A bubble of excitement, nerves and anticipation… “Come on Mum, we are going to be late”, shouts Boy 1. Ah man! Forgot that I am actually 38 years old and being labelled the “responsible adult” (god help us all). Better slip in the headache tablets too.
You have got to love a school trip. A class of 6 and 7 year olds off to the Tower of London. What an adventure! I sure as hell didn’t know much about the place so I had distinctly taken it as an opportunity to learn some history alongside the kids.
Please let no one ask me any questions… I may have to result to “let’s ask Uncle Google”. Having been slipped a clip board with a series of questions to help fire the kid’s interest, I feel a tiny swell of panic. I nervously giggle and get shot a look from the deputy head. Yikes, I am back at school.
As we board the train I find myself rolling my eyes with the other girls as the boys take it in turns to kick and punch each other.
Despite having two boys and a husband (3 boys really), I still can’t help but find affiliation with my fellow sisters. How we love to look down and pity the male of the species.
Hunger struck almost immediately. I had already asked the teacher when we would be allowed our snack (seemed important to get this straight from the outset).
What I really wanted was a steaming hot skinny cappuccino with sprinkles. Sadly, despite a few ‘jokes’ about running to the kiosk, no one appeared to be with me.
We all reached for our various bits of fruit to enjoy as a healthy snack. I mean, it’s just soooo unfair!
First thing you do when you get to the Tower of London? Go to the toilet block, of course. I obediently stood with the others, despite not really needing to go, as I was told that I should at least ‘try’ as there won’t be another chance for a while.
I managed to get in and out the toilet in break neck time as the fear of being left behind took hold. As I skidded out the toilet, I remembered that I was actually in charge of 3 children and nonchalantly retraced my steps to gather them up.
We weaved in and out of the awesome tower and I intelligently told the children about all the exhibits (big shout out to the information boards for all their effort). When I got asked a question I didn’t know I simply pretended I couldn’t understand them or that we had to keep moving and I had no time to give them my detailed response.
With snack time a distant memory my preoccupation with lunch now reared its ugly head. It didn’t help that the kids kept asking me around every 2 minutes whether it was lunch time. “I know!” I told them “I’m starving too!”
Luckily I was temporarily distracted by a rather attractive young actor who gave the children a very interesting presentation on the tower. I got to stand at the back, say nothing, be asked nothing and stare listen, to the attractive man.
Lunchtime! My spirits soared. Oh, hang on, time for another toilet break. Yes, I’ll ‘try’. I was sat down, squashed sandwiches out and crisps opened before the children had even a chance to unzip their back packs. “I win!” I gloat at my table. Well, us old folk need to keep our strength up!
I giggled at their jokes and watched them chat away with enthusiasm as I remembered what it was like to be a kid again. When the teacher approached we all fell quiet and tried to behave ourselves. I felt a strange kinship to my little friends.
We saw the crown jewels and studied the old London wall before, you guessed it, a final toilet break! Then the long walk home where we all complained of tired legs and achy feet.
Now I am back at home all I want is my mum to come and cook me dinner, run me a bath and put me to bed. Shame I am 38 years old and a ‘responsible adult’.