But...but...I forgot my thing! (1.5" x 2")
This was a thing I got, one time, on holiday in the Cotswolds. It was probably the worst toy ever invented, from a parent's point of view: its entire tail was made of jingly, tinkly, rattly bits, and when you pulled its string, it screamed like an EC Comics character encountering a zombie: "SCREEEEEEEEAAAAAAAGH!" It was, in essence, a huge, noisy choking hazard.
On the weekends, my parents liked to take me on little educational trips, mostly to stately homes and gardens. And on one of these trips--I think it was to Audley End--I forgot my thing. We were already about half an hour away, by the time I noticed, and my father said there wasn't time to turn around. My little heart was broken. I bet he'd have turned round, if it'd been the camera forgotten, or, ehh...one of the wheels off the car.
Note to parents: your children will not tell you this, because they don't want to hurt your feelings, but even the most obliging five-year-old has a limited tolerance for trailing through other people's homes. And that goes DOUBLE for gardens. Children HATE gardening. It's dirty, and there are worms.
So, for any parents wanting to expose their toddlers to culture, on the weekends, here is a quick reference guide:
Bird sanctuaries - YES!
Formal gardens - NO!
"The Magic Flute" at Glyndebourne - YES!
Mahler, anywhere - NO!
Shakespeare in the park - YES!
Shakespeare's birthplace - NO!
There has to be food, and there has to be excitement. Food! Excitement! Don't forget!
Also, y'know...if you were living or working at Audley End, just over 30 years ago, and you found something that looked like this...THAT'S MINE! GIVE IT BACK!