The Daughter goes on maternity leave after tomorrow, so needed to be in the office today for handover purposes. And playgroup is on holiday, so we agreed to meet at Russell Square Tube Station and I would take custody of my grandson, known to Blogland as the Boy. Just as I arrived, I had a text from the Daughter to say they were going into Prets, where she bought a sandwich and a can of soft drink for her lunch, and we decided we had time for coffee - Prets do the best babycinos I've ever seen, and they are free! The Boy loved his. And I love Pret's coffee; if I am going to buy coffee when I am out, I do like it to be Pret's.
Once we had drunk our coffee/babycinos and visited the necessary facilities, we set off. A bus down to Aldwych, a quick sit on the collapsible potty over a drain grating (him, not me, I hasten to add!), and then another bus towards Liverpool Street, but we got off just past Bank, and went wandering, down all sorts of little side streets, finding hidden gardens (useful to sit on collapsible potties on flower-beds!), statues, and all sorts of exciting ornamental railings to look at. Eventually we fetched up at Liverpool Street, and I asked the Boy whether he wanted to go straight home, or whether he would like to go to a museum. He wanted to go to the museum, so we got a bus down to the Museum of London - only two stops, but I thought we had walked quite far enough. Then we actually found a lift going up to the entrance level of the Museum, and the yellow brick road (a yellow stripe on the tarmac) led us to the entrance.
The Boy was fascinated by several very surprising things - flint hand-axes, although I'm not sure he quite understood what their purpose was. And a couple of models of Roman London; he loved the farms and the horses and "carriages" and the cows and sheep in the fields. I am not sure what he made of it all! I would have liked to have seen a display about the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens for work purposes, but it was a bit dark in there and the Boy balked. So we came out and looked at floor displays of broken crockery - even a spoon! He liked that. And quite the best was at the end, when we found a place where you could run cars and a tram on fixed lines on a road (and horse-drawn traffic, too), and you could press a button and a Tube train would go round and round, and other buttons did different things. We spent a very long time there!
Then we were hungry, so we went to Prets (a different one) and he had most of a cheese and pickle sandwich, having removed all the poisonous lettuce and tomato and onion and I had a chicken and avocado one and what was left of the Boy's, and we both drank orange juice. The Boy had very cleverly found the exit down to ground level when I couldn't see one: "Gran, Gran, there it is! I can see it! I found it!", so when he said "Can we have lunch there?" and pointed into Prets, I let him.
It isn't that far back to Liverpool Street, but I thought he was getting tired and I knew I was! So we caught a bus, and then had to queue for ages as I needed cash and there appeared to be only one working cash machine in the entire station. Anyway, we got on a train and I asked if he wanted to go all the way to Chingford and get a bus back, or go home from Walthamstow Central. He naturally wanted to go on to Chingford, and as the collapsible potty's disposable lining had to be brought into use in the train loo, it was probably just as well. The loo was lovely and clean, but no hand-washing water.
A 212 bus brought us tiredly home from Chingford, and it was lovely to collapse for an hour before the Daughter came home. Mind you, it would have been even lovelier if the Boy hadn't pooed himself - he is very good at staying dry but a lot less good at getting to the potty in time when he needs to poo. Still, once I had told him what I thought of him and cleaned him up rather more thoroughly than gently, all was forgiven and we went back downstairs and ate biscuits! He did, I didn't....