(SUBHEADING: how to survive for a long weekend in a European capital with a child who doesn’t want to use his stroller!) . Today we host a new story of Michael T. , mother of Memi – globetrotter, a 16 months old toddler who had his first trip to a European capital. Here’s what to do to enjoy peacefully a weekend in Dublin with kids who do not like to use the stroller.
Probably the repetition of the mantra “Keep calm and carry on” has worked …
IT HAPPENS ALSO IN THE BEST FAMILIES …
When in December we had booked our long weekend to discover Dublin we were two unsuspecting and cocky parents of a toddler who at that time was happy with crawling: a lovely boy, characterized by a highly regarded quality (typical of under 1) … if you leave him somewhere, he stays there without disappearing somewhere in few seconds!
From booking to departure (April 2013) the status of child-statue has definitely changed: the lovely creature has discovered the potential of his chubby little legs and realized how nice it is to independently reach any place that could please him .
Ok, I knew that at the time of the trip he would have walked, but honestly when I saw the very true situation at the airport I looked up to the sky and I said “Let’s hope for the best .” In fact Memi – globetrotter gave a touch of healthy madness to our departure for Dublin: when we were waiting for boarding, he stood out as the worst of all scamps ever thanks to a performance in several acts inspired by the best Greek tragedy mixed with screams , pawing, tantrums that culminated with the baby-monster lying on the ground in the middle of the waiting room and seeming to be in the throes of an exorcism. All this to say that traveling with children is not always easy (but you can survive, you will discover how at the end of this post). I want to be honest: I would have dug the grave if only I had a shovel when I saw Memino do those things in public!
Probably the repetition of the mantra “Keep calm and carry on” worked, because our holy patience has been rewarded by the collapse by exhaustion of the baby , who shot a sleep throughout the duration of the flight. And the holiday has finally begun!
DUBLIN WITH CHILDREN: WHAT WHERE HOW
Dublin is a quite small city, 2-3 days are enough to visit it. Since the center is not huge, if you can find a fairly central accommodation you can safely move on foot, avoiding bus or taxi.
We stayed in a delightful B & B located 20-minute walk from the center. This accomodation had some super reviews on TripAdvisor, and our expectations were met 101% : welcome to Two Rooms in Dublin. Big plus of this accommodation (in addition to the MEMORABLE breakfast ) is the fact that the bathroom had a large tub with a lot of ducks (toys, of course), which made the baby’s bath time much easier and more enjoyable
Returning to the management of our brat , after the first half-day of delirium ( accomplice of his discontent even a stroller’s sleeping bag too tight … I’m sorry sweetheart, mommy didn’t notice that your legs were too long for that thing ) , we calibrated as best as we could the visit of the city to the needs of Memi.
We visited St. Stephen ‘s Garden, a beautiful garden where we tossed bread to the ducks.
Then we went to Dublinia, a museum dedicated to the Vikings and Medieval Dublin , cute for kids because full of interactive activities.
Last stop was the city zoo, super quoted on travelers’ forums but I was honestly a little disappointed because although there were so many animals housed the majority was not visible … Never mind, inside there are several playgrounds and Memi enjoyed them more than animals.
Me and my husband took advantage of the baby afternoon nap to wander around aimlessly in Temple Bar, take a quick look at Trinity College and take a walk in search of suggestive photos in the most modern part of the city.
Few words about food : for 3 days Memino ate things that my pediatrician wouldn’t approve at all! I swear, I always tried to ordered beef or chicken at pubs, but it seems that fry is an indispensable ingredient of local cuisine. I put in his plate also some tomatoes and cucumbers , but I’m pretty sure I didn’t win the prize “healthy mom of the year”! When my son stole from daddy’s plate a slice of bacon for sucking it… I raised the white flag. In desperation (and in the throes of guilt) on the last night we
broke one of our more stringent rules: Italian restaurant in a foreign land … and we ordered pasta with meat sauce!
I’d like to conclude with a general remark about this type of journey at this time in the life of a toddler: a city-break may not be so simple if you are happily accompanied by a 16 months boy who can’t wait to discover the world … possibly in the direction that he decides! It takes a little patience, a little fantasy in reinventing any programs and above all the knowledge that the journey with small children is not measured by how many monuments or museums you are able to see but by how much your kids realized that they can feel citizens ( in miniature) even in a city that is not theirs!
[text and photos by Michela Toffali]