I wonder if Obama's kids moan about sightseeing?
Perhaps we didn't prepare the Littleboys for our trip to Washington DC in the best way. We had spent the previous two days in Virginia with a luxurious pool, tennis court, full size soccer pitch and enormous mansion at our disposal. (No, we have not suddenly become billionaires. But it turns out one of the Doctor's American cousins, who let us borrow his house for the weekend, started his own hedge fund. 'Nuff said).
The boys had revelled in swimming, football, luxuriating in the hot tub, playing with the farm cat and generally having a whale of a time. By Sunday night, they were exhausted. So when, on a rather grey Monday morning, we decamped from Hotel Hedge Fund to the confines of a Holiday Inn in Washington, they were not best impressed.
I had never been to Washington DC before, so was rather excited to see it all - the huge dome of the Capitol, the National Mall, the Washington Monument were all within spitting distance and, even though you've seen the White House a million times on TV, seeing it for real was something special. The boys, however, were having none of it.
"Where are we going? Why is it so far? I'm hungry! I'm tired. I want to go home."
And this was all in the first 10 minutes, on the way to get lunch. Bear in mind these are the boys who happily did a five mile hike in New Hampshire, so it's not as if they are not capable of walking.
So we ended up on one of those open-top bus tours that we'd always laughed at in London as being ridiculously touristy. It was full of the old, overweight and, of course, a few others with small kids. But it seemed like the only way to get around the various landmarks without too much walking or whinging.
Naturally our offpsring were not excited by us pointing out the places where US laws are decided and debated. But they were slightly more enthusiastic about seeing the White House, and the theatre where Lincoln was shot (having learned about it all at school). And, despite saying they didn't want to walk, they would have sudden bursts of energy such as running up towards the Washington Monument and climbing on every wall in sight. But by the evening they were spent. Littleboy 2 steadfastly refused to eat his favourite food, pizza, at the lovely restaurant we'd headed out to, asking why we couldn't just eat in the hotel cafe.
The next morning, they did enjoy the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Well, what little boy wouldn't want to see real NASA rockets, fighter jets and space suits from the Moon landings? But, honestly, they seemed equally happy to get home to their toys that evening. And when Littleboy 2 was asked by his teacher to describe his trip to America's capital city, what did he write? According to him, anyway. "I wrote that I went to one hotel. Then I went to someone's house for two nights and played with a cat. Then I went to another hotel. Then I came home."
Not sure we'll be heading on any more city breaks until they're quite a bit older....