9.29.2014

LONDON WITH A LITTLE ONE

I've been wanting to share our experiences living in London with a toddler for a while now. I know it is something I always wondered about before getting here. What would it be like? Would we still be able to leave the house and get things done without a car? If you aren't used to the urban lifestyle--of walking, busing, and tube-ing everywhere, rain or shine--it could seem a bit overwhelming and scary. I definitely had those moments before we moved of waking in the middle of the night wondering, "How the heck am I going to get around and get things done when I have to walk everywhere with Josephine?!?" Dare I say, though, that things have been such the opposite of what I expected. Sure, there are some downsides. Shopping can be tricky. You are only able to purchase as much as you can carry on your arms and attach to your stroller (err, buggy;))... thank you, Mommy Hook! And, it can be near impossible traveling on the tube with a buggy since most stations are not accessible. On the flip side, though, buses are super convenient. We take them everywhere! Also, within a 10-minute walk from our flat we have a grocery store, organic market, library, three huge parks, countless pubs and restaurants and coffee shops, our church--the list goes on! City-living, it turns out, is super convenient. :)

And, I just have to say that I have been blown away at how sweet and kind most people are towards Josephine. Even when she is a whiny mess on the bus because I stretched her a bit too far past nap time. Yes, it happens! They will wave to her and make silly faces trying to distract her. It's the sweetest thing.  Okay, sure, there are the very "stiff upper lip" sort that could care less or that are noticeably bothered by the fact that there is a child in their presence. But it is very rare that I have encountered such people in my day-to-day. I can't tell you how many times we have walked in to the organic market and the girls that work there have handed Josephine a banana, just because. I picked up flowers the other day, and the woman putting together the beautiful bouquets gave Josephine her very own flower to take home. The barista at the coffee shop will often just let us take a gingerbread cookie... "because that little girl is just so sweet!" All that to say, life in London with a little one has been lovely.

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