Using a train as a change mat 

The simple plan was to drive and visit my Auntie and Uncle for the day but, after battling with the delicate balancing act of getting all three of us dressed and hygienic, it dawned on me that I had cleverly locked my car keys inside of the car the day before… 

Not wanting to waste the opportunity of the three of us all being ready to depart at the same time, I made the bold plan to attempt the journey by public transport instead. I decided to put baby in the carrier…only to realise that this was in the locked car. 

Not to worry! I have another carrier which I’ve not yet used, that a friend gave me. So I could have just put an umbrella over us both when it inevitably rained…but the umbrella was in the car too. Never mind, I thought I would wrap her in my jacket…then I realised that this was also in the car. (Note to self: STOP using the car as a cupboard) 

Not one to be defeated, I grabbed the new carrier, awkwardly tangled baby up in a swamp of material and dressed us both in a winter jacket which immediately made me start sweating. At least my eldest was over the moon that we were getting to travel on both a bus AND a train! 

We got the bus to Clapham Junction and boarded the train without any complications and I was high-fiving myself. I noticed that the train splits in half at a point in the journey and I casually asked the two men next to me if they could direct me to the correct part of the train to go to Horsham. One delightful Italian guy assured me that I can stay where I am as this end goes to Horsham. Lovely. 

So I took baby out of her clothy lair, let toddler take her coat off and start playing with her toys. THANKFULLY the conductor came along and, on reading my ticket, commented that I needed to change at Gatwick Airport. The NEXT STOP. The sweet Italian guy had thought I said Hailsham and was now mortified… I really should have checked, bless him. I barked orders at poor toddler to hurriedly put her coat back on, I near enough threw baby back into another strange position in the sling, rapidly collected all our things, dressed myself in the winter warmer and jumped up sweating, only to realise that it’s at least another five minutes until we arrive at Gatwick Airport…so we awkwardly stood, trying to look like I had meant to get up when I did, and I loudly made some comment to my toddler about her little sister needing to be jiggled about…We changed trains and all was well with the world. I even managed to breastfeed on the short journey. Another pat on the back to myself until, one stop before our destination, baby’s nappy leaked pretty badly all over her clothes. In speed sure to impress an F1 pit stop team, I ripped off her outfit, threw a new nappy on, redressed her and actually managed to get us all ready and relatively calm in time for our departure. By this time, I had also managed to fit baby into the carrier in a position that was comfortable and didn’t result in her thinking that all the light had gone from the world. Hooray! We had made it. Easy peasy.

Lessons learnt:

1) Always check I have keys available; 15 checks a day should do it

2) Plan a train journey before embarking on one; double or triple checking should be fine

3) Really do stop using the car as a storage facility. I’m surprised the children can actually fit in there at all. 

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