As you probably know, we often have days out which sound great in my mind but turn out a bit rubbish…it’s the parenting way. Children throw tantrums, babies have messy accidents and everyone is kinda relieved when we get back home. But every now and then, you have a day which sounds a bit lame and turns out much better than expected. I’m pleased to report that yesterday was one of those days.
It was all a last-minute plan, following hot on the heels of a cancelled BBQ. Axel Scheffler – of Pip and the ZogTiddffalo fame – was doing a signing in the new Foyles flagship (next door to the old one) and I would take Roo. Just Roo, for a whole load of reasons but the main one being that I didn’t think it would be very rewarding for Eva. In my experience, signings tend to involve long queues and a 10-second audience with the author or artist in question before being booted out onto the street. Not the best toddler activity. So, she stayed home with Nathan and me and Roo picked a very long route around Soho in an attempt to get from TCR tube to Charing Cross Rd (damn you Crossrail!)
And guess what? The signing wasn’t like that at all. Yes, we had to queue for a bit, because Mr Scheffler is a popular chap, but not for too long and when we got to the front, he took the time to draw Reuben a bespoke dragon picture. As requested by Roo, the dragon is reading a book about dragons:
So, that was nice but the real bonus of the day was getting invited to the Gruffalo’s birthday party on the 6th floor afterwards, which I’d thought was sold out. We happily accepted and spent a bit of time wandering around the new store while the Gruffalo got himself ready. In the music department, we found a tiny section of a piano (muted), which shows you how it works:
And in the cafe on the 5th floor, we found not only the toilets but also a big shiny thing:
Then it was time to go to the party and up there we got another unexpected bonus- two Kennington families that I hadn’t seen since we left. It was turning into that kind of day, or maybe some kind of surreal dream. So I had some people to gossip with, while Reuben practised playing Musical Statues. The Gruffalo was held up in traffic, according the exuberant party hostess. So, the kids practising dancing and freezing and getting more and more hyped up until finally…he appeared. And he was rubbish at Musical Statues, which Reuben is still giggling about today. It was lots of fun, and dancing with the Gruffalo was definitely the highlight of Roo’s day.
And there was a photo opportunity, which I totally screwed up. Look at this effort. I mean, just look at it:
Still, Roo got to hug the Gruffalo and also got his free goody bag, with activity book and balloon. See what I mean about unexpected bonuses? I probably should have taken Eva after all…