Breakdown

Yesterday was a glorious day, in most part, sunny cold and busy. Me and the chaps set off not long after a lazy breakfast to pick up my Mum, Nana. We were heading for a bike ride (boys on balance bikes, us ladies were on foot) along the Pilgrims’ Way at Lenham, somewhere I’d spent a large part of my childhood. We went as far as the boys could manage, explored the soldiers’ chalk cross and ate KitKats on the enclosed bench whilst admiring the veiws. When the boys were sufficiently reduced in energy we headed to Nana’s for lunch, where the boys pulled at each other, swapped food, asked the same questions repeatedly and generally annoyed me. It’s situations like that that make me realise what a bubble we live in, just the 3 of us on our own mostly.

I decided we would attempt to contaminate the boys with Chicken Pox; my poor friend is suffering with her two liitle-uns and we would be a welcome distraction from the itching and spot counting,. I’m led to believe it’s better to get it over and done with, famous last words, I’m now paranoid and terrified. We didn’t stay too long, it was getting late and I had left all the previous day’s washing up and not prepared any dinner. Leaving anywhere at 4pm knowing you’re going home to attempt to cook a wholesome meal for four in a shit hole of a small kitchen is never fun, I didn’t really want to go home at all. My wish was granted.

Travelling at a speed slightly higher than recommended, and legally enforced, the 3 of us were singing at full volume to the Puffin Rock theme tune, it’s only just over a minute long but good God it’s a catchy number. It ended, “Again Mummy, again!” so I skipped back to the beginning. I heard a strange sound, I ignored it, but my tummy began to panic, just keep singing I thought. It got louder, a flapping, slapping, grinding noise was coming from the back. I killed the music and silent panic filled the car. “Colin got a flat tyre Mummy?” (Colin’s the name of our 2002 Ford Focus, he’s smart) Colin had definitely got a flat tyre but there was no way in hell I was stopping on the hard-shoulder of a dual carriageway with my chaps in the car, not if I could help it, so I slowed down, popped my hazard lights on and hoped desperately to see a blue P sign soon. I know there’s one along the A2 somewhere. The noise was deafening, but we eventually made it to a parking lay-by. We pulled up behind a big red lorry only just inside the lay-by with Colin’s bottom still close to the traffic. I rang Jon, I rang the AA, then I rang the boys’ Nannie to ask if she could come to their rescue. Jon was also locked out and was sat outside our house in the ever increasing cold and dark. Every car that shot passed made Colin rock, each whoosh filled me with fear. Nannie arrived, the boys had been so good, Ruru frozen with alarm and Eddie full of questions, I grabbed Eddie first as he was on the safest side and plonked him in Nannie’s safer 4×4. When I returned Ruru was pale with abandonment, I scooped him up, so close to the speeding cars and ran to safety. I buckled them in so tightly. They were off, I stood on the verge blowing kisses, and waving like a nutter. Nannie’s indicator wasn’t working, she was pulling out into traffic going 70mph, on the brow of a hill, without an indicator, in half light, I could barely fucking watch. I saw a gap, “Go Nannie go!” I screamed, and they were gone. I got back in the car and phoned Jon, he stayed with me until the boys arrived with the key to get them all into the warm. Then I sat, waiting, in the cold watching Czech Chaz (I thought he deserved a name) undo the back of his huge lorry, occasionally glancing over at me, I think perhaps he wanted to help, but was cautious, I smiled at him. He finally finished fiddling with every bolt, nock and notch on his doors and cuddled up in his cab. I was obsessively watching my mirror for yellow flashing lights, nothing. Bugger I needed a wee. I looked around, the verge was do-able, Chaz would be fast asleep, but hang on what’s that? Rats? I watched 2 huge rats sniff around some dumped rubbish then explore the boys bikes I’d gotten out of the boot ready for spare tyre retrieval. There was no way in hell I was wild-weeing out there now. My Mum texted a suggestion, roll up a blanket or towel and pee into that, like a massive nappy, she’d tried and tested this method herself. I was reluctant due to Mr AA’s hopefully imminent arrival, but sorely tempted, if only out of sick curiosity. Finally flashy lights, I was rescued. Mr AA could see I was frozen, and jigging, he offered me the warmth of his cab, I politely declined, but I’d fucked the wheel and he was struggling with tyre removal. I opened his truck door and announced, “I’m going in.” Ahhh it was toasty, I started to relax, the boys were safe, Colin car was safe, if only I could… Oh god I was weeing! No! No, I wasn’t, it took a moment but I realised the seat I was sitting on was heated. Phew! Mr AA was kind, efficient and soon got me on my way. Pulling out into the heaving, fast traffic I felt relieved and this time I really wanted to go home. The My Little Pony theme tune came on, I turned it up and bombed home, at a slow 50mph.

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