One lesson learned the hard way is that you can’t force culture on kids…you have to meet them where they are. Opportunities abound to spend WAY too much money on “kid-friendly” castle tours, medieval banquets, broadway type shows, expensive dinners, etc. etc. etc., but if the kid isn’t open and ready, you might as well throw your money down the drain.
I’m not saying don’t do ANY of that stuff…what I AM saying is maybe think about dialing it back just a bit. We’re now on our 3rd foreign trip with the Deal Kids (now 6 and 9). At this moment (day 12) the kids are outside playing ball (that came free with a happy-type meal from Supermac) on the grassy yard with some Irish kids also on vacation, Deal Dad just cracked open a new novel on his kindle, and, well…here I am.
The Irish family is from County Offaly, deep in the center. As Moms often do, we had a nice chat and she shared that the day before they had all been to Bunratty Folk Park and that it had been a surprising disappointment. Her kids were bored after the 2nd display and begged to get back to the hotel to play with the American kids! I was glad to hear that some things are universal.
We had the opportunity last night to attend one of these medieval banquets, in a real castle, even. It looked pretty cool. But here’s the thing about Ireland…castles are all over the place. We’ve seen at least 50, been in a bunch in varying states of decay, and toured two that were fully intact and furnished. By day 10 both kids were kinda over it, and spending 150 Euro on dinner with folks in costume seemed kinda gratuitous. So instead we strolled around Galway (we met up with an old friend which made the decision loads easier) and fed the kids at the Supermac mentioned earlier for 11 Euro. Which do you think made everyone happier?
Which brings me to the Adrenalini Brothers and Horrid Henry. Both are new shows the kids have discovered over here, much to their delight. The Adrenalinis are a real hoot…kind of a cross between Pink Panther, Road Runner, and Spongebob (if everyone was as dumb as Patrick Star and only spoke Italian).
But I’m most excited about Horrid Henry. HH is actually a book series I’ve been trying to interest Deal Girl in for months, to no avail. However, once they found the TV series, both kids begged for the books to be downloaded to their kindles ASAP and have read four in the past three days.
Is it Shakespeare? No, but they’re engaged with something new, so I’ll take it!
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