More London Woes

You guys! I just keep doing it. I’m a moth to a flame. 

A despondent liberal news junkie gravitating toward CNN. 

A rat returning for just one last nibble off the near-carc…I don’t know where that metaphor is going.

I keep falling for my the guidebooks and guideblogs that say, “Spend a scrumptious day with your child wandering baroque delights of Henry VIII’s residence as your child marvels at the throne rooms and bedchambers used for the British elites of the sixteenth century.”

And I was like, “Yeah. This’ll be the day my 3 and 5-year-olds will become history buffs and focus on museum plaques written in higher English than the History Channel could hope for.”

I need to close the books “London for Kids”. It’s not catering to idiots like me torturing their kids who just learned to walk and talk two years ago. 

And why did I fall for the charms of a saccharine travel blog that’s really just a lifestyle and advertising webpage for one of those asinine people who take instagrammable pictures of cappuccinos and laughing children skipping in frilly dresses past (stolen) Van Goghs? Seriously, this particular blogger’s list of “10 adorable things to do with little kids” is really just geared toward the billionaire single with their only child who happens to be an impeccably calm and inquisitive British girl who’s perfectly coiffed and behaved. This blog said, “take your child on a hundred pound (!!!) tea party on a converted double-decker bus. (And then hand your child back over to your personal Mary Poppins and go about your business being fabulous in London.)

That ain’t me, kid.

Parents: I’m speeding up my “traveling with little kids” travel series and jumping to the conclusion – little kids are the reason for all-inclusive Cancun resorts. There’s no thought necessary. They eat whatever they want, they go to the kids’ camp all day, and you’re left alone.

Learn from my mistakes.

Is this just a humble brag that my kids are experiencing London before yours are? I doubt it. Yeah, it was cool when my kid pointed to Big Ben and shouted, “Look! The Eiffel Tower!” But thank goodness this trip didn’t spawn from over-aggressive, money-as-no-option helicopter parenting. We are here to save my sanity from six straight months of solo parenting and to celebrate my partner’s West End conducting debut. 

And we have free housing. One takes advantage of such situations, doesn’t one?

But as the children yanked my partner and I at light speed Henry VIII’s dining hall, and I was genuinely interested to read about the succession from the Tudors to the Stuarts to the Hanovers, I had the thought, “What if this is my kids’ only experience traveling in such world heritage sites? What if we don’t make it back when they’re teenagers, capable of appreciating the history but hating me even more for dragging them on a ‘boring trip through churches and museums’?”

Talk about princess problems.

Get over yourself, Gavin.

Just stop for a quick pint and go suffer through another museum. It’s a rainy day. Let the kids watch the iPad in our corporate apartment.  

Carpe the diem, as one does, doesn’t one?


  1. Through you efforts with the boys you’ve communicated to them that travel means more than just
    skimming the cream off the host country/city… they’ve taken in the concept that travel ought to be enriching as well as fun. Give them some time to internalize this and don’t shy away from reinforcing it on future trips.
    Responsible travel is an art…not just a kick in the pants. It might sound preachy but what do you want for free! That’s my two cents. Keep up the great parenting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can understand your angst. Plus I don’t know that it will always be better when they get older. We were on vacation in the San Juan islands when our kids were young teenagers. I can remember them saying they were bored at one point and Don shouts out, “What do you want, a three ring circus?!” It took us all by surprise and we got a big laugh out of it. Now if they are ever bored, that is common refrain that comes up in the conversation. I also remember them when little enjoying playing with my pots and pans rather than the expensive toys my working mom quilt made me buy. Can’t always win. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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