School holidays. They are –
a. Hugely expensive
b. As exciting as watching my eyebrows grow.
c. More exhausting than an all night pub crawl ( not speaking from experience or anything…)
d. All of the above.
Yes, its that time again. When parents the nation over are gripped with the dreadful conundrum of…What can we do with these children?
In answer, I took the Fab Five to the Auckland Museum. For some excitement. Culture. Intellectual stimulation. Brownie points in heaven for “doing worthwhile, quality activities with ones children that do NOT involve a Playstation or Sky TV.”
I planned the excursion ahead of time. We invited cousins to come along with us for xtra fun. I studied the museum website and was happy to discover that if you took along proof of residence in Auckland then you didnt have to pay an entry fee. I packed snacks to go. To add more spice to the outing, we took the train to the city. Disembarked at Britomart and then caught the bus up to the museum. It was supposed to be thrilling. Fun. Fabulous.
Ha. Ha. Ha. (Everybody laugh with me now. Totally without humor.)
Yes we helped save the environment by taking public transport. But it sure as heck wasnt cost-effective. The train cost us $24 dollars. And the bus $16. I could have driven there for 20 bucks worth of petrol tops.
Yes, we meandered along through various Auckland suburbs and discovered the joys of trainriding. Listening to the Beast yell, “Look! A tunnel! Yaaaay!”…..”Look! Another tunnel! Yaaaay!”….”Look! A tunnel! Yaaaaay!”….”Look! A tunnel! Yaaaay!” (and so on and so on.) But it took over two hours to get to the city and up to the museum. And it involved some serious uphill walking. Since the stupid bus didnt actually drive right up to the front door of the museum. (I dont know why not. What the fudge is the point of taking a bus somewhere if you have to get off miles away from your destination and WAAAAAAALK there?) In our excursion party, we had a total of NINE children. By the time we walked in the museum door, we adults were tired, hot and frazzled. Sick to bits of the whole thing. And dreading the return trip home ( ohmigosh, not another tunnel…please no!) No, by then i was in no mood to soak in the cultural atmosphere. I ordered the kids to look around really quick. Because “in 30 minutes we are out of here, do you hear me?! Hurry up, hurry up!”
They whined and complained. “But we just got here!”
“So move fast and make every minute count.”
I tried very hard to be just like those ever-smiling, ever-ready with a hug mums you see on TV. But inside I was screaming. Im tired and if the return trip is as painfully long as the trip in then it will be dinnertime before we get home! We left the house at 9am and if i have to spend another hour in a confined space with all of you then I will end up throwing myself under a moving train.
We zipped through that museum with lightning speed. Walked alllllllll the way across the Domain to the train station. And trained alllllllll the way home. And when I told the Beast she couldnt get off at New Lynn station to go to the mall, she folded her arms and pronounced in a loudspeaker voice: I’M NOT HAPPY!
No kidding. You and me both.
Too many dollars, too many trainhours, too many hills, too many patient deep breaths later – I conclude:
I am NEVER taking children to the museum on a train again. And I am so glad that school starts up again next week.
Nooo… Not another tunnel!