Things don’t always go to plan – sickness and a failing car can turn the ‘best day ever’ into the worse one in an instant.
Sometimes, things don’t go to plan. We were all looking forward to going to a wedding in deepest Kingston upon Thames at the weekend. We’d booked a Premier Inn. Only son had packed an enormous suitcase of DVDs and Diary of a Wimpy Kids. Daughter two was staying at home revising. Daughter one was dressed in a beret, in tribute to her failed trip to Paris. Daughter three had already planned her entire weekend, researching what to do in Kingston.
The only slight problem was that my partner was feeling a bit sick. He proceeded to feel sicker and sicker as the day wore on. He looked very sorry for himself and decided to opt for the single bed in the family room in case he coughed. Only son was very happy with that decision. He and all his teddy bears got the double bed. “I love Premier Inn,” he announced. “Best day ever.”
He had a shower, washed his hair, got into his pjs and settled down to watch Arthur Christmas on the telly.The following day he had a fry-up – kids go free for breakfast. Not only that, but he managed to eat three cupcakes and some Nutella too. “I really love Premier Inn,” said only son. It didn’t just have comfy beds and breakfasts, but it was also only around a couple of hours from home. “Could we come here for summer holidays?” he asked.
We went to the wedding and my partner told everyone how ill he was feeling. I confess that I thought he might be overegging it, but he insisted he was so ill that we needed to leave early. We got in the car and that’s when everything started to go pear-shaped.
The car has a clutch problem in stop start traffic. I momentarily forgot this as, living in the countryside, we are rarely in stop start traffic. I opted to drive home through central London to see the lights. There was a lot of traffic. The car battery kept going and it was making juddery noises as if the whole thing was about to explode. There was a distinct smell of something chemical. My partner was groaning beside me. “I just need to get home,” he said.
From the back, daughter three volunteered that she was worried we would all die. Only son started complaining about the journey. “Worst day ever,” he said. This was not helping me get the car going. Eventually we got onto the motorway and managed to get home. I woke up the next day, shivering and full of cold. I could barely move out of the bed. I slightly regretted not being more sympathetic to my partner. We now have two parents incapacitated, one child with GCSE mocks, one car at the garage and the school run is becoming a bit of an ordeal.