So the really mad part of our trip to the MAD Museum was driving back home afterwards. We had barely got out of Stratford before I felt a strong judder in the car. It could only mean one thing: flat tyre.
Lucky for us there was a turning on the left that I could pull into off the main road. I limped the car into a parking bay and turned the engine off. I'm no mechanic but I knew what the problem was even before getting out. We had a flat front right.
I checked the boot for a spare, but alas, there wasn't one. Next I called Simon who was in London and didn't pick up. Finally I called the RAC. Although when they told me I had a two hour wait I heavily encouraged Jenson to scream into the mic in the hope they would take pity on poor mother with child. They did but it still took them two hours to get to us.
We had a super time but it was Wren who I felt sorry for. She was stuck at nursery until nearly 7pm when I should have collected her at 2pm. It took us nearly six hours to get from Stratford to Cheltenham.
It was lucky that whilst in Stratford we had popped into a few shops. I had been looking for a book about the human body for a while so was pleased to stumble across an educational guide complete with sticker book and fold out skeleton! Turns out it was ever so useful. When faced with the prospect of a two hour wait stuck in your car with children time stands still. However, I folded the back seats down and we created a rather fun curb side classroom. I must admit it was the most fun sixty minutes I have spent in a while and certainly reinforced to me the value of home education.
It was quirky, creative and spontaneous learning. Jenson was the happiest I had ever seen him. I sat there and watched him and let it all sink in. I want him to grow up with an open mind; to follow his dreams and not other people. I don't think that's something that a conventional school can offer, not when they have thirty other kids in class. They can't possibly encourage this sort of individualism.
As breakdowns go, it was a very civilised one. I couldn't have picked a better spot. Leaning about the function of the stomach was growing pretty thin after an hour so I suggested we take a walk. We headed inside where we stumbled across an amazing treasure trove of vintage antiques. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my collectables so you can imagine how pleased I was at how the potentially difficult situation was panning out!
It got better still when we realised there was a beautiful and quirky vintage cafe and Christmas shop!
Just as we were finishing up our baked beans and toast, the RAC rang to say they were fifteen minutes away. It was perfect timing. Jenson, without being asked, put away the colouring book and pencils we had found in a children's activity box and headed back outside with me.
Needless to say Jenson was fascinated by the big orange van, although he was still driven to distraction by his Lego model that he had thus far taken everywhere with him that day. It took another thirty minutes to get the new spare on the car before we were escorted back into Stratford during rush hour to a local Kwik Fit centre.
Another hour passed before we were eventually allowed to go, but not before I had made the very foolish mistake of allowing Jenson to have one of those free hot chocolates, which was clearly loaded with sugar. Despite that he was asleep within the space of about five minutes once in the car! I had a peaceful drive home.