The Natural History Museum with small children
In Dubai, it seemed a good idea. “Ooh, DS,” I said (I must have been drinking gin at the time), “did you know you can see real dinosaur bones in a museum in London? Would you like that?”
“Yes!” he squealed. “Let’s go! I wanna go!”
It must have been my second gin, actually, because I said yes: I agreed to take my two children not only up to London but across London on the Underground and into a crowded museum in the midst of the school summer holidays.
Maybe I was on more than gin, come to think of it. There is no other explanation.
Anyway, today was the day. Let’s just say that by the time we got to South Kensington, I was hoarse from shouting things like “Get away from the edge!”, “Stay behind the yellow line!” and “Sit down… I said sit down!” as I tried to get two innocents safely through the London crowds.
The good news is we didn’t have to queue to get in. I suppose that was some blessing. But it seems the dinosaurs’ natural home must have been Dubai because it was about 42C in the Dinosaur Exhibition room. Even I, known to my friends as “the lizard”, broke a sweat as we were pushed, shoved and jostled along by the crowd.
DD hated it. Her whinges went from “I need water” and “I hate it” to “I’m hot. I feel faint. I think I’m going to collapse.”
DS, however, was a different story. He couldn’t get enough the dinosaur skeletons. He wanted to watch all the videos, speculate on why the dinosaurs died out, watch a reconstruction of a meat-eater ambushing a crowd of smaller dinosaurs at a watering hole, and growl at the ferocious T-Rex that growls and snarls and looks like it’s sizing you up for supper.
And you know what? Now I’m home again, if DS doesn’t have nightmares tonight, I think I’d say the stress and the whining and the heat were all worth it.