West of the East and back home again

Every Tuesday for the last couple of terms Mum has been taking Amelia to a music class over in Canterbury. It’s singing and dancing and so on for little kids. Both Mum and Amelia love it, neither of them grumbling about the prospect of attending each week. Now that Mum is in Japan, I thought it would be nice for Amelia to see out the term so we hit the road this morning, heading in the direction I knew the class was in.
It’s quite unusual for me to head off in an unknown direction completely unprepared as I am more likely to spend a great deal of time studying the map book memorising any new route before setting out. But there was no time this morning, and I did have a pretty good feel for where we were headed.

Minutes after I had turned right towards Canterbury road Amelia started up.

“Mum, I’m not sure that this is the right direction!”

So I was thrown into a moment of panic, maybe I was completely wrong about where I had imagined we were headed.

“Are you sure?”

“No! But I don’t remember any of this street!”, this being a street we drive up almost every other day to get to the local shops. So I kept driving.

“Hmm, yes this is right Mum! I see the big M for McDonalds.” She said. And we continued happily until we came to the next major intersection.

“I think we might have to go down there Mum!” I ignored her, pushing on to the place where I was sure the class was. “And where’s my little snack? Nanny always has a little snack for me in the car!”

Minutes later “Oh yes! This is right mum! Yes, yes! Keep going.”

So we did until Amelia shrieked; “I don’t recognise this! This is wrong Mum! We are heading North! To the North Pole! No that’s wrong!”

“No! We are heading West!” I reassured her.

“West? Is my class in the West? I didn’t know that? I don’t think it’s in the West, Mum.”

“Well, it’s West of where we live.” And we were getting pretty close to where I thought the class was so I added, “So this all looks familiar, doesn’t it? And we turn the corner up here?”

“Ummm, yes, yes. NO! NO! I don’t recognise this! We’re lost! LOST IN THE WOODS! MUM!… .. oh yes, this is it, this is right. Keep going!”.

But now I really did need to rely on Amelia’s directions as we were in the back streets of Canterbury and I did remember vaguely that Suzette (who also attends the class with Jazzy) said that there was parking off to the left somewhere.

“Ok, we’re nearly there. Is this the street we turn down?”

“Yes! That’s it! And you need to park right here! Because there are no car parks near the class!” So I pulled in to the very first available spot. And we got out of the car and walked for what seemed like miles pass empty car parking spot after empty car parking spot. But at least once we were on foot Amelia was dead certain of the direction of the class. We arrived with ten minutes to spare and a sense of immense satisfaction.

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15 Responses

  1. What a great play-by-play! “Lost in the woods!” got me too, how funny! I hope you both enjoyed the class after all that work in getting there!

  2. LOLOLOLOLOL How absolutely Adorable.. Forget NavMan
    you have NavMelia

    Ha! What a cutie! Does she usually provide this sort of back-seat commentary, or was it taking advantage of a BIG opportunity to play helpful skipper on the S.S. Minnow?

  4. Did she really say LOST IN THE WOODS? That’s funny. But only from a distance, because if either of my children would have acted this way and I didn’t have my rock-solid sense of direction, I would either turn around and go home or put a plaster over said child’s mouth.

  5. robr@yeti.com.au says:

    So how was the class? Was it worth the effort?

  6. Her commentary is about the same that goes on silently in my head when I go somewhere without the map for the first time…mostly silent anyway!
    You are lucky you have a great future navigator there!

  7. leigh@hicksdesign.co.uk says:

    excellent!reminds me of a journey we had between Oxford and Glasgow when Samantha was 3.

    She wailed ‘we’re going the wrong waaaaaay’ all the way up the motorway.

    Seven hours.
    No other route.
    Long drive.

    We smile now!

  8. That sounds like it was a fun adventure.
    Sometimes when I have my friend’s daughter (now 9) in the car I ask her to tell me how to get where we are going. She is really bad at warning me about turns, but she knows different ways to get home.

  9. I love it. So funny.
    I was taking a friends child home via a sort of back way once. I wasn’t sure if I was going the right direction, so I pulled over and looked at a map, and everything looked fine. I kept driving. Then we passed a town that I knew we shouldn’t have. At that moment the little girl (3 years old) shreiks, “Stop, turn around, my house is back that way. We are lost!” I had read the map wrong. So we turned around, backtracked and made it to her house.

  10. stacee@staceesledge.com says:

    That was a perfect read. Thank you!

  11. awww what a cute adventure.
    My son (4) does this too, and he always wants to know the name of the road we are on, and what road are we turning on, and why can’t we go? ignore all those cars! Or I’ll say, “Well, I don’t want to hit the cars in front of me,” and he’ll reply, “CRASH THEM CRASH THEM!”

    Aw, driving with a toddler! What fun!

  12. ah, that made my morning, very cute.

  13. trosper31@yahoo.com says:

    That was great… Lost in the woods. Baw haa!

  14. That was so cute! I often think things like that when I am driving myself, but they never quite manifest themselves as actual words!