|Éowyn 'dahing' on our train from East Croydon to Victoria|
Everything we did today was FREE!! (well, except for the innumerable trains & metros) I love this setup: it eliminates any pressure to "get my money's worth" by trying to see the whole thing with a toddler, since I know I can either come back if we feel like it, or just let the babe enjoy as much as she can and call it a day! We spent a few hours in the lowest floor, the 'Garden Room,' which is aimed at little guys and encourages touching, discovering and interacting with lights, sounds, and different textures.
|Enjoying the "Garden Room" in the Science Museum|
|Puppets! We were lions, elephants, giraffes and more... all her zoo favorites!|
|Learning how a washing machine agitator works|
|Definitely trying this our next sailing trip|
|A positive FOREST of door-stoppers to twang, Mom!!|
We walked through the Abbey courtyards and museum, skipping the sanctuary itself, and spending a good deal of time in the shops. So many fascinating books to choose from! Éowyn selected a Christmas Queen Victoria ornament (my sisters & I have matching ones!) that she is determined is her new 'baby.' She fell asleep and I took advantage of the freedom to browse at my leisure and read a whole book about Henry VIII's six wives. [What a disgusting hypocrite of a man to behead two of them for "adultery" when he himself was never faithful!! Many of his wives were religious and far more righteous than he... a powerful reminder that power corrupts-- who was there who could challenge the king about his own sin, when all he had to do was chop off his head? No Nathan the Prophet for this David. In a way I'm glad God didn't let his house-- the one he was so desperate to establish-- stand, with none of his children having heirs to England's throne, despite his philandering, plotting, scheming and divorcing. It was a solemn reminder that it was God Who is truly the Sovereign, He Who determines who reigns and who doesn't.]
The weather was lovely and we enjoyed our time walking along what's left of London's ancient wall & moat... Roman & medieval artifacts are my favorites. My camera died at this point and I have no more pictures. We found the Museum of London with some difficulty (Again, where are the clear signs & instructions in this city!!? That and all the construction made it really tricky, especially pushing a stroller!). It was a bit over E's head; the young-child exhibits close early, apparently. We did enjoy their book corner and walking along looking at costumes & vehicles. (I found their Victorian "Park Gardens" movie exhibit totally weird and inappropriate for children, between a woman dressed in drag and a prostitute hitting on a noblewoman while a married man met with his mistress... yeah.)
We went home by way of St. Paul's Cathedral, where Éowyn was completely fascinated by the bells chiming 6 o'clock! I've never heard bells like it, all cascading on top of each other, the sound going on and on. Éowyn was totally mesmerized, asking me where the bells were-- we walked right up to the bell tower and I pointed up. "Want see!" she said. "We can't-- they're too high, too far away." "Too high?" That became her refrain the whole way home. "Can't touch- too high, Mama! Too high!" It was really cool to see her remembering something, trying to bring it up to talk about it with me later on, all on her own. So cool that I am conversing with a growing little mind!!
She didn't throw any big tantrums today, though I had to stay on her about not putting her hands (and coins, extra yuck!) in her mouth-- she's got one last eye-tooth coming in on the top right, and it wants chewing. That and not wanting to hold my hand-- "I want walk!!" she'll yell, trying to pull free. Definitely had a few sessions about not yelling "No!" to Mommy and to obey without fussing. I'm teaching her to apologize and ask properly and it's really cute to hear her use the phrases at other times, like if she sees me hurt myself or be disappointed, or even randomly. I'll hear this tiny, sweet voice saying "I fa-ee (sorry), Mama, I fa-ee." :)
Dinner was back at our local Indian restaurant, pubs not welcoming children after 8 o'clock... it was tasty and Éowyn requested "chicken." The only thing that would have made Éowyn's day perfect would have been seeing Daddy before bed. She kept asking for him.
As for me, I'm gonna have seriously developed triceps from the "push-chair" hauling. I'm trying to make a point to consciously thank Jesus every time someone offers to help me in the train/tube stations. I almost cried when a young teenaged boy helped me-- he was probably about 14, and I just wanted to hug his neck and tell him what an amazing gentleman he already was, and that he was going to grow up into a man worth honoring and respecting... but thought that would probably creep him out, so instead we both thanked him profusely and I clasped him on the shoulder... seemed so lame. (I did pray for God to bless and claim him for Himself.) These Tube & Railway stations are NOT stroller-friendly!!