Family Magazine

What Four Year-Olds Really Want

By Sherwoods
London is a very exciting place to travel to - people come here from all over the world, after all, and there's a very big industry centered around showing all of those people the amazing things that London has to offer.  There are shows and restaurants and tours and boat rides and castles and museums and zoos and more castles and more shows and more food.  You could spend a whole month doing things and still have lots of things left to do before you had to go home.  There is an endless array of options.
If you are an adult.  Or a teenager.  Or maybe even a child over the age of ten.  But not a four year-old.  Forget about impressing adults - we're easy to please.  We'll go see practically any old show (did you know that they made Aladdin into a musical?), eat at any restaurant that looks like it serves food, and visit an endless number of castles looks at rooms full of dead people's stuff.  The people who are really hard to please are small children.
Take them to a greenhouse filled with butterflies of all different shapes, sizes, and colors and they're ready to see dinosaur bones after thirty seconds.  That's about sixty cents a second.  Wait through a fifteen minute line, thread your way through a Saturday crowd to find those dinosaur bones, and they're asking to go home to play on the iPad after sixty seconds.  Make them go and see dead bugs and all they're interested in is the elevator.
And forget about all of the restaurants that London has to offer, because all a four year-old ever wants is pizza.  Every. Single. Night.
But there is one thing that London has that stirs the heart and imagination of every four year-old boy: public transportation.  It doesn't matter if you've driven through the mountains of Central Asia on the Silk Road in your own car, driving through London in a taxi is much more exciting!  Because there are... cars... and buildings... and people.  Forget about hiking through pristine mountain valleys when you can stare out the window on the Tube and see... darkness!  And if a taxi is fun, the top of a double-decker bus is better because it's taller.  Same cars and buildings and people, but now you're higher up!  And higher up is always better.
If Joseph could design his dream vacation, he would take various forms of public transportation to all of the different playgrounds in London (where he would have me push him in the swing for at least an hour), stopping only to eat pizza for every meal, and going back to the hotel at the end of the day to play the iPad after he went to sleep.
So it looks like Joseph is living his dream vacation.
I've thought about taking him to Buckingham Palace or the Tower of London or Parliament or Big Ben or something very iconic, if only to get a picture of him standing in front of something recognizably London, not just endless pictures of him in parks, but so far I haven't mustered up the spirit to get it done.  Unfortunately, I'm not much of a tourist, and my laziness and cheapness have combined against me paying good money to see something I'm not that excited about while dragging around someone who is even less excited (and whines more loudly) than me.  Maybe if we're here long enough we'll get around to it.
But for now, we're taking the preschool tour of London.  It may not be worth coming to London for, but it does the important whiny people happy.  One day I might actually come back with someone who can appreciate it (only Brandon right now) and then I can actually see London the way it was meant to be seen.  But until then, I'll be at the park.

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