How to take a road trip with a Popple
Pack one bag for yourself and one for your husband. Fill the rest of the boot with All The Baby Stuff, including an entire play gym, because god forbid the Popple has to go four days without grabbing at a plastic octopus dressed as a sailor.
Fill the backseat of the rental car with Popple-friendly toys and wave them in her face. The Popple ignores them and falls asleep.
Put on a 90s playlist. The Popple remains asleep. Crank up Groove is in the Heart and dance around in your seat like it’s 1990, when you were eight years old and had a pretty amazing feathered fringe. The Popple keeps sleeping. Decide the car is an amazing Popple dream machine and seriously consider buying one for the sole purpose of Popple nap time.
Arrive at Tebay Services, a middle-class wonderland of artisanal bread and overpriced pies. Wake up the Popple and excitedly point out the ducks that wander around in front. The Popple appears confused by your enthusiasm.
Feed the Popple in the backseat of the car and get back on the road. The Popple falls asleep. THIS IS AMAZING.
The Popple wakes up. And she is inconsolable.
Explain to the Popple that you can’t take her out of her carseat because you’re on the motorway and it’s not safe. Tell her you’ll pick her up as soon as you can stop at a service station. Grab her chubby little fist and tell her that you love her.
The Popple doesn’t understand. She looks at you like, “Why won’t you pick me up, Mommy?” and cries and cries and cries. Your heart breaks into a thousand little pieces.
Pull over at a service station and take the Popple out of her carseat. The Popple stops crying. Get out of the car and bounce her around. Tell her that it won’t be long until you’re in Glasgow, a wonderful city of sandstone tenements, fried Mars bars and words like ‘bawbag’.
“You went there many times when you were in Mommy’s belly before you were born,” you say. The Popple farts in response, unimpressed.
The Popple goes back in the carseat. Prepare yourself for tears.
The Popple falls asleep.
You are definitely buying a car.