We have days at home, days at the park, days at the zoo, days running through national trust properties and days simply running errands. On the odd occasion, if I've been really, really good, and if I think the boys have had enough sleep not to run wild with sleep-deprived abandon, I sneak in a trip to somewhere I want to go with the promise that they will receive a cookie if they semi-behave. Cunning, huh?
Tate Liverpool is currently hosting the most amazing Piet Mondrian exhibition (if you don't recognise the name, I'm sure you'll know his work ... take a look here), including a reconstruction of his Paris studio. After a rare uninterrupted night's sleep and little to no chasing required to wrestle the little ones out of their pyjamas and in to their clothes, I felt for sure that they could be persuaded to keep the mischief to a minimum whilst I met with Mondrian.
When will I learn?
The boys stormed through the entrance to the gallery and pounced on a rocket backpack before I could even unzip my coat.
Top tip: if you're heading to Tate Liverpool with children, try to get there sharpish as they have six rocket backpacks available for children to use and the contents will guarantee you at least a few minutes to admire (or be a bit confused by) Picasso's Bowl of Fruit, Violin and Bottle.
Up and down they ran. Around and around they chased. Paintings were ignored in favour of investigating the barriers put in place to protect the beautiful works. Clip-clopping on the wooden floors proved more entertaining than even the most obscure of sculptures. The family room, The Art Dock, was combed from corner to corner ... statues were built and shapes arranged. And when it all got too much, there were giant window sills to lie on and watch the boats sail past on the River Mersey. And as they watched and watched some more, their eyelids became heavy and fingers that once clutched their rockets with the fiercest of grasps starting seeking my hands instead.
Time to depart.
I never did get to see the Mondrian exhibition. Don't feel sad for me though as the boys seem to have inherited my love of museum gift shops. Oh, museum gift shops! Are there greater places for lusting after treasures that you never knew you needed but feel that your life can't be complete without? Pencils, pens, notebooks, spinning tops, bookmarks and postcards ... want, want, want, want, want and want! And so it appears, do my little ones. The littlest left clutching a pink ball and the eldest a pen, spinning top and colouring book. And me? Well, I couldn't resist these two sheets of wrapping paper. Wrapping paper far too good to be torn and discarded so now I must find a project or place for it.
I was so tempted by some super cute moustache paper clips, too. I really wish I'd picked them up. So the only solution is to return to Liverpool. Without the kids. To see the Mondrian exhibition, of course. But mainly for the paper clips.
P.S. While you have to pay to get in to the Mondrian exhibition, the rest of the gallery is free to roam around. There's no charge for the rocket back packs either although a donation to the Tate is much appreciated. Do let me know how you get on if you decide to go.