Monday, 5 November 2007

Staying local

I have to put the '10 things to do with kids in Lisbon' plan aside today because Dig is working. On working days, my co-worker's absent, so I keep my ambitions local.

My first problem without a co-worker is managing triplets across town. For a start, I have only two hands. Crossing roads, getting on buses, getting off trams, going down escalators or through tunnels to metro stations - indeed making sure everyone is walking in the same direction at the same time, and not engrossed in some petty squabble at the roadside about the colour green - is all hard work. Add to this I have to read a bus timetable, work out the ticketing system or extract information using bad Spanish gathered at age 14 while Squirrel is crying. Tiger's stood on her foot because Tiger saw a dog, and Shark is hanging onto my coat because of the mass hysteria that seeps through everyone whenever Tiger sees a dog. This is all a challenge anytime, and I'm not up to that everyday, particularly when I've had more to drink than is advisable last night down the pizzeria.

My second problem is that whenever Dig's busy, actually earning the money that allows us to do this thing in the first place, the kids all hate his absence. They fight, they argue, they pick fault, they scream. The minute Dig walks back in the room, they all fall asleep like angels, utterly emotionally exhausted with the trials of the day. So if someone's looking like they're about to go beserk, if we're not too far from our hotel I can march back indignantly, if indiscreetly, and I don't have to haul a screaming child on a tram, or a metro or a bus.

So today we go to see the great view into Lisbon from the top of Parco Eduardo II and come back down to play in the playground that my kids-&-Lisbon research has thrown up. It's all a short walk from the hotel. Which is just as well. Because Shark has a major scream in the playground and I have to march back with her trailing behind. I shall say no more about the scream, simply that it involved a lot of snot and a lot of watching French people. And I'm glad that today I kept it local.

No comments: