I love travelling with my daughter and I do it every time I have a chance. Be it just one train away to Westfield London for story time and coffee or further than that towards Piccadilly or London Bridge, National History Museum, London Zoo or the Aquarium.
It is always such a wonderful way to spend time with her and also get her accustomed with travelling different places, getting used to people and learning.
We make sure my bag is filled with books and snacks and she’s happy. I am one lucky mama as Ruby loves trains and buses and she’s never bothered by the journey no matter how short or long. She just enjoys herself and talks to just about everyone who asks her questions.
I am calm and plan my journey so things can go as smooth as possible.
The things I cannot plan unfortunately are the ones that won’t be solved either. Not anytime soon at least. I am talking about the inconvenience every parent faces when it comes to lifts, escalators and stairs.
I remember one particular day when my daughter was about seven months old. We lived in London and I was travelling everywhere with her looking for a new place to move into. As she was only a baby I couldn’t quite pick her up and take the stroller in one arm to go up and down the stairs. The station didn’t even have escalators but only those damn never ending stairs. Ruby was asleep and I found myself alone and helpless. I felt defeated. I didn’t want to wake her up and I literally sat there waiting for someone to ask me if I need any help.
I cursed my life and I felt tears coming down my face. But I did it and I moved on just like we all do.
Nowadays I see things differently. I am still frustrated and angry but as she is three, she can easily go up and down the stairs with no effort and she knows well not to leave my hand. The stroller folds in a matter of seconds (I am a pro at it) and here we go on another adventure. “Ruby go up!” “Ruby go down…”
I still struggle with my bag and her backpack, try and arrange toys and books in the stroller so it can fold properly and not lose stuff on the way. I can say that some of the worst stations are Leicester Square, Oxford Circus and Waterloo but also Euston many times.
Watford Junction is a good station as every platform has a lift but I can tell you that platform nine always has a problem: the lift is not working most of the times. (hint hint)
I know most stations are old and not suited for these types of facilities but damn it’s annoying. In a crowded London when you sweat even in winter time, carrying a toddler, a pushchair and all accessories is no freaking joke. If you have the “luck” to bump into a hater you’re in for a treat. I had one the other day. I was holding my daughter in one arm and the stroller in the other and going down the stairs towards the platform in Leicester Square when I heard a dickhead behind me: “OMG. Can you move any slower bitch?!” I found myself speechless. I was way too hot and tired to say anything but I so wish I could’ve hit him over that mouth with the stroller and maybe make him trip down the stairs as well.
It was the first time when this happened and maybe that’s why I couldn’t speak. I know Londoners don’t smile that much but I can say that most of them did offer to help me with my child, bags or stroller anywhere I was and it felt nice and reassuring.
Apart from these little inconveniences that are stairs, I can say that London with a toddler is fun and beautiful. There are so many things to visit and revisit, so many kids friendly places and toy stores and play areas that the only risk is getting them overtired and therefore a but cranky.
If you find yourself in London with a child you can visit:
- National History Museum
- The British Museum
- Science Museum
- Tate Modern
- Sea Life
- London Eye
- London Zoo
- Botanical Gardens
- Shard for Kids
- Tower of London
- Madame Tussauds
- Hamleys Toy Store
There are so many others but nobody will just sit and go through them all from my blog.
Have you travelled to London? What were your favourite places? Can’t wait to read all about it.