Call me insane, but I just spent the past hour and a half 'trying' to drive myself and the Monkey to the local shopping centre... we didn't make it... we didn't even come close!
First of all I had to actually get us out the front door - launching a rocket-ship into outer space would surely require less planning. I'm notorious for forgetting the basic equipment (bib, spoon, BOTTLE) so I now check, check and triple check. This process takes a surprising amount of time and is not as fool proof as one would hope - today I left the burp cloth sitting on the bookshelf - not so handy. I bundled us up - the Monkey, the Baby Bjorn, my handbag, the nappy bag, the re-cycling - and flung everything into the car (not the re-cycling - that was drop-kicked into the bin on the way past). By the time I had untwisted the buckles (left handed), wiped off the straps that are eternally covered in baby vomit and positioned my (now grumpy) son into the bottomless depths of his ridiculously expensive car seat, over 40 minutes had gone by since Operation Outing begun.
We were in and away, driving down the road when the little orange petrol light came on. A word about filling up the car with a baby on board... don't! It is tedious beyond all stretch of the imagination. By the time you've removed your small fry from their insanely difficult to unbuckle car seat so you can pay, you've stopped worrying about whether they're inhaling lethal petrol fumes and only care if you can make it across the tarmac without having your boobs revealed by a chubby little fist yanking your top down. I'm sure there are mothers who happily leave their babies in the car for the two and a half minutes it takes to pay (a far more sensible option) but my imagination conjures up all sorts of images - carjackings, babynappings, faulty locking systems - I just can't do it. So... out the Monkey came and in the Monkey went, all while the outside temperature was hovering around 35 degrees. To say he was getting a touch tetchy is putting it mildly.
Back in the car and the Monkey's whimpering became an all out howl - the kind a werewolf might make if it were forced to ride around in a baking hot car by it's mother. Somewhat distracted, I turned the wrong way out of the service station and that was it... my brain was suddenly possessed by gremlins. We were heading in the opposite direction from the shops, incapable of altering course thanks to my mind freeze. I kept seeing places where I could stop and turn around but my foot was glued to the accelerator. Before I knew it, we were turning into our street and pulling up in front of our home... I was stunned. How had I managed it? All that effort and all I'd achieved was to fill the bloody car up with petrol!
Operation Outing aborted... yet again.
Image from here