Words every child’s
programmed to ask

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LESLEY KEATING: Living the sun-kissed dream is OK, but I missed England

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Spring has sprung. Longer days are here which means no one wants to be stuck in a stuffy house but out enjoying everything Portsmouth and the surrounding area has to offer.

But of course this sometimes means jumping in the car, strapping the kids into their booster seats and setting off on a journey that might take a little longer than usual.

But, as any parent knows, this journey will not be easy because there are quite a few challenges to deal with.

First comes the inevitable; those words that have come out of every child’s mouth on every journey in every generation.

Even before the trusty car was invented all children were uttering these words even while travelling to their destination on a horse and cart.

Of course, those words are ‘Are we nearly there yet?’

You’ll be asked this question even before the engine has got warm, then at least every 10 minutes until you can answer honestly with the word ‘yes’.

Another challenge of a car journey with young children is when it feels like you’re in one of those new 4D cinemas where your seats vibrates to simulate the action on the screen. Except I’m not in a 4D cinema, I’m in my car and the vibration I’m feeling on my back is my daughter kicking my chair.

I ask her to stop, which she does, but when boredom takes hold those legs might start swinging again without instruction from the brain. But then I give her a stern look in the rear view mirror which makes her realise what her legs are doing and the kicking stops suddenly.

Then, just when I think they’ve forgotten about the Frozen soundtrack CD that is hidden from view in the glove compartment of my car, they request it be inserted into the CD player and turned up so we can have a family singalong.

It’s the film that just won’t go away and I already know the music from the mega-successful Disney movie will be part of many more car journeys this year.

Then there are the times when I have to become a champion contortionist and demonstrate my extreme flexibility to retrieve a dropped toy or teddy. I twist my body in every direction possible, turn my arm so it is almost coming loose from my shoulder and try to stretch and spread my fingers as far as they will possibly go to retrieve the toy or teddy that will be dropped again in five minutes.

But thankfully, eventually, after another ‘interesting’ journey, you reach your destination without any stops. Well, unless the dreaded words ‘I need a wee’ are spoken.