I have recently returned from a two week trip to the United States with my husband and three children. The trip was hours of fun and exhilaration, interspersed with moments of torture, and two days of chipmunk music.For the first week of the holiday we were accompanied by my parents, in an arrangement that pleased me enormously. Partly, of course, I was happy to spend time with my Mum and Dad. Mainly, however, I was glad they flew with us to Los Angeles, so I could sent four year old Boo to sit with them on the plane when she began flinging herself around in psychotic exhaustion, and throwing her airline meal on the floor*.
After an adventure-filled week in California, my husband and I parted ways with my parents** and journeyed on with the kids to Las Vegas.
On my husband’s suggestion, we hired a car and took the trip by car. It is around a five hour drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, or much, much quicker by air, but who the hell would want to take the quick, easy option when you can drive five hours through the desert on the wrong side of the road with three kids in tow? I mean, that would just be silly, right?
Needless to say, I was apprehensive before the drive, until the miraculous discovery of a DVD player and two pull-down screens in our car. Fantastic, I thought. Problem solved!
I borrowed some DVDs from our American friends and popped them into the glove box ready to entertain the kids. It was a flawless plan, but for one tiny flaw. Twenty minutes onto the freeway, we discovered that most of the DVDs were Blue Ray*** and didn’t work in the standard-issue DVD player. In fact, only one DVDs worked: the ear-melting classic ‘Alvin And The Chipmunks 2 - The Squeaquel’.
So, for the entire five hour drive there, and then the entire five hour drive back, I was subjected to the excruciating sound of the Chipmunks singing Beyonce songs in falsetto, as I reminded my husband to stay on the right side of the six lane highway and not veer into oncoming traffic. Until three or four hours into the Chipmunks, at which point veering into oncoming traffic seemed highly desirable.
Still, we survived the journey, and I am sure that I will be able to get the sound of the Chipmunks out of my head eventually. After all, it’s only been a week, and, you know, if you like it then you should have put a ring on it, oh oh oh.... Ooops. Sorry. Just lapsed into song again.
Anyhow, the moral of this story is threefold. Firstly, don’t travel anywhere without grandparents. Secondly, don’t travel anywhere with children. Thirdly, Blue Ray technology is a crime. And fourthly, I know I can’t count, but I’m still traumatised from our journey.
And if you like it then you should have put a ring on it, oh oh oh.
*an act of tremendous selflessness, as I am aware that every hour with my child is a precious gift to my parents.
**which, incidentally, was planned, and not a response to them being burdened with a psychotically exhausted four year old.
***which sounds exciting and modern, but is clearly useless and stupid