The Grumpy One finally talked me into taking a day off.
So we went … to the trains. Just for something different.
I was exhausted, so fell asleep in the car on the way there. Godzilla had had a headache and sore throat, and was in some kind of weird lethargic/hyperactive state (yes, alternating!) Monkey Boy was just excited about going to the trains. For something different.
As my week had been one where “If something is going to go wrong, it will!” I was looking forward to a day where it was unlikely that anything would go wrong. Off we went, deciding exactly where we were going as we were heading wherever it was we were going.
It was cold, but, this time, we came prepared – coats, scarves, additional, chocolate laden snacks. Perfect.
We got the station, discovered the steam train was doing trips today (bonus for the kids) and it was a 73 minute wait until the next one (bugger). Grumpy came up with the fabulous suggestion that we head into town, grab some lunch and head back for the tour.
It took thirty odd minutes to convince the children of this, by which time the almost-hot pies and hot dogs became available so we had one of those instead. Godzilla successfully go the entire contents of his pie, plus a bit more, over the entire outside of his attire. The lady manning the pie stand was generous enough to provide the four of us with 3, 1 ply serviettes. Back to the car to locate wipes for cleaning.
Finish pies with what should have been only 13 minutes to wait – perfect timing in my book – only, with no explanation, the train was an extra 30 minutes coming into the platform. Waiting an additional 30 minutes when the train is actually at the platform, despite boredom factor for me, is not an issue as children are entertained. With boring, stationary train.
(I just can’t see the fun in it!)
With no train, however, and children waiting in anticipation, not only is it not boring, its frigging infuriating. I’m not sure how many times I can explain “I don’t know when it will be here”, and in how many different ways, so that they may be placated. Or at least mildly satisfied.
On the upside, I did learn 496, 283 ways of saying “I don’t know when it will be here” without resorting to the use of other languages or gibberish.
(Although the odd “for fuck’s sake” was muttered).
The train eventually pulls into the station, in a big cloud of steam, them black smoke (hmmm, should we be worried) and on we all hop, locating some seats where I could prevent the rest of the passengers from having any contact with the rest of my family.
“Oooh, this looks like the one on Harry Potter” advises Monkey Boy, where he proceeds to pretend to be a Demontor and freak out his little brother.
Meanwhile, I attempt to sit – as still wracked with fatigue – and fall into a seat, which is, apparently, springless. With my left knee up my right nostril, and my right knee somewhere in the vacinity of my ear (no mean feat, given the size of belly), Grumpy then refuses to assist me in righting myself. Probably because he’s wetting his pants laughing.
(Ha! May the pelvic floor curse, um, curse you for the rest of eternity!)
The kids are given anouther lifetime to play “Dementors” which becomes, according to me, really tiresome after the first 6 hours, and then the train finally departs.
One window refuses to open, and the other to close. Grumpy gets bored, so tells Monkey Boy to look out the window, then sees how far he can get it closed before Monkey Boy gets stuck. Godzilla, meanwhile, continues with the Dementor game while I quietly go insane.
After some time, they got bored (yes, hard to believe) and went for a wander around the train, up and down and into areas they weren’t supposed to go. Monkey Boy took my camera, and took loads of shots of seats, and light fittings and the man at the buffet who told us off for being where we weren’t supposed to be.
Eventually shepherd them back to our ‘cabin’, forget about dodgy seat, end up with feet around ears again, and have to get myself out. Again.
Train eventually gets to destination, I’m forced to run from one end of platform to other as the engine is moved from (now) back to (now) front of train, so I can get artistic photo of engine being coupled to train and, thank goodness, we’re back on track for return journey. Still no chance of a snooze, however.
Return to original departure point, drag kids to car and order Grumpy to find nearest location for bloody good hot chocoalte. Not that I had to order too hard, he was telling us where we were off to whether we liked it or not.
Tempting to leave them outside to stare, yearningly through the window. But too many people gave us dirtly looks, so we invited them in to join us. The people giving us dirty looks, not the kids.
We then made them walk from one end of the main street to the other, then we set off for the drive home, where I eventually got a much needed doze.
Arrive home to me with a headache and sore throat, and two grumpy kids who refused to go to sleep pre-11pm.
Grumpy … well, I’m not even gonna discuss how he was!!
Ah, nothing like a day spent with the family ….