Lessons Learned

Guest blog – Esther from Make My Day Creative

When I heard that Helen had a book being published I was so excited!  She’s a natural at writing and I’m sure you’ll all agree that her book is lots of fun once you’ve had chance to read it.

I, however, am not a natural at writing.  My background is in engineering, not English, and I mostly spent my time at work writing in equations composed of Greek symbols.  But after finishing at my engineering job I decided to start writing a blog to motivate myself to be more creative.  What do you know, it worked!

So when Helen asked me to help her set up a website and blog it felt good that I could share some skills with her.  After all, that’s what sister-in-laws are for right?

I’m thought of as the technical one on that side of my family.  Everyone else has degrees in English and History.  So that makes it my job to handle my niece’s increasing volume of science related questions.

We recently had a chance to visit and just about managed to put down our luggage before Anna bounced up and exclaimed “Aunty Esther, I’m going to take you to the science museum!  We need to get off at South Kensington!”

It took me a moment to get over the fact that my 4yr old niece knows how to get around London better than me, but then I think I was as excited as she was.  I LOVE the science museum!

So the next day we set off.  It was half term, so busy, but that did not dampen my spirits.  We did indeed get off at South Kensington and managed to steer Anna past the buskers en-route without too many questions.  Then we hit the back of the queue to get in…

Queue successfully navigated, we regrouped inside and headed for the children’s area. To get to this you have to go through the space section.  This was easily the busiest section of the museum.

The thing about children is, they can fit much more easily between the “spaces” in the crowd.  They are also unafraid of pushing to the front, to see what is in the display areas.

So, to cut a long story short, I’m very grateful to whoever arranged the display case involving a model deckchair on a model moon, because it caught Anna’s imagination and made her stop for long enough for us to catch up with her. (“Look Aunty Esther, how silly, a chair on the moon!”) I think the point about it being very hot on the moon may have been a bit beyond her grasp at this stage, but I did manage to explain propellers to her in the transport section.

So, science lesson over, we finally made it to the children’s section, which really is very good (and would have been much better if there were less crowds), and where we only lost her twice before lunchtime.

Somewhat recovered after a sit down in the cafe and having demolished our pasta pots, we managed another section or two of the museum before heading to the gift shop.  Here’s where I learned my science lesson of the day: overly stimulating shop + tired 4yr old = bad plan.  Cue more queues to purchase crazy straws and bouncy balls with lights in, a minor tantrum narrowly avoided, and a swift exit ensued.

Needless to say Anna fell asleep on the tube home; fortunately I remembered how to get back to Walthamstow myself.

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