January 31, 2012

Travelling With Chipmunks. Do NOT Try This At Home.

It is fun to travel long distances with children. Also, there is a pig flying past my window. You should see it. It’s purple.

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


  1. you are hilarious. and I'm sorry about the oh oh oh ohoh ah oh... x

  2. you havent heard pain until you've listened to Chipmunks do the LMFAO party rock anthem from sydney to the goldcoast...everyday im shuffling

  3. About 20 years ago when was working at my first job I was subjected to endless hours of the Chipmunks singing christmas carols. Still traumatised today I was not looking forward to sitting through the latest Chipmunks movie with my 7 year old (and all the other crazy hyped up on coke slurpies, maltesers and popcorn... kids that filled the cinema). Fortunately however I was extremely sleep deprived at the time resulting in falling asleep through 3/4 of the movie! Pretty impressive I thought given how ear piercing those Chipmunks are!!

  4. Ha Ha Kerie you have an exciting life!xx

  5. I really don't see the point of Blu-Ray.  I wish we'd had in car dvd players when I was a kid. We used to make looonnnggg road trip from Melbourne or Sydney (we bounced back and forth between states) to Adelaide every Christmas. Four of us kids jammed in the back seat, being forced to listen to dad's John Denver tapes.

  6. Somewhere, there is a guy walking around the earth who sat in a board room meeting with some top execs and said, "I got it  .... SQUEAKQUEL."

    Dumbest. Word. Ever.

    I would like to shoot that guy dead.

  7. oh oh oh ...  dammit.  Earworm.

  8. Really? I would like to shoot that guy so that he is seriously injured, but lives on in pain and distress for many years to come.

  9. For me, ABBA. I think I feel sorrier for you.

  10. I feel your pain. I've seen many many kids' movies in the last 10 years and the one that sticks (really sticks!) in my memory is that painful session of the first chipmunks movie. I wanted to reef my eyeballs out and stuff them in my ears.  Just don't tell the kids. And don't tell them my first album (yes I'm that old) I ever bought was The Chipmunks. The shame!

  11. Oh oh oh I do love your posts & this one is hilarious! Sorry, I'm not making fun of your pain but it brought back memories of a 4 hour journey with my daughter listening to 'Spongebob Squarepants Greatest Hits'. Or whatever it was called; I can't actually check the title cos that cd has mysteriously disappeared.....! Great post as always, loved it!! xx

  12. My daughter has an app on her phone that chipmunks your voice...oh how we laughed..

  13. Love the post, as I can totally relate.
    My mother in law came with us to the States. In almost every way it was the. best. decision.ever! We get along well, she took up a lot of slack, and smoothed the moment over when either kids or parents chucked a wobbly! And she talks almost us much as my daughter, so they sat together on any internal flights or car rides. It was win-win!

  14. Oh yes! I remember that! Was SO technologically advanced at the time

  15. Your poor ear drums...i'm pretty sure my brother and I subjected my parents to the same intolerable noise back in the 90s!

  16. I was frightened before the generate, until the amazing development of a DVD gamer and two pull-down displays in our car.

    cab in barnet


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