I fear I might have gone mad.
I have, out of free will, consented and arranged to spend nearly FIVE HOURS on a packed train with a very loud and fidgety toddler and hundreds of probably tutting and head shaking strangers. I am dreading it and wondering if they will refund my ticket. Or give me ear plugs (me) and sedatives (Wriggles) for the good of the carriage. There are two changes to break things up but really, I am not hoping for miracles. In short, I am panicking and wondering how an earth I am going to manage this with one pair of hands and praying that the current unoccupied seat next to me on the train will remain unoccupied. The rest of the train is booked up.
What am I going to DO with her? What if she refuses to nap? What if she tantrums uncontrollably? What if she is sick on the person sat next to me (please don't let anyone sit next to me)? WHAT WAS I THINKING?!
I suspect long distance public transport travel is one of the serious compromises of single parenthood without immediate help to conjure up. Four hands would be excellent. Also it would mean that I knew the person-sat-next-me and that Wriggles would be allowed to climb all over them. It would mean I could juggle a cup of coffee and the toddler without scalding either of us. It would mean I could go to the toilet in peace and without fear of loosing my child or either of us getting soiled in someone else's bodily fluids (come on, we have all been on a train). We could tag team. I'm getting carried away...
We have been on this journey before, but with the big difference that a) Wriggles was 9 months younger, immobile and not nearly so ear-splittingly vocal and b) my dad made the journey up to escort us down to lend an extra pair of hands. Dedication. We have also been driven up and down the country for Wriggles' first christmas when she had just reached her due date and either slept or had a bottle for the entire duration. Now she does not sleep the whole time or have bottles. Oh my goodness.
*panics some more*
I have bought a bumper pack of stickers and am trying to devise some way of sellotaping string to the lids of the felt tips to be sellotapes to errr something else to avoid loosing lids and pens a-plenty. I did think crayons but rememebered many a long distance journey of my childhood with melted crayons wedged down seats and found later in shoes. For the kindness of other passengers I am seriously limiting books as I very much doubt anyone else has the capacity to listen to Where Is Spot? at least 50 times.
*panics even more*
Wish me luck!