When my other two children were younger, I would take them out a lot! Almost everyday I’d take them to different parks around town, the river, the beach, libraries, art galleries, cafes, shopping malls… and they would be filled with such happy, wide-eyed wonder of the world.
My third child is a bit different.
He thinks things are just so-so. He whinges a bit. He sighs a lot. He complains that the air is too cold and the sun is too sunny. He would rather just sit at his drawing table at home and write out the alphabet, in upper case letters, backwards.
So I try to make an effort to take him out… and to help him lighten up a bit.
This particular day, we caught the train into the city for a day trip.
I have taken my other children on the train before, but not Liam. He was – surprisingly – very excited! He pressed the buttons to buy the tickets. We waited at the platform. Looked at the tracks. Watched the clock. The anticipation was exciting!
But when the train rolled in, he was quite disappointed and pointed out that it wasn’t a train because it didn’t have a round face and eyes (like Thomas the Tank Engine) and it was in fact a bus on tracks.
We stopped at the city and took a walk to the Perth Cultural Centre.
Outside the WA Museum there is a little play space, filled with interactive musical artworks for children.
There is also a lovely little mural on the ground… and I said to Liam “Hey lets pretend to be frogs and jump into the water!”
He was happy to be a frog, but he refused to jump “into” the water, even though it was just a painting of water. And said that frogs only live on the lily pads.
Then I saw a cute climbing sculpture of a gecko. I said, “Hey let’s make a deal. I kiss the gecko and you take a photo of me. Then YOU kiss the gecko and I’ll take a photo of you! That’ll be hilarious!”
He was not keen at all. He grumbled at me and he gave me a looong lecture about kissing objects in public.
We went into the WA Museum and discovered a whole lot of great hands-on activities for children.
There was a table full of clear perspex blocks, with insects specimens inside, and there were microscopes and magnifying glasses for kids to examine the bugs. Liam was quite interested in them and found a few non-threatening looking bugs to hold.
I found a scorpion and said, “Hey you know these look like ice blocks! Let’s pretend to eat them! Nom nom nom!”
I swear the kid rolled his eyes at me – Will you grow up mum?!?
We did a bit of craft at the Museum (which Liam enjoyed) and then we left, looking for some food.
We bought a ham, cheese and spinach croissant to share and sat under the trees at the Cultural Centre Wetlands.
It was a gorgeous afternoon! But of course it was too sunny for my 4 year old.
Another lecture from Mr Serious!
Later we took a walk through Northbridge and I went to visit a friend, who owns the fab little boutique, Tu Boutique, filled with lots of clothes, bags, accessories, gifts and toys.
There were lots of good stuff to look at, so I plonked Liam on the floor to examine the toy shelf, while I had a browse.
My current leather wallet is 3-4 years old now and it’s falling apart. So I for the last few weeks I have been looking for a replacement.
I found this lovely, long wallet in a bright orange, by Status Anxiety. The design was minimal yet modern, one button closure, one fold stlye, big zip compartment, and the leather was soft and smooth. Perfect! And it was only $65! I was so happy.
At the rear of Tu boutique, they run Tea For Tu, a little tea parlour, where you can have a coffee with fresh cupcakes, pastries, tarts and macarons. The table settings are outside, under sails, with a cool bunch of retro antique furniture. I loved it!
I had a cup of soy chai tea and a pastry, while Liam ate a lemon tea cake. We sat on the couch and chilled out for an hour or so.
Thankfully, Liam’s mood lifted considerably and he was looking forward to the train ride home.
Overall, I had a pretty relaxed day with my 4 year old, even though we talked non-stop the whole time.
I’m going to miss my little buddy when he goes to school full-time next year!