We did it! We took our 5 and 7-year-old to The Royal Melbourne Show – and we survived!
And it took planning that would impress any logistics manager, or those people in the army that build towns from scratch!
First, the food.
Deciding on lunch was easy enough, but it was the snacks that took the most planning. A balance between healthy and not-so-healthy, for all kinds of scenarios: the long travel time distraction treat; the ‘I’m tired and hot from walking around all day” meltdown; and the “I’m b-o-r-e-d, Mum” whining. I had thought of it all!
And then there was the charging of all electronic gadgets to ensure smooth sailing: the iPod to distract the grumpy and fidgety 5-year-old son on the long train journey; and the iPhone in case of urgent phone calls to my husband if we all became separated and needed to work out a meeting place. And of course, the camera was fully charged to capture every fun moment, or at least a good pic for my blog!
We got to the station a bit after 8.30am. True to form, we crossed paths with a public transport nutter.
These encounters always start off simple enough. A polite word or nod of acknowledgement. But then comes that sinking feeling after a few strange remarks that you’ve walked into a trap and will be stuck chatting to this person for the duration of your trip!
Yep, we had one of those. He was nice enough, but when the inane conversation topics weren’t drying up, I had to make an excuse to move seats. We thought we were safe, but no, this person walked over to us and continued the conversation! Hooray for Flinders Street Station for providing our escape!
The strategy to get through the day was to leave the showbags until last, so we could use them as a threat: “If you don’t behave, you will not be getting a showbag!” It worked a treat.
Our 7-year-old daughter threw herself into everything. She milked a cow, dug up some veggies and fed the animals in the nursery. Our 5-year-old son did not. He had other things in mind – showbags, putting ping pong balls in a clown’s mouth – and food! But he was won over by the woodchopping. “Mum, they have REAL axes!” he exclaimed in delight. Blood thirsty little thing!
The slow shuffle through the showbag pavillion was hard work. The air was stuffy, prams kept bumping into the back of my heels, and I kept getting stuck behind that one person who seemed so mesmerised by the ‘quality’ produce, they had to stop in the middle of the crowd to ooh and ahh. Grr…
Ah, it was a great (expensive) and exhausting day – and when we got home, I had to have a nap!