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Friday, 1 September 2017

Going into London with the kids: 6 lessons learned

Going into London with toddlers/young kids: 6 lessons learned

Beware: This might put you off leaving the house with children, ever.


VTech are one of our favourite toy brands. I say 'our', I mean 'my kids', because they do tend to have a lot of buttons which, when pressed, say a lot of things. This often happens when they're out of sight, in a box, and you can't locate them.

They also sing irritatingly catchy songs. I still have 'Hello Puppy calling do you want to play with me?' in my head and we ditched that walker well over a year ago.

Anyway, when we were invited along to an event to mark the launch of the new VTech 5-in-1 trike in none other than the Lee Valley Olympic Velodrome, I thought it would be a cruel parent indeed who wouldn't face the train, with two small children, during rush hour to make sure her darling cherubs got to partake and indulge their love of buttons that flash and make noise. More on that later.

The big one has never really ridden a trike. 


She has one (which is now shared between her and her brother, in the loosest sense of the word 'share'), but our garden is too uneven to practise really, and she doesn't go far enough to make a park trip worthwhile because FYI those things are heavy and not easy to lug about. More on that later, too.
Anyway I was astounded. We got there, remarkably unscathed, she got on her trike... and except for a little while to push her brother round she didn't get off until the event had finished, we had left the building and at a busy road somewhere in Stratford and even then I had to plea bargain.
(We will be reviewing the VTech 5 in 1 Trike, complete with local trike route and I will stick a link in here).

However, I thought I would share with your my insights after this trip into London. 


Because you know, sometimes when you're knee deep in poo and commuter death stares it helps to stop and think 'well, at least there is a blog post in this'. 

So I bring to you, six things I now know about travelling to London, on the train, for a blogger event, with two small children in tow:

1) If you're at a blogging event and the brand say beforehand you'll have the opportunity to take a sample away, and that sample is a bloody massive trike, they do in fact mean take away there and then, in your very own hands which are also trying to manhandle two small children and one garish but lightweight buggy across London, during rush hour.
2) Even if your usually-quite-regular child has already had their daily motion, the moment you enter the tube (laden like a pack horse and sweating quite a bit because finally, the sun has come back and you've just pushed a buggy complete with toddler, preschooler on buggy board and trike up a hill for 20 minutes) is an opportune moment to do a bonus poo. There is, obviously, nowhere to change a nappy until you reach your destination and they know this. The do it just to mess with you.

In case you were wondering, this will make you fairly unpopular with commuters.

3) You'll never be so happy to see the mediocre changing facilities at the train station as you will be after suffering through that journey. In fact you'll make your older child use them just because, even though they went not 30 minutes earlier because that is probably what your mum would have made you do.
4) Three minutes into a crowded commuter train journey home, you'll welcome yet ANOTHER bonus poo which you can't really pretend you didn't know about because a) it stinks and b) your child will be singing their best I'VE DONE A POO POO song.

This will be followed swiftly by your other child demanding yet another wee (and of course you're sitting a full carriage away from the toilets. OF COURSE YOU ARE. And you were feeling so smug about those seats, too).
5) Some people on trains are very nice and will give your children seats and help you on and off with stuff, and say encouraging things like 'oh, I remember those days' or 'I've been there, you handled that well'.

Some people on the other hand don't like moving out of your way on trains even if it means their shoes might be pissed on. Holding a small child with a shitty nappy close to their nose helps motivate them.

6) It is not easy to change a pooey nappy and help a preschooler have a wee in a cramped train toilet cubicle a few feet wide and not much more than that long, but it is possible.💪
Still, we got this picture (thanks VTech!) and everyone is looking at the camera - so surely that's worth a slog across London for?

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