I am not a car person. I do not know my boot from my bonnet. My Toyota from my Nissan. My SUV from my…. well whatever else.
It is just not me.
Nor is it my husband. A car is a functionality. A way to get from A to B, and to do so safely.
I look for air bags, isofix and that’s about it to be honest. The idea of driving doesn’t thrill me, neither does the idea of buying a new car.
Yet that is exactly what we will be doing in just a few months. Buying a new car and preparing to do a long drive down to France.
With two small children in tow.
Eep. I mean I know it is doable, it was how I spent many childhood holidays, but still, EEP!
So other than the hasty purchasing of a new Amazon Fire so each child has one. Making sure I have an updated Waze app or similar, and the preparation of my mental state for the bazillions of arguments I will have with my husband whilst I attempt (and fail) to navigate us. I am not really sure where to go.
Sure I’ve been browsing AutoTrader and pointing out pretty coloured cars to my husband, who couldn’t care less if this was the most beautiful blue I have ever seen. I’ve been looking at the various activity boxes available.
But the practicalities? Nope, passing me by. Until I realised that it’s not actually all that long until we have to go.
It’s more than a beautiful blue…
The point I need to realise is that it is more than a beautiful blue. More than shiny alloys. It is a big, shiny car and with it comes immense power and responsibility.
There are things we need to know, the basics in road safety management.
We need to be able to change a tyre in the event of a puncture (or make sure we have special runflat tyres from TyrePlus fitted) and to do so we need to work out how.
I mean my husband was able to change a tyre for the first time last summer whilst we all stood on and watched, but me? Well I’ve always been the damsal in distress. I drove from Liverpool to Derby on a flat, finally pulling over in Stoke where my dad came to meet me to change my tyre. Or the time my tyres popped on the M62 and I had to call the AA. And buy a new tyre.
We need to know how to check the oil, and though my dad did teach me I’m sure that it is something that I just nodded and pretended to understand. Ignoring the fact that I do have a chemistry degree and did these kind of analytical dip testing….
We need to know the rules of the road.
It’s more than the car
But on the other hand, it is more than knowing what to do with the car.
It’s about taking safety breaks after driving too long. Having the foresight to bring activities and snacks for the kids. Googling the best top tips and setting up a special Pinterest board for “25 hacks to make driving with kids easier“.
It’s about knowing how to pack the car so every inch of space is utilised, without compromising on comfort. Packing snacks and drinks within easy reach. Remembering to stop for toilet stops (and hoping like anything that France is less squatty toilet territory now than it was when we did this when I was younger.)
It’s about letting them sleep when they need to. And hoping that they do!
Basically, we need to brush up on our knowledge before setting off on our adventure. Both car and comfort wise.
Because although I know it will be epic, and the plans to convoy with a walkie talkie with our friends sounds amazing, it will also be stressful.
But it will be worth it.