Slow Factor

Saturday, June 14 2003

Baby + Stroller + Perfect Summer Like Temperature + London = Slow Moving.

Today we went into London without a goal or a plan. Bad idea. Someone somewhere must have issued some kind of decree, saying “If you are in any way capable of getting yourself into London on or in some sort of transportation, or even not, you must do it or you’ll be locked in the stocks and we’ll make you eat spotted dick until you’re sick.”

And so everyone was there, and we had no plan. We, or rather I, just wanted to get into town and take advantage of the nice weather. We got out of the house by 13:00, onto a train by 13:33, and to South Kensington by 14:30. Slow. We found a corner cafe even through a starved daze, and spent the next 2 hours waiting for food, eating food, waiting for the bill, then finding out that no Visa would be accepted there. I footed it to a bank, got some cash, waited for change, and we were off to Speakers Corner in Hyde Park.

It was hard to comprehend what was going on as throngs of people surrounded people yelling about Jesus. The most convincing “speaker” was a group of gospel singers. Had a good time watching them, but then the heat drove us into shadier parts. We spent about an hour watching a guy learning how to rollerblade, laughing, racked with guilt, as he fell a few times.

From there we walked straight to the station, and we were home by 20:00. Total time spent travelling: 4 hours. Eating: 2 hours. Enjoying London: 1 hour.

The lesson:

if you have an eight month old who is devouring every new and exciting experience while trying to walk/crawl/scoot, and you want to depend on public transportation you must plan out every move. Know exactly when she has to eat, what time the train comes, where you’re going to eat, and where you’re going to tie your shoes. Never expect it to be as easy as just two adults moving quickly. It never will be.

Don’t get me wrong, being parents is rewarding, but it’s certainly not free of difficulties. We’ve learned, and next time, we’ll be prepared.