Two sleepy kids watching Peppa Pig on the train to the city
The kids usual pursuits were cancelled because of the Melbourne Cup Day, so I bit the bullet and decided to brave two hours on the train with the wee ones and take them to the museum for the very first time.
In order for my Beloved to be able to drop us off before work we had to get the 7.30 am train, which meant we were all bleary eyed as we waited for the Big Train. It's been awhile since I made the trip into the city with the kids. The last time was... interesting.
This time they were perfect angels, pointing out things like trees and hills, cars, horses and cows. They were very impressed when the train overtook the cars on the freeway 'we're winning! we're winning!'
The breakfast I packed was not such a winner. It turns out chocolate croissants look very suspicious to a four year old. "This doesn't have veggies in it, mummy?" my Sprocket asked. I was able to assure him it would be a very peculiar croissant to be stuffed with veggies and he reluctantly tried it. I should have stuck with apples.
My parents met us at Southern Cross station and we caught the tram up to Parliament - further excitement! A tram! The kids looked around with country kid eyes - and let's be honest, I did too.
Wandering up the paths of Exhibition Gardens, the long archway of deeply green trees, the graceful buildings with their french style towers and lovely windows, there was much sighing going on. Melbourne, I do love you. I miss you!
The Museum itself was wonderful. My memories are mainly of the old building in the heart of the city, where everything looked solid and worthy and time-touched. The new building is all glass and reflections and quirk - and entirely kid friendly. There's a special kid section, including an outdoor play area with hoops and skipping ropes. The dinosaur bones were what we really came to see - but the Bug House caught my Sprocket's heart with its many millions of creatively displayed bugs. I regret to say the moving stairs were probably my Poppet's favourite thing. I'm still a little amazed that the rain forest had live lizards and birds.
And now I wonder, will the kids remember any of their Big City Day? And if they do, will it just be the moving stairs? Or the cases full of bugs? As a child my parents used to walk me through the Fitzroy and Botanical gardens to go to the museum, but my memories are hazy - the beautifully intricate weapons, Phar Lap, the stuffed horse...