4 yr old “Mummy, can we go to the palace please?”
Mummy “Of course. I’d love that. Let’s go on Saturday when Daddy is at the football.”
Hooray I’m thinking to myself. The four year old is starting to come round to places of culture. I love nothing more than traipsing round a museum and I’m beginning to think that the four year old is going to turn out like me after all.
I’m such a fool!
To add to the excitement of our cultural outing, I announced that we would go to the palace on the bus! This was an error. At 4 years old this child is already an expert on buses. She wanted to go on the 411. It wasn’t leaving for 25 mins. The 111 was leaving imminently. We only just got the 111 because I had to drag her kicking and screaming onto it. “I want to go on the 411. You are not my mother. I hate you.” The usual lovely bus chatter then.
We got to the palace and start walking through the gardens to the ticket office.
Mummy “A King used to live here.”
4 yr old “And a Queen.”
Mummy “Yes. Six Queen’s actually.”
4 yr old “And was the baby Jesus born here?”
Mummy “No, not here.”
4 yr old “How boring”
We pay a small fortune. I didn’t have to pay for the kids thank goodness otherwise I’d have turned round and got the 411 home.
And in we go.
To give a little structure to our visit I went to the information centre and picked up the children’s trail leaflets for us to follow. I can highly recommend this but the booklets are probably best for kids who are a bit older than 4!
We go round the kitchens. It’s all boring. There is nothing fantastic in there at all apparently. She doesn’t want to look for the pictures. She wants to draw Daddy. Where is Daddy? Why can’t she go to the football with Daddy instead. Because the football is 200 miles away is apparently not a good enough reason.
At this point I found the playroom. We go in and have 30 mins play. Everyone is happy again!
We then go round Henry VIII’s apartments. When we get in the great hall the trail guide has us looking for animals. This is on her level. She is engaged. She is ready to spot, and then draw, wildlife. I’m excited that we’re doing this together.
4 yr old “Look Mummy. Santa’s reindeer. Up there.”
She has infact spotted the antlers from the stags that were shot by Henry and mounted on the wall. They are dead reindeer. Never the less they are Reindeer and I am a very worn down woman by this point.
Mummy “Good spot. Yes, they are Santa’s Reindeer.”
We spend the next 20 minutes drawing Santa’s Reindeer.
On the way home I wanted to go in the maze. It’s on the way out. It will take 5 mins I said. She didn’t agree. 20 mins later, after a full on monster time out, with ear piercing screaming and quite forceful demands that we go back to the playroom instead, she agreed to come in with me. We were in for 5 mins. “What is the point of this mummy? Why would you want to get lost on purpose?”
And French people were smoking in the maze. Why would you smoke in the maze?
So we got the bus home (the 411 – she was in heaven). I asked her what her favourite part of the day had been. “Nothing. The Palace was boring. Let’s not go there again because you just shout at me.”
On this we agree. No more culture from now on!