Tomorrow we take off on a long distance journey. From Bombay to Pune. Via car. With one hyper brat, one stressed out mom, and one driver cum papa in charge of the expedition. Piece of cake you would think. You couldn’t be more off the mark. With brat in tow it seems like an expedition to the Antartic. Via steamer. From Europe. With two galley slaves to keep the coals burning. Namely me and the husband. With the husband driving, my sole purpose through the entire car journey will be to physically restrain the brat from jumping into the drivers lap and take over the steering.
But first things first. To start with, there is the packing to be done. Considering that it is packing for just two days it couldn’t be much right. Right. My list is two pages of an excel sheet printout, with special columns for ticking and cross ticking. Seven bags the last time we went. Let’s see how it goes this time round. Last time round of course, one extra bag contained the gu gu bottles. Now that the gu gu bottles and the formula have gone to the big playground in the sky, that would mean one less bag. Or so I hope. Will only know the true situation tomorrow when the bags are packed and ready. Do I overpack? Of course I do. I am a paranoid mother who always wants to be prepared for every situation. Boy scout style. I even pack a torch and the entire gamut of the brat’s medicine kit. Never know what malaise will strike in the middle of nowhere and render one helpless by the lack of available medication. For myself I pack Anacin. The one with superpowers of immediately reducing Godzilla size headaches into a pleasant buzz around the base of the neck. Sis in law will have Amrutanjan balm available and handy at the other end of the expressway.
Here is a summary of how the ride will be. Haul oneself and brat and assorted bags down to the car and pack oneself in. Then sit in the backseat with brat. Brat will promptly proceed to attempt going up front. His father will gently rebuke him, a point which will only be taken as a sign of encouragement for further effort to make it to the front of the car, where he will drive. So he thinks. He will handle the steering, and god forbid the father tries to do any steering on the sly. Loud wails of protest will ensue. Of course, all this will happen while we’re still to get out of the driveway. Then he will be sent back firmly. Where he will continue to squirm relentlessly to make it to the front. Aaaja Aaaja (come, come) he will ask his father hopefully. Aaagaya (here he comes) he will reply to his own query with great joy as he makes the big leap to the front zone. A seat belt is of little use, he slips through. And now with the shoulder in a brace, restraining him should be a fair bit of a wrestling match. Between all these Herculean endevours, he will down a gadzillion liters of water and juice and assorted lays and such like. A burger and fries might happen, but if he decides to take a short nap between all this hectic activity, it might just not. We reach Pune in an average of four hours, by which I am a frazzled mass of raw nerve ends, and the brat, having happily slept away the last stretch is awake and kicking for his next round of activity. Which involves tearing around the house and the compound in the manner of Ashish Nehra post wicket haul. You know the style, aeroplane wings outstretched and running into various things including team mates. Only with brat it involves furniture. And then Humpy dump will have a great fall.
Mustnt forget to pack the bandaids.