Thursday, 2 April 2009

Highway to Hell

A.K.A 'Within these four walls nobody can hear you scream - except for me - who can do nothing BUT hear you scream, and can do sod all about it'.

Bonjour, nice to be back with you (I have no idea why I'm greeting you in French - I haven't been to France - it would be more appropriate to say 'All right me old luvers? How's you be doing?').

I am back from my travels. Please don't ask me how it was or how I am. Please!

Anyhow, I traveled back last night - the idea of this being that the children would sleep like angels and I could meander around the roads of Britain listening to unsuitable music which contains profanities and munching my way through half my body weight in Haribo Sours.

Son 1 obliged. He sat quietly reading his copy of the highway code, informing me about road signs and speed limits and then slept soundly for the next 3 hours.

Son 2 is a different kettle of fish entirely.

Oh dear lord. My head is still ringing.

He is a child who likes his trappings of comfort - so he's tethered up in the back with a dummy attached via a strap and various rags (which he also likes to suck) tied to his car seat, a selection of snacks within reach and he's clutching 'Giggi' (his beloved Iggle Piggle character).

He falls asleep for about 45 minutes and then wakes up and he is NOT happy. He probably wants chilled champage and a selection of canapes. He's a Leo. He's very demanding when it comes to luxuries (I should know - his birthday is 3 days before mine).

In his fit of rage he throws Giggi.

Bad idea. BAD idea all round.

Now I know I could have tethered Giggi to him but he had so much stuff already tied to his pyjamas that I feared I would arrive at my destination and find he'd spun himself a cocoon and, I confess, I didn't realise, what with all the other comforts on offer, Giggi would matter that much.

I was wrong.

Off he goes 'GIGGI, GIGGI, WAAAAAAAAAA, GIGGI GIGGI, WAAAAAA' and on and on and on and on and on for (what seemed like) infinity. And my lord he is loud.

It is doing my nut in. I turn the music up but I can still hear him. I grope around for Giggi but I can't feel him.

When I travel with my OH, retrieval off Giggi is his job (along with returning of all other scattered items, map reading, CD adjustment, feeding me snacks, feeding children snacks, giving me drinks etc - he's very useful - leaving aside the time he tipped a 2 litre bottle of Diet Coke directly down my front whilst I was doing 80mph on the M1. He said his hand suddenly jerked - I have a feeling it was actually his subconscious rebelling, but I digress).

I'm going to have to get him Giggi back somehow as I couldn't concentrate on driving but my options were limited. I couldn't pull off the motorway as we were miles from a turning and that only leaves the hard shoulder. Now the last time I looked, the hard shoulder of the M4 was up there in the list of 'most dangerous places to stand' in the world - somewhere between Basra and the doorway of an Ikea giving away free sofas - so I really didn't fancy it.

I reckoned Giggi was within easy reach - I'd just been groping around for him using the wrrong arm. I needed to take my right hand off the wheel, slide it between my seat and the wall of the car, and Giggi would be there. Voila!



I took my arm off the wheel and slid it between the chair and car wall at the top of the seat. Then I slipped it down to the bottom and fumbled around a bit.

No Giggi.


At this point the motorway started to get a bit hairy so I needed both hands on the wheel - or at least one hand available to use indicators/gear sticks and other such accessories. So I quickly tried to pull my arm back through the gap.

Expect my arm didn't go in that way.

It went in via the wider bit at the top of the seat/wall combo.

I had tried to yank it out via the very narrow bit at the bottom.

My arm, ladies and gentleman, was stuck.

So I'm now stuck on the M4, traveling very fast in a box of metal, with a screaming child and one arm stuck behind my body and no discernible way of getting it out again.


I think you could say I've had a better moments.

All that was flashing through my mind was a picture of tangled wreckage and the crash investigators saying 'we just can't understand how the impact resulted in her arm being wedged down the back of the seat? Never seen the like...'..

Sweat began to bead on my forehead. Pain or no pain I was going to have to yank - however much it hurt, I needed my arm back.

There was an ominous crunch.

Now is probably the time to tell you that my right arm is not actually secured to my body that well. I was born with most of my collar bone on that side of my body missing. Some kind of a birth defect. As a child, I used to be wheeled out in front of medical students, wearing nothing but my pants and vest. My only abiding memory of it all is being told that it was usually only seen amongst Norfolk farming families but that aside - my arm is a bit dicky.

So now I'm thinking 'holy mother of god - my arm has come out of the socket - this really IS sh1t'.

I managed to get it back on the wheel eventually and it was still working and we hadn't crashed - you need to look on the bright side with these matters.

I still had no Giggi though and I still had a screaming baby and I also now had a very very sore arm.

The infant wailed in rage the entire rest of the journey (another hour) and, on reaching home, I located Giggi in the boot of the car. He had clearly sailed over the parcel shelf. However loosely my arm is attached to my body, it was never going to reach that far.

Anyway - I'm back now and my arm is working so I can blog again. I'm off to look at how much those boxes you attach to the roof of your car cost, and if they are soundproof and roomy enough to house small children and multiple Giggis.....

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