Last time we went to Big Fish Little Fish, it was a 30C day in July and we were fresh from the paddling pool. Today was a bit of a stark contrast. Firstly, it was in North London not South. Secondly, it was blimin’ freezing outside. But it’s OK, upstairs on the dancefloor things were nightclubbingly sweaty.
First, though, we had to get Reuben past the play area which wasn’t going to be easy. Eva was asleep in the sling at the time, so we decided to just let him play for a bit while we sat down. We needed to preserve some energy for dancing, and it was fun to watch the various panto-themed people milling about (all our clothes are packed up, so we weren’t themed, sadly). A woman breastfeeding while in a giant red wig was something I have definitely never seen before. There was an ice-cream stall downstairs, next to the buggy park and the chill-out area, but weirdly the thought of ice-cream wasn’t quite as appealing as it had been in July.
Eventually we prised Reuben out of the play tent and went to have a look upstairs. It was packed, and warm. The venue is way bigger than the Brixton one we went to, but it was sold out and full. Daddies filled the dance floor with little girls one their shoulders. Mothers swayed with babies in slings (mainly FFO baby bjorns, for anyone who likes spotting babywearers). My own baby in a sling had woken up as soon as we got upstairs and was staring blearily around in the manner of someone who’s just woken up in the middle of a dancefloor (her father often fell asleep while clubbing too). Meanwhile, Reuben was on a quest to find somewhere dark to see how bright his glowband was, which involved diving under one of the stalls before being hauled out.
Nathan and I never quite manage to divide and conquer, but we went for our usual divide and cope instead. I turfed sleepy Eva out for a dance, Nathan chased Roo, we got some free smoothies and bear snacks and swapped kids. Then swapped again. Last time, it was me trying to keep track of both of them in a dark and crowded room. This time, there were two of us and the room was significantly lighter. But there was still a lot of chasing about as an over-excited Roo kept haring off to see what was going on. Somewhere in it all, we managed to find time for a dance to “Step On” by the Happy Mondays and “Justified and Ancient” by the KLF. Then Eva went off for a wander, dragging Nathan about by the finger and Reuben tried to catch the bubbles with his glowband.
At some point, we also spotted Danny Wallace. I was too shy to say hello, as I’m still reeling from meeting SidBeebies a few weeks back. But I did tweet Danny because, yknow, after he published my letter in his column it’s almost like we know each other. And here was his response:
@LondonWAToddler Aw! Should've said hi! Next time.
— Danny Wallace (@dannywallace) November 24, 2013
Aww, and bless. What a lovely celebrity he is. Word on the street is that there were a few other celebrities there too, but I’m not the best ‘sleb-spotter so I wouldn’t have recognised them. Instead, I probably shoved past them as I was trying to follow Reuben around. Sorry ‘slebs.
So, we danced, we didn’t quite make crafts (but picked up a craft kit to take home) and Roo demonstrated the event’s signature moves, for all who are unsure. I think this is the little fish:
The dancefloor had definitely thinned out a little by 3:30, which gave Roo more room for his “moves”. He also sat on the edge of the stage for a bit because the boy just cannot resist a stage. Especially after his starring role as “second gingerbread man from the right” in his class assembly on Friday. Besides, the stage was a prime spot for popping bubbles with his glowband:
As you can probably tell, there was quite a Christmassy theme going on, hence the panto-dress code and the tinsel on the stairs. It still feels slightly early for all that, but I’d come straight from a choir practice at church where we’d been singing carols, so I guess it’s time to Christmas up.
Overall, it was fun. It was a bit like you’d expect a rave that’s filled with toddlers to be – sticky, noisy and crowded – but as long as you’re expecting that, it’s fine. The play area downstairs was good for taking a break from the madness, and we stopped off there before heading home. Then left before Reuben carried out his threat of finding a whistle from somewhere. Next to the tube, we found a shop bearing our initials (NK) and, be still my beating heart, it stocked every flavour of Transform-A-Snack. A tasty way to end an afternoon of ravin’