in a foreign country, and a second 9-hour flight, all in the company of 3 small children. We are definitely stupid.
Oh but itís okay, there are 5 grown-ups going too. But wait. Grown-ups are useless. Itís true. Grown-ups are totally incapable of getting anything right. Grown-ups are totally inept. An example: my brother and his girlfriend came to visit a few weeks ago. They bought Steven a gift with them Ė a musical aquarium thing. It took 4 grown-ups hunched over this thing to get it working. Of course if weíd read the instructions first it would have been simple. But grown-ups donít do that. That would be too easy. Grown-ups must first demonstrate their total ineptitude at doing anything. Of course Steven turns this thing on and off at will Ė usually at 3am I might add.
So here we are 5 grown-ups who are useless, 3 small children, 2 9-hour flights, and 2 weeks in a foreign country. All less than 5 weeks away. We are totally stupid.
We seriously are mad and stupid. Decided to unpack Stevenís packed stuff and lay it out in the spare room with all the other stuff thatís in there ready to pack. Even before you add Adrianís and my clothing there is still more stuff here than weíve ever taken before. OK time for a little pruning. Does Steven need all these jars of food? Maybe not, we could remove a couple. But wait, what if the flight is delayed? Better not take a chance. And itís the same with all Stevenís things. Do we need all of this? Maybe not: but maybe we do. Iíve flown Virgin many times before and never been delayed Ė itís bound to happen if we only pack enough food for a short airport wait and a 9-hour flight. Need to pack all of this. Maybe I should go and buy more, just in case of real emergencies. ďOh what should I do,Ē I say out loud at Steven. He looks at me as if to say, ďall grown-ups are stupid.Ē I say to him, ďyeah well one day youíll be standing where I am now.Ē ďOh no I wonít,Ē he drools, ďIím not stupid enough to do anything like take a baby to Disney World.Ē I strap him into his car seat and pop to Tesco for just another couple of jars. At least it will be a break from continually stopping him from trying to shove a ruler into a floppy disk drive.
Last night the boy pulled himself up on to his feet with the help of the sofa.
How do birdís legs support their bodies? I was watching the birds feeding outside our patio doors this morning. They have teeny-weeny spindly legs holding up their bodies. Granted, a birdís body doesnít weigh very much but still, I canít figure out how these stick legs hold up the plump, well-fed bodies that appear in our garden. Some birds even hop around on one leg. I couldnít do that for more than a minute or so. They are amazing feats of nature Ė we should be in awe of birds. Except pigeons.
Steven is scared of Harry.
Harry is scared of everything. ďItís a bit gairyĒ is his favourite phrase right now.
Ellie has a terrible cold.
And I think I have a wisdom tooth coming through at a really stupid angle. Great.
Why do birds suddenly appear?
Why do fools fall in love?
Who wants to be a millionaire?
When will I, will I be famous?
Where did the 6-inch long bruise on my left shin come from?
Life is an endless succession of questions that have no answers. Iíve been asking a lot of questions lately. Why are we taking a 7-month old halfway around the world? Why did I invite Harry? Has anyone ever had to post bail for a 2-year old? That kind of thing. These questions have no credible answers. Iím seriously beginning to doubt my sanity. This holiday will undoubtedly be a series of disasters each following swiftly on from the previous. Nothing will go right, from the moment we check in at the Gatwick Hilton calamity will befall us from every angle. We are destined to feature in a special one-off episode of Holidays From Hell.
Am about to draft letter to employers telling them what incompetent fools they are for failing to follow their own policies and how I will be looking to them to repay the £2000 in lost wages I have incurred as a result of this. After that I will reconfirm our room booking at the Gatwick Hilton and ensure they have our request for a travel cot. Life rumbles on of course. Ellie is much better now. Adrian has decided he will not wear shorts in December even if it is 80į. Iíll sneak some shorts into the bags when heís not looking.
How does seawater get salty?
We suddenly realised that Steven has never eaten in a restaurant before so we went to the local Harvester for lunch today for a trial run. Found out he loves garlic bread and he ordered pasta in tomato sauce from the under-5s menu and had ice cream for dessert. He was fine until the ice cream then he decided he was tired and needed to cry for a bit. He soon calmed down when he got a shiny spoon to play with which apparently is really funny when used to bash Mummy on the back of the hand. So it looks like he can handle a restaurant without too much hassle.
I got all the Christmas presents out so we can wrap them tomorrow and realised Iíve lost the piece of paper which says which present is for what person. This could have some interesting consequences.
Nothing is packed yet. And Iíve just realised that Adrian has signed all the travellerís checks. I have no spending money. This is drastic. I turn to my trusty back-up income Ė ebay. I now have around $300. That should do nicely for the Christmas shop.
Nothing is packed yet. The spare room where packing is done is full of laundry that needs to dry and be ironed before it can be packed. I refuse to have a drier so itís hanging everywhere. Everything we need to buy has been bought but thereís no room to pack anything until the laundry is dry.
I was awake at 3am this morning worrying about what we would do if the person sitting in front of me on the plane decided to try and recline their seat back on Stevenís head. I decided I would just slap them. Then I got up and wrote a 6 page masterful piece of literature to my line manager telling him why I think heís an idiot. I didnít use those exact words but when I was quoting from his letters I had to use sic an awful lot to indicate his errors.
Steven climbed the stairs this morning: fully supervised of course. But he climbed them. Alone. All 14 of them. Now his is sitting on the floor at my feet trying to get the lid off my bottle of Dr Pepper. Oh great. Would you believe this? As I am literally typing these words heís shoved the bottle so far into his mouth heís made himself throw up. All over my bottle of Dr Pepper. He had chicken curry for lunch.
I guess Iíd better post this now as I donít know whether Iíll have time to write anything else once the serious business of packing starts. I will let you all know when the packing is successfully completed. I have to phone my brother tomorrow to confirm what time we are aiming to arrive at the Gatwick Hilton so we can coordinate our check-in rendezvous. I also have to remind him he still owes me £168 for his familyís Universal Studios tickets. So this is the last instalment of the worldís longest pre-trip report you are getting. Trainee Jedi Master Breeze will watch the Trip Reports while I am gone and report any transgressions or tardiness to the Moderators and Adminstrators. I may add a few tiny details on to the end of this thread over the next week, but nothing major. This is it. This is all youíre getting. No more. Nothing. Nada.