Every week I try and take Frida somewhere a bit different, as a change from our local parks and playgrounds and cafes. It could be as simple as going to a city farm, or visiting family in another town, or making the most of London’s many world-class museums and galleries, most of which are free.
This week I had planned to take Frida to visit my sister and nephew who live in Brighton, but when we got to the station (after a big rush to make our train) we found it was cancelled, with more disruptions to follow. As we were already at the station it seemed a shame to go home, so I decided to take Frida to the Tate Britain art gallery.
I love taking Frida to galleries; discussing the works of art with her, asking her what she thinks an abstract piece represents, and seeing which works she is most drawn to. There are many sculptures in the Tate Britain, so we had to have lots of conversations about why we can’t touch them!
We spent a long time lying on the floor looking at two mobiles which were hanging from the high ceiling. I asked Frida if she thought they would be heavy or light, hard or soft, warm or cool, rough or smooth. A group of school children walked past us lying on our backs and seemed very bemused!
Some of Frida’s favourites were a couple of Turner’s later paintings of the sea (Tate Britain has an extensive collection of Turner’s work). As these were high up I had to pick her up a lot to get a good view of them. I might see if I can borrow a book of his work from the library.
The best thing about taking a toddler to galleries and museums is definitely the spaces themselves – so much space to run and explore! I did try to encourage Frida to whisper or at least speak quietly when we were in the galleries proper, but in the cavernous halls she was so delighted by the sound of her voice as she wandered about.
The most important part of any trip for me is, I am ashamed to say, the bit where I can sit down and get a caffeine hit! We spend so much time in cafes that Frida is becoming a real pro at ordering (“Frida wants a babyccino and mummy would like a latte!”) and will happily sit and drink her drink without needing to get up or be distracted.
I feel so lucky to live in a city where we can access this kind of culture for free.