We had quite an adventure today; an hour's ride into town on the train, walk to the Voyager Maritime Museum, lunch at the mall, and then home again on the train. I am absolutely exhausted.
It mightn't sound like much, but when you consider that in addition to my own seven-year-old son and my two-year-old twins, I also had our neighbour's eleven-year-old and his seven-year-old cousin along for the trip, you may begin to comprehend the magnitude of the undertaking.
Five kids, one adult.
The big kids are all pretty sensible, but before we left I made sure they each had my phone number tucked into their pockets. The twins got a little tag pinned to them with my number, too. I only do that if we're going somewhere unfamiliar that's likely to be very busy. It might be a bit paranoid, but honestly, if we got separated, I'd want it to be as easy as possible for someone to get hold of me.
The train trip was... talkative. My eldest is a champion chatterbox, but he is outgunned (outmouthed?) by our neighbour's boy. The Eurostar is blah blah blah and the world train speed record is five hundred something; I don't really know, I was too busy trying to keep Finn and Vieve from bouncing off their seats about the "broken cars! Big truck! Look at the train!".
An elderly gentleman grinned at me as he got off the train at Newmarket and said "You're doing well." I wasn't quite sure whether to be thankful for the compliment, or concerned that I looked like I needed reassurance!
The piratical activities at the Museum were greatly enjoyed, particularly the treasure-hunting sandpit. Vieve had been up since 6am and started to flag a bit, opting out of both dressing-up and getting a balloon sword. I could see the danger signs of meltdowns ahoy, and tried to usher me 'earties out for some grub.
Yeah, that didn't work so well. My eldest is accustomed to the needs of the twins, and knows that when I say it's about to go bad, it's time to haul keel. Or something. Not so much the other two. It took 45 minutes to get them away from drawing Wanted posters. By the time we actually left the museum, Vieve was whining to be carried, and Finn had lost his listening ears.
We needed food. I staggered back to the mall under the combined weight of Vieve (in a sling) and two bags. Our arrival at the foot of the escalator to the foodcourt should have been accompanied by rays of light and choirs of angels, such was my relief... but it was short-lived.
The escalator was broken.
The lifts are at the other end of the mall. So I picked up Finn as well, and we climbed the steep, steep escalator. We must have been quite a sight.
Anyway, long story only moderately lengthy, we ate, made it back to the train and had another talkative trip home. I carried Finn, Vieve and our bags from the platform to the car, as the big kids babbled about what they'd enjoyed.
As I buckled Finn into his carseat, I asked him what he'd liked best about our busy, adventurous day.
"I picked my nose on the train."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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