Eric woke up in the night and sneaked, cat-like into bed with us. The disturbance usually knackers us out, as he waits till you're just nodding back off to sleep then kicks you in the back or demands milk. After all this activity he usually sleeps later in the morning. When we'd gone to bed I had planned to set my alarm for 6am as we had an early start, but Alex reassured me that there'd be no need as Eric would be up at 6:30/7, we didn't need to leave until 10, we'd have enough time. This would have been an excellent plan. That was before the unexpected interrupted night and late start.
We woke up on an instant back foot. Eric woke at 8. We had 2 hours to get ready. To the child-free that probably sounds like absolutely ample time to get ready, perhaps have a leisurely shower, a relaxed breakfast, watch a bit of telly or read the papers, potter about a bit, grab just keys and purse and pop out. Possibly to organised super-parents it also seems like ample time. To us, 2 hours to get ready is something from an awful nightmare, a hideous rush that will leave us sweating, tearing around, panicking, close to tears. Eric needs milk, then to be dressed, beds need to be made, Alex and I showered, breakfast cooked, eaten, thrown on the walls then washed up, floor cleaned, teeth cleaned, make up put on (sometimes. On some of those occasions Eric likes to help, which takes even longer), bunny let out in the garden and fed, my bag packed, Eric's bag packed, possibly snacks and lunch to be made and packed. Today we needed to make a picnic. Furthermore there had been confusion and misunderstandings about who would be doing what in the morning, so tempers were flaring.
Incredibly we actually set off on time, but stress levels were high. They peaked on the M5. Due to an accident we were at a stand still for 45 minutes. At the beginning of the traffic jam Eric piped up with the dreaded "I need a wee!" After about 15 minutes he was crying cause he needed to go so much, I was crying cause I hated that it was probably hurting him as he was so desperate, and Alex was nearly crying at the sheer horror of the situation. We were in the fast lane (although that's not saying much as none of the lanes were moving), we couldn't get in any other lane, we couldn't get to the hard shoulder, getting out on the hard shoulder would have been illegal anyway and as there'd been an accident we were worried emergency vehicles might come roaring up the hard shoulder, we couldn't get out and get to the central verge as it was a motorway and that would have been incredibly dangerous, the traffic wasn't moving at all so we couldn't get off at a junction, I couldn't get him out of his car seat and get him to go in a bottle as the traffic might have started moving again....argh! Eventually our poor boy wet himself and was much happier, but I was sobbing with guilt that he had had to. Bad, bad times. Is this terrible parenting? I feel like it is but I'm not sure what else we could have done.
We eventually got off the motorway and managed to pull over so I could take the seat pad off Eric's seat, clean him up and change him into dry trousers and pants. He screamed the whole time as he didn't want to stand with his socked feet on the grass. I needed a wee too but couldn't find anywhere discreet to go, there was a massive ditch in the way of the bushes.
We set off again and took a wrong turning. It started to feel reminiscent of a time we recently tried to get to Exeter and stupidly trusted Google maps, resulting in the mother of rows about my navigational skills.
We eventually got to the bunny rescue after 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Ahhhh the bunnies. This bit of the day was nice. There were many, many lovely bunnies. We looked at many, many boy bunnies, perhaps 10, and then we were introduced to Churchill. It was love at first sight. He is a ginormous, grey giant. The most gentle bunny I've ever met. I got in his pen with him and he just lay there contentedly while I stroked him. Eric got in patted him, then threw a ball at him and he didn't flinch. He was the one.
Our bunny, Bolly, is quite a bossy, feisty girl and we were worried she'd bully a smaller rabbit, but she is huge, so we didn't we'd actually find a bigger one. So we thought a giant like Churchill would be brilliant. He's so laid back that I think he'll let her be the boss and not mind. We had high hopes, but did the sensible thing and picked some back-ups in case their first date didn't go well and they tried to kill each other. It's very hard choosing animals in a sanctuary when they are all lovely and you'd like to rescue them all.
We left Bolly there to be bonded with a husbun and eventually left and ate our sandwiches in the car. It felt really sad leaving her. Bunnies are alot of hard work so I thought it'd feel like a holiday, but actually I just miss her.
We drove an hour to Bristol and popped in to see Alex's mum for a bit but we were dog tired and just slumped on the sofa, drinking her tea and eating jam tarts while Eric threw plastic chairs around the garden.
After another hour and 40 minute drive my bum was numb, my back was aching, my eyes were itching as I was so tired, my laptop had run out of battery so I couldn't blog in the car, Alex's batteries had run out too and he was barely functioning, and Eric just wanted me to read him his Octonauts magazine, which wasn't easy as I was sitting directly in front of him so couldn't get in a position where he could see the pictures and I could see the words at the same time.
At last we were home bringing the total driving time to 5 hours and 15 minutes. I had to make dinner, Alex wanted to crash out and Eric wanted to make trains. Then Eric made us a present in his pants - a little brown nugget. After a further 'code brown' in the bath I can conclude that today was not a successful potty training day. Nor the most fun day we've ever experienced as a family.
However, it ended really happily when I received a text from Alice at the sanctuary....
We're so pleased!