Roadtrip Don'ts: Books on Tape about Menstruation

Even though I know it's all the rage to have a Staycation we decided to buck the trend, just bundle the kids into the car and head off into the great blue yonder! And while it wasn't remotely relaxing and not really fun in the way say that drinking a quart of tequila rolling around in cream and listening to the Tijuana Brass is fun well it was still fun. Just good clean family fun.

We've now come back from our trip to New York State (White Plains, Tarry Town, Sleepy Hollow - alas no sighting of the headless horseman) and can look back and it and smile while at the time it drove me demented. We went mainly to visit some friends who'd had a baby but ended up staying in the Ritz in White Plains although in hindsight I wonder what my husband was thinking.

There were a few issues with the kids at the hotel:

Emma and John wondered whether this really was the family suite or the Swingers Convention Room?

1. The automated light and curtain opening system

The kids fiddled with that so that the curtains flew open and closed like haunted drapes until we almost went mad. Ditto flashing dimmer lights.

2. The mini bar

We told the chocolate addict, the six year old aka Sausage that she was on no account to eat the chocolate in the mini bar or there would be consequences. She got round that by having her fun anyway, stealing the key to the mini bar and hiding it so we all had to search for it for hours. Ho hum.

3. Doors to other rooms

The kids were yanking on the door which was locked but went through to the next room. I was informed by hotel staff that 'someone was trying to break through to the next room and the patrons had complained.' I was just sad the kids hadn't managed to bury their way next door so we could have had five minutes shut eye.

4. Easter

As luck would have it the Easter bunny did leave some easter eggs for the kids but they are now so sophisticated and Paris Hilton like that they said "Oh I thought those were just a complimentary gift from the hotel."

There was another small problem on the drive up:

The Tampon Themed Book on Tape

The kids were mesmerized for the five hour journey by a book called Are You There God It's Me Margaret? For those of you unfamiliar with this Judy Blume tome it is about a group of hysterical twelve year old girls who form a society called the Pre Teen Sensations who meet regularly to talk about the as yet unfulfilled dream of starting their periods while doing mass freak outs about the flatness of their chests. They also spend a lot of time doing bust exercises while screeching "I Must I Must I Must Increase My Bust." After the fifth bout of excitement when a girl screamed from a closed toilet stall "I got it! I got my period! Lucy! Can you get me a pad from the machine?" I felt my husband lose the will to live.

The book also left me with an awkward question. Sausage kept asking "Mummy what's menstruation?"

Me: "Um I'll tell you later. Look I think I see a McDonalds. Do you want to stop for a milk shake?"

On the upside, no one got car sick and if the holiday taught me anything it is that I need to patent the 'Silent Family Roadster' a car that is like a taxi - with a soundproof pane between parents and kids. Some of you might quibble about whether the kids would suffocate to which I would answer no, because their windows would be cranked open an inch.

A brilliant invention I'm sure you'll agree. Any other tales of toe curling holiday hell you'd like to share? Or did you opt for the Staycation over Easter?