Is there anything more beautiful than London in the sunshine?
Yes there is – London in the sunshine when your children are behaving like little angels!
I used to be a bit scared of bringing my beasties into town. I never quite got the hang of using the pram on the tube’s network of escalators and relying on black cabs got to be quite expensive. So I saved the journeys into London for the times when I was working or flying solo, thinking it’d be altogether a more enjoyable experience.
But now Hux is 3 and doesn’t really need a buggy we’re about to become way more adventurous, London-wise. Starting with last Friday when we caught the train into town for a day in the sunshine. By the time we got there I was mum number one because not only had we been on AN OMG TRAIN but then we also got to go on an OMG UNDERGROUND TRAIN. All I can say is kids, wait til you’re commuting on the 6.48 from Milton Keynes to Old St every day and we’ll see who excited about all these trains.
Once we arrive in town we shot down on the Northern line to Waterloo to South Bank: one of my favourite areas of London that had previously been unexplored en famille. We’d been invited to the new Shrek’s Adventure experience next to the London Eye (more of which tomorrow) and were all really excited for a bit of magic. But first… lunch!
One of my favourite things to do with my two is eat out. Scrap that – one of my favourite things to do in life is eat out, and I naturally do this a lot with children as they are so often with me. Today was no exception and I was desperate to take a trip to Wahaca – the kids had never been and I wasn’t sure what their offering for smalls would be like but I’m a big believer in introducing the children to adult dishes if there’s no menu geared towards them.
I didn’t need to worry, the children’s menu was spectacular with a build-your-own taco option and drink available for £5 – great value. Elfie had a great time painstakingly building her steak taco whereas Hux took more of a deconstructed attitude to his fish version and ate it piece by piece.
Meanwhile I feasted on chicken taquitos, steak tacos and grilled corn. HAPPY MUMMY. I love Wahaca.
We topped off our dinner with frozen yoghurts in the sunshine on the top deck of the Snog bus overlooking the Thames. It was kind of heavenly.
As we strolled towards Shrek for our 2.30pm booking there were all sorts of exciting things to see – starting with Jeppe Hein’s appearing rooms fountain. We had no towels or spare clothes with us but it was so tempting there was nothing for it but to strip down to our pants (them not me, I’d just washed my hair) and get stuck in. It was a bit chilly for Hux who bit a swift retreat but Elfie dove in and out of the jets for absolutely ages. After we dried off in the sunshine (London, you beauty) we wandered through the street entertainers laughing and marvelling at the fun and the downright weirdness of some of them.
The strolling the sunshine, the relaxation and laughter… it really made me reflect on where we are right now as a band of three. I didn’t feel stressed out that I had to deal with two children alone, I didn’t feel conspicuous as a single parent in a sea of families with 2.4 children, I just thought we’ve got this. We, not I, because it’s a group effort, all of this. Though these two have never known any difference they must still get The Feels over having parents living split lives in households so far away from one another. But they don’t act out or get upset, they just understand this is our way and they potter along being amazing.
I am so proud of them. And I can’t wait to spend many more days with these special souls in the sunshine, in the cold, in the rain (because that’s more probable, let’s be honest). South Bank in the summer is grand and with my two it is even grander.