On Monday we had a big day planned – Emma’s first trip to London, and first time travelling in a train! We didn’t have much planned that day and as I had wanted to go and see a good friend who gave birth 6 weeks ago, I thought we’d try.
This trip has been planned weeks in advance and right up til the moment we left, I had flutters of worry going through my head. Was it too soon? Would Emma have a complete meltdown on a train full of commuters all the way to London? Would there be anywhere for me to put the buggy? And so on and so forth, as the list of worries was beginning to feel endless. Instead, I put it to the back of my mind and thought we’ll never know until we try, and off we went (with a bag full of toys, books, a change of clothes and a tupperware of every snack she has ever eaten – you know, just in case).
The ideal scenario here is that she naps in the pram and the first 20-30 minutes of the journey are taken care of. However today was not our day in that department as Emma had a lie in til 7:30am (a sleep miracle). We aimed to get the 9am train, avoiding the heavy commuter traffic but it was still pretty busy, but we managed to find an ‘end of the carriage’ bit to plonk the buggy while we played on the floor.
It was a very quiet journey, the only noises heard were phone conversations, which Emma found highly entertaining. In fact, she found everything fascinating – to the noises of high speed trains making our train shudder, to the announcements when we got to the next stop. Eventually she got tired and just flopped in my lap, so she went for a nap in her buggy, with NO CRYING AT ALL. A miracle, I tell you.
Suddenly we are at London Victoria. We made it on a commuter train and Emma is still asleep! I feel like doing a celebratory dance like Chandler from Friends, but obviously don’t. As I very carefully walk through Victoria station, hoping the loud beeps and announcements and shouting doesn’t wake her up, I quickly get head to the tube.
Ok, first obstacle. There’s about 20 steps down to the tube and Emma is asleep. I must have looked appropriately daunted by the prospect as a man walking past still chatting on his Bluetooth offers to help me down the steps. Ah London is friendlier than people give it credit for. The tube journey goes smoothly, although I keep rocking Emma all the way just in case the lack of motion wakes her up.
When we get to Camden, she decides to wake and we then have a short overground train to see my friend. This was the best part for Emma. The height of the seats in relation to the window is perfect for her to stand up and watch the trains pass by, and I loved seeing her fascinated face, soaking everything in. That moment right there, made all this effort worth it.
We had a lovely lunch with my friend and met her gorgeous baby boy, who is just perfect. He seemed so chilled and content, and it took me back to when Emma was young. Her husband was there too and they both seemed so at ease with it all, when I remember feeling like a swan flapping its legs a million miles an hour. Emma loved being able to crawl around and let off a bit of steam, and I made a mental note that if I do this again, she’ll need to stretch her legs a bit at some point during the day. Unfortunately it was quite a short visit as I was hoping to get back by 5pm – two meals out of the house seemed a bit ambitious, so we headed home.
I’m so pleased the day was a success – I wasn’t sure what to expect, but turns out there was so many new things around her, everything was added entertainment. I was also fiercely proud of her, and excited that we could do little day trips together now and then. So let the adventures begin!