Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: Summer In The City: A Mini-Break to London

Friday, 6 July 2018

Summer In The City: A Mini-Break to London


This week we are on holiday. Now, all burglars take note. Please, have a rummage and help yourselves to as many luridly coloured plastic toys as you can fit into your swag bag. I would personally recommend anything by vtech: they seem to have set their volume levels at that of a Slipknot concert but with less musical content. A must in every house.

Anyway, I digress, going back to the holiday with having been to France only a month ago in the company of a heavily expectant member of the family (who thankfully made it back to British soil with baby still in situ), we had booked a week off after the due date in order to make the pilgrimage south and welcome the newest member of the family. We had planned to spend the majority of the week with the grandparents in rural Shropshire, introducing our city children to the concept of country walks, wildlife and village fetes but with a brief foray into the big smoke to visit cousins new and old(er).

Country chic...

The first leg of country living was a success with unprecedented good weather and access to a garden sprinkler. Minutes of entertainment. The second leg involved an arduous journey into the bustling metropolis of London town where success was brief, intermittent and cruelly interspersed with prolonged periods in a car with no air conditioning that reached temperatures hotter than the sun.

The audience with the new babe as she wriggled, sighed and mewled to perfection (as only those days into their lives can do) captivated the toddlers' attention for at least 45 seconds before they were back to rough housing their, somewhat fatigued, uncle who had been weakened by the nocturnal demands of his progeny.

Minutes of entertainment...

Our next "adventure" took us across town to the Natural History Museum where the Big One was desperate to introduce the Little One to her "best friend" Butterfly- The T- Rex. There was much anticipation as we boarded novel mode of transport after novel form of transport; there was an actual Big Red Bus followed by a "Choo Choo" that went under the ground before boarding another that travelled above the houses. They were living their best lives.
When we finally arrived they ran straight in pointing to all the signs adorned with pictorial representations of the giant reptiles with cries from the Little One of "Mummy! Mummy! Dine-e-saw!" He trotted after his beloved big sister with complete trust that she was leading him to see something that would change his life forever. "Mummy! Mummy! Come! Come!" As we entered the darkened enclosure where "Butterfly" lived and she emitted a deep, prolonged roar he hurled himself between my legs gripping so tightly that I feared the sensation would never return. With pleading eyes raised he muttered "I a bit scared. No like dine-e-saw". We tried and failed to reassure him explaining that she was no more real than his toy Dog Dog, perhaps delivering two cruels blows in one day so we admitted defeat and went to buy ice cream.


Just terrified

Next on the agenda was a visit to the Queen's house, an absolute must in the book of the pre-schooler who has made the decision that an actor's life is for her, being that she hears this is the way to become a Princess. The toddler was easily swayed with images of Julia Donaldson's Ladybird on Holiday so back on the various forms of transport we went.

Four flights of stairs, three toddler tantrums, two cramped trains and one busy change later we were there. As I pointed in the direction of the gold embellished palace with the flourish of a magician's assistant I was greeted with a look of disdain: "Urgh, can we go home yet?"


So over it...

So back into our mobile oven we went just in time to sit in gridlock traffic before extending our journey by several miles in an attempt to rock the raging toddler into sleep, all to the musical accompaniment of "It's a Small World" on repeat, for 3 hours. 

Oh, if only it was.

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