I've never been too keen on giving the kids lots of expensive presents, even though that's what they ask for most of the time.... I don't think they appreciate them, and from my own childhood, I barely remember the presents at all - apart from my silver and blue Vindec Atlantic bike which was my absolute pride and joy, well until I got my first car anyway.
Anyway I digress.... Apart from some everyday stuff, it's the trips and special events and outings that are my best memories, and so I wanted to recreate that for my own kids. With Angel it was easy, there was just her, and she was always so enthusiastic about everything, from a boat trip to see Fungie the Dolphin, to dressing as Hermione Grainger for a Tesco photoshoot. Smiley is easy in a different way: I don't know how good her memory is, but she certainly shows her appreciation for trips, especially shopping trips. CD is another matter. He can meltdown at the mere mention of leaving the house. But this week I had the chance to tackle that as the girls were in school while he was on mid term break. So on Tuesday we went to Tesco. He sat on the floor in the toy aisle and played his DS while I threw everything in the trolley as fast as I could and, as agreed, he was still there when I returned. Yesterday we went to four different places, and while he started to grumble, we got through it, and I got everything done.
So, remembering all his interests, I took a deep breath after lunch yesterday, and asked: "Would you like to go to the Natural History Museum tomorrow?" "Yes," he replied. It wasn't said with much enthusiasm, but I nearly fainted on the spot.
So the plans were made. I carefully explained where and when we were going, and what we would be doing. He happily hopped in the car just after 10 this morning, and off we went. Admission is free, woohoo! And basically the Museum is two large rooms full of stuffed and preserved animals, birds and skeletons. CD was fascinated and couldn't have been more excited if I'd bought him a new Zelda game :) He skipped around the room looking for his favourites: wolves especially and I was instructed to take this photograph:
We also had to find the ducks, the rabbits, the anteaters and the gorillas.
He ran past some exhibits and lingered by others.
All went really well for about 45 minutes. It happened when we were looking at the sea anemones. One moment he was listening to me talking about rock pools. The next he was legging it for the door. So off I ran. "My tongue is dry," he said. Or perhaps I was just getting boring. So back to the car we went to get a drink, but then the spell was broken and it was time to go home. Still that was our most successful outing ever, and hopefully it will be a happy childhood memory for him :D