I took La Fille to the Science Museum. What a wonderful place, right next to the dinosaurs and, unlike French museums, free. So wonderful I vowed to go back when half the children of Britain, France and a dozen other countries were not there at the same time. You would think European leaders could at least agree to stagger the school holidays.
We went with my best friend and two of her three boys. La Fille adores them in that wide-eyed innocent way tiny girls have with older children. Happily for her, the feeling is reciprocated. They smiled with precocious indulgence as she hoppity skipped around, pulling them this way and that by yanking on their pullovers. Like proper little gentlemen they took her hand and put their arms around her shoulder gently steering her where they wanted to go until they came to the really interesting bits and she was abandoned. Just like that. Pretty as she is, La Fille couldn't compete with all that exciting hands-on stuff. She was left standing empty handed in a jungle of children as tall as trees as the boy hunters caught the scent of science and set off on the trail of things that could be pulled and pushed and biffed and bashed; things that flashed or lit up or could be taken apart or best of all went 'bang' very loudly. "T'was ever thus, sweetheart," I thought. "Boys will be boys. Before you know it, it'll be cars and football matches."Still, she got over it pretty quickly. She looked crestfallen for a nano-second then took her disappointment out on a magnet and metal washer sculpture. I made a mental note to get one.
Every so often one of the boys would shout "Toilet, toilet, toilet." The first time it happened I grabbed the nearest hand and headed for the loos. "No, no we have to go to THE toilet. They wanted to see a model toilet or more precisely the plastic poo in the model toilet. "You flush it and it never goes away," they explained with great excitement. We went to the top floor in search of THE toilet. They were right. Each time it was flushed a metal contraption scooped up the poo and plopped it right back in the bowl. And each time they almost wet themselves with glee. As I say, boys will be boys.
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