Today I had one of those days that reminded me why I wanted to become a parent in the first place. We had been invited along to the Parent Blogger Day at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, and I had gone back and forth on whether we would actually go or not. Amy was working and the idea of Eden potentially having a tantrum while it was just me and her was a lot to handle. Plus, holding her on the reins and steering the buggy is not one of my talents, especially with the buggy’s tendency to veer to the left and Eden’s tendency to veer… well… everywhere. I had a tough day yesterday and I didn’t feel like I wanted it to continue into today.
This morning I put my big girl panties on and decided to go. We had a mad rush getting there thanks to bad planning on my part and Sunday transport issues – the joy of travelling in London. I basically ran from Green Park up to Hyde Park, collected our tickets and headed into the Sooty and Sweep show. We only caught the last ten minutes of it, but Eden sat like a pro and munched on her popcorn. After Sooty and Sweep (which was hilarious) it was time to poddle over to the toilets to freshen up. I worried about getting both me and her there in a timely manner as she was (quite rightly) distracted by all of the shiny things. But she surprised me and we walked right there without issue or anyone laying on the floor…
We rode a couple of rides before the circus began. First the Jumbos (flying elephants… I wonder what that is based on? Hmmm…) and then a spinning hot air balloon kiddie ride thingy. She LOVED that and giggled and shouted “AROUND AROUND!” the whole time as I span the ride faster for her. She’s only ever been on really small rides before so it was great to see her having such a great time – especially with us going to Disneyworld next month! I was always scared of rides and stuff (partly because my parents told me they were scary…) as a child, so I love that Eden is a total daredevil. She will generally give anything a go once.
We had another little walk around and then went back to the MegaDome to see Zippo’s Circus. I’m really not a circus fan, but I thought we would see how we went seeing as we had tickets for it and also because it was warm in the MegaDome… I was also a little worried about whether Eden would sit in her seat and actually watch forty five minutes of Circus. Like most two year old’s, she didn’t stay in her seat. She sat in her own seat for maybe fifteen minutes before spending the remaining half hour on my lap. But there was no shouting, no screaming and no running around like a hooligan. I even enjoyed the show too as I didn’t spend it restraining a struggling toddler. We danced, clapped and sang along. And it was great.
After the circus I told Eden that she could go on one more ride and then we’d pick up her buggy and go home. She picked the mini rollercoaster, so we handed over our tokens and hopped on. I thought this was a bit rough, but she absolutely loved it and was shrieking and giggling all the way around. Rollercoaster all done with, we walked back to the buggy park and I asked her to get into her buggy. Eden told me “no. I walk!” whilst climbing in… Once we were all strapped in and she had the Gruffalo’s Child (her current favourite toy) to cuddle, we were off for coffee and to meet Amy from work. Within what seemed like moments, Eden was asleep.
Once Eden was done with her nap, we met up with Mama and went to see the dregs of the Hamley’s Toy Parade event. Most of the queues to meet characters were shut by this point, but Eden had a great time waving to some of her favourite characters. She was talking all night about “Bing and Flop” and how she waved to them. It made me smile. Not once did she lose her mind because she couldn’t get close to the characters. She was happy to have a little wave and then be on her way. When she was on the floor, she walked nicely. If she had to be carried because it was busy, she didn’t fuss. We did have tears when we put her back in her buggy, but once we explained to her that she was going in there because it was very busy, she was ok.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. Eden is not a “bad kid”. However, she is a pretty average (almost!) two year old. Like every (almost!) two year old, she is learning a lot in a very short space of time. She’s learning new words every day, seeing new things every day and having new experiences every single day. Is it any wonder that two year olds get moody and have tantrums? Think about how much their little brains are taking in just day to day. It’s crazy! That being said – as a parent the bad days are horrendous. Like, get back in the house and refuse to come out horrendous. Horrendous like “am I even meant to be a parent?” horrendous.
But, days like today? When days like today happen, you realise why you try so hard. You realise why you tell her things four hundred times even when it feels like it will never go into her head. You realise why you work so hard on explaining why she’s not allowed to do something, rather than just saying no. You realise that this little person who came into your world and changed everything is changing every day. You realise that she’s turning into a pretty awesome little girl, and that’s amazing. Most of anything, you realise that even on your worst days, you are doing a great job. The good days are testament to that.
I posted some videos and pictures from today on Facebook if you wanted to head over and look. You can get more information on Winter Wonderland on their website. I definitely thought it was worth a visit for those in London – entry is free and you just pay for whichever attractions you want to enjoy. It’s HUGE this year too!