The toddler woke just after 6am, which was a relief as we had a long bus journey this afternoon to Devon to visit the in-laws and we didn’t want a cranky tired toddler on our hands. He was in great form, apart from the fact he didn’t want to leave me alone for a second, yes even joining me in the bathroom, sitting on the floor next to the bath, whilst I had a shower and washed off the excess Skinny Tan, to reveal what I had hoped would be a perfectly bronzed new me. It turned out pretty well for a first attempt, in hindsight, I needed to apply a little more and shouldn’t have rubbed it in so much. I think I over worked it, so I didn’t end up with absolutely perfect coverage, but it was still pretty darn good and on the whole I did look nicely bronzed.
After my shower, I got the toddler sorted with some breakfast and whilst I was in the kitchen getting myself some greek yoghurt with sunflower seeds and almonds, the toddler was playing a nice game of 52 cotton wool pickup in the living room, except I was the one that would be picking them up, what fun.
Despite knowing for a few weeks that we were going on a three hour bus journey to Devon, we didn’t organise ourselves enough to pack properly until this morning and also despite being totally focused on buying a million and one things to entertain the toddler on our multitude of flights to and around Australia in a few weeks, we neglected to think about how the hell to entertain him on this three hour bus journey, oops. This meant we had a very rushed morning of getting packed up, not just for Devon, as we were doing a multi family visit, flying on from Devon to Northern Ireland to visit my family. This meant we couldn’t do our usual bring everything we possibly needed and then some, as we would have to fit in with the hand luggage limits, I hardly ever use hold luggage, I’m way too thrifty for that, plus I love the challenge of cramming everything I possibly can into an unbelievably tiny case. This rush meant, that whilst I packed and hubby got the toddler ready and fed, there was literally no time for me to get a proper lunch, I only just had time to grab a piece of toast and take it with me, not good. It was only when we were out the door and walking, that I noticed hubby had dressed the toddler like a boy scout, with his bright green stripy socks pulled right up.
By the time we left to get the tube to the station to get the bus to Devon, the toddler was already way past his morning nap time, we had hoped this could work in our favour so he slept on the bus, or that’s the plan at least. He was a little monkey on the tube, just wanting out of his buggy and climbing over the seats. We made it to the bus station in perfect time, but were a little unsure of which bus was ours, as this was our first time travelling with this family run coach company. It looked promising, there was a nice double decker sitting at the bus stop, which we hoped was ours, it was not. Ours was the next bus to pull up and it was a single decker, much older and much less luxurious looking (hmm, this could be a very long 3 hours). We lumbered onto the bus and found the piece of paper with our names written on it, sitting across two seats 3 rows back on the drivers side. It was a struggle enough to get myself into the seat let alone the toddler who was wedged in front of me. Hubby squeezed in and we were definitely looking a little like a family of sardines. I don’t think these seats were made for people taller than 5 foot, as both of us were instantly feeling rather crammed in. Making it worse, was the fact I had the nappy bag at my feet for easy access, and the toddler wriggling on my lap. Hubby and I just looked at each other and knew we were in for a nightmare journey.
We got on our way, a little later than expected and tried to amuse the toddler with our phones, which kept him occupied all of 3 seconds, until the toddler threw them on the floor and as there was no space to be able to lean forward and reach the floor, hubby actually had to get out of his seat and crawl on the floor to reach under the seat to get it. The phones swiftly went away. I hadn’t wanted to breastfeed the toddler, unless it was absolutely necessary, as I didn’t want him to get used to daytime feeds again, but I knew it was going to happen at some point. The toddler made it just over an hour before becoming unbearable, screaming, wanting to stand up, incessantly opening and banging closed the tray table on the seat in front. Given the rest of the passengers bar the couple in front, were practically silent, it made the toddler seem like an absolute hooligan, awaiting his asbo at any moment. I eventually gave in, spurred on by the pleading looks from hubby for some peace and quiet and fed the toddler. Of course very quickly he drifted off to sleep and I became exponentially more uncomfortable than I had been before, yippee for me.
The silence from the toddler was definitely worth the pain in my back and neck, but unfortunately the absence of toddler noise was replaced with the presence of inane conversation from the couple in front. I’m a terrible people watcher and in this circumstance unfortunate eavesdropper. It was blatantly obvious very quickly that the girl was way more into the guy than he was her. She was incessantly petting him, stroking his hair, brushing his shoulder with her hand and constantly giving him kisses on the cheek, it was uncomfortable to witness. He seemed utterly disinterested as she babbled on about some friend going to a party and someone else not talking to them, he looked like he was plotting his escape route, as were hubby and I. She even did the dreaded baby voice, when he whipped out his thermos of tea (despite only being in his 20’s) begging him to share it with her, which he adamantly did not want to do. This argument went on for a long time as he lectured her about being prepared and that if she wanted tea then she should have thought of that beforehand and brought her own, like he did. It really was ridiculous. The toddler was asleep for about 50 minutes when the driver made an announcement over the tannoy, so loud that the toddler literally jumped and jolted awake (bummer). That wasn’t even the worst part, the announcement was that we were going to be delayed due to heavy traffic ahead, which didn’t take a genius to work out, as we were already running behind schedule and had been sitting in backed up traffic for the last 20 minutes. Thankfully they had an in seat refreshment service, and by this I mean a woman dons an apron and brings around a basket filled with all things sugary. Unfortunately the water heater wasn’t working so there was no tea or coffee, but I doubt I would have been able to have enjoyed a cuppa anyway, given the toddler. I instructed hubby to use all money he had to buy up as much of the baskets contents as possible, I may have even said one of everything. Unfortunately sensible hubby handed me a large kitkat, a packet of crisps and a packet of shortbread, which really was pretty good. I was starving given my lack of a proper lunch so ripped open the shortbread and tore into it, the toddler noticed and wanted in on the action. Turns out he absolutely loved it (who wouldn’t) so it became a race to the end of the rather large packet, which actually didn’t take the toddler and I long between us.
Refreshed from his sugar hit the toddler decided he now wanted fed again, so launched himself at me, clawing at my jumpsuit, threatening to inadvertently make me flash the surrounding travellers. With the toddler settled feeding, in a rather awkward seated position, I beckoned hubby to open the crisps, in the hope I could sneakily eat them without the toddler noticing, so I wouldn’t have to share. It didn’t quite work out that way, as when hubby opened the bag and offered them to me, the toddler lightening fast whipped his hand into the bag before I managed to and he was still feeding, the cheeky monkey.
We had serious delays passing Stonehenge, as traffic became single lane and you get tourists trying to pull in and take pictures. The journey was really dragging on and the toddler was getting increasingly frustrated. He insisted on standing on my legs, which was actually quite painful, so I tried to bundle him over to hubby, which works for a bit, but it wasn’t long before he was back on my knee again, causing pain and chaos.
After a whopping four and a half hours on the bus, which was an extra hour and a half longer than we were expecting, we finally arrived at our destination and were met by hubby’s dad. I practically fell down the steps of the bus, my lower half was so weak after sitting so long. In our desperation to get off the bus hubby forgot his jacket, which was in the overhead storage, typical it was the jacket he used all the time and was planning on taking on holiday with us (great). We were on the half hour drive to his parents house before he realised and it was too late to turn back to catch the bus. By the time we got to our destination it was long past the toddlers bed time but we decided to have dinner before trying to get the toddler to bed. We had a lovely late dinner of lamb with roasted veg and potatoes, which was perfect for us weary travellers. The toddler picked a little dinner, but really didn’t eat too much. We got him ready and I fed him to sleep before putting him down to sleep, he was shattered the poor thing.
I was exhausted from the journey, so it was lovely to settle down with a nice glass of red wine and have a relaxing catch up with the in-laws. Needless to say it was an earlier than usual night for us and we were all out like a light.