Last Thursday we went for a ride on the swan boats. I have been looking forward to taking Jack on the swan boats for, oh, about two years. (He’s two.) Riding the swan boats with my parents and then going on the Make Way for Ducklings field trip in kindergarten – my first ever field trip unless you count the fire house which was a HUGE DISAPPONITMENT because we totally did not get to slide down the pole like they did on Sesame Street – are cherished memories of my childhood. I even remember that I got to bring a soda for my lunch that day, and we ate on the Boston Common and played “Duck, duck, goose” and “Who took the cookie from the cookie jar” when we were done eating.
So I naturally bought Make Way for Ducklings ages ago, and was sorely disappointed at Jack’s initial disinterest in the story, possibly due to the fact that he was only about 18 months old. Fortunately, he has since warmed up to the story, and I’ve been reading it to him all winter in preparation for our big trip to the Public Gardens in the spring.
As it turned out, the day could not have been better. First, we drove to the subway and then we rode into town on a train. This was, by far, the highlight of Jack’s day. On the way home, in fact, he just sat in the seat grinning and then turned to me and said, “This is so fun, Mom!” Once in Boston, we stopped for lunch and then headed into the Public Gardens. The weather was sublime: warm enough to leave our jackets at home but cool enough to wear long sleeves. We saw ducks and geese and pigeons on the way to the pond and stopped on the bridge to wave to the people in the swan boats passing below.
Then, at last, we got to ride the swan boats themselves. Jack was thrilled.
Despite this picture, he actually did enjoy the ride, but I think that the actual swan boats were the least fun part of the day. Seeing as how they are propelled by someone pedaling the swan in the back, they’re really pretty slow. The part where we saw a duck dive underwater and then pop back up was pretty cool, though. And it was not until we were actually on the pond that Andrew told me it was his first time on the swan boats as well! He could barely contain his excitement as well.
After the ride, we searched the gardens for the Make Way for Ducklings statues, stopping on the way to chase some actual ducks.
At last we found Mrs. Mallard and Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack*, and that was the second best highlight of the day.
There was one attempt at escape.
We followed up with a ride on the merry-go-round.
I was going to go on with Jack, but it turns out pregnant people are not allowed.
It’s understandable. I might have gone into early labor from the sheer excitement of the ride. It goes around and around! And then it goes around some more until is slows to a gradual halt! Jack chose to ride in the teacup with another little boy and spent the whole ride having a tea party complete with imaginary cookies. I am told the other little boy kept saying, “What is he giving me?” but eventually just went with it.
We ended the day with ice cream, which, coupled with a train ride home was pretty much perfection. So even if the filthy, filthy subway is the reason Jack spent his weekend feverish and throwing up, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
*It took me FOREVER to memorize the ducklings’ names and only after successfully doing so did I notice that their names start with J K L M N O P and Q. In order.**
**In my defense, when I told my parents how long it took me to notice this, they both said, “I never noticed that!”