Saturday, March 10, 2012

Still better than going at Christmas...

On Wednesday (two Wednesdays ago, by the time I actually post this), the boys and Mom and Dad and I headed off on an adventure, to the magical - and surreal - world of Harrod's.  My friend Jenny had recommended this to me as a great way to spend a weekday with the kids, because the toy store at Harrod's is pretty amazing and allows the kids to play with a lot of the toys.  Crucially, Jenny had set a rule that said from the beginning they weren't buying anything, and she said it was fairly easy to leave the toy area without too much drama.  After that, they visited the Pet Kingdom which is essentially an actual pet shop for people who might wander in and decide to drop £4200 for a British bull terrier.  The Pet Kingdom also has treats for animals that look more appetizing than just about anything I've ever baked before...totally another world!

Dad had said he wanted to go to Harrod's, so this was our "field trip" for Wednesday.  It was pretty incredible, in terms of what they had.  Noah became obsessed with this cute little mechanical puppy (and is subsequently getting one for his birthday, yikes), and Blake ran around and around admiring all that there was on offer - literally they probably have some version of every toy imaginable.  We left it probably a bit too long, and all of a sudden, meltdowns were upon us - Noah thrashing around on the floor screaming about something, and Blake in tears because he wanted his "5th-year-old birthday present".   We did see the Pet Kingdom but then sought refuge in the rather insanely-priced Tree House Family Cafe (I'll give you a hint: a latte was £4.50...I had a juice and thought of the ham sandwiches that I had stored in my backpack, while the boys feasted on a cheeseburger and a fish sandwich that cost more than my weekly lunch allowance!).  Mom, always looking on the bright side - and also in "tourist mode" - chalked the bill up to being "part of the experience"!  It was funny...we were remarking how good the baked beans were, before coming to the conclusion that, no, they probably weren't just heated up out of a tin!

This puppy and Noah became instant best friends...

 Eat every last bit...

Admittedly, there were some things to do which were a good distraction...
So for anyone with kids who can handle the word, "No," and provided you're aware that the Tree House Cafe might serve as the closest thing to a Sanity Oasis - but at a pretty penny - then I'd highly recommend a trip to Harrod's toy department and Pet Kingdom.  For all others, your kids' own toy chests and a trip to the park might just do...!

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