We do London on our birthdays. On Monday we got to induct Henricus Rex into the tradition. Did I mention the Big Smoke is covered with trains?
We didn’t start with trains, of course. We started with a vest with a bow tie and braces sewed on to it, like any sensible birthday celebrators. He was catching on to the present thing by this time. The tiny jungle menagerie went down a storm. So did the chocolate chip pancakes.
Then we dressed him up all fancy and headed for the Underground. You should know, if you’re new to the Tube, that there’s an unspoken rule of no talking to strangers and no eye contact. Unless you’re the most excited two-year-old in three counties, in which case it’s ok for you to yell ‘WHOOOOA. TRAIN NOISE, DADDY. GRAMAA. IS GARK. WHOOOOOOA’ in the ear of the chap next to you. I’m sure.
Once we’d finished annoying random Londoners, we got to enjoy the city proper. It’s a glorious thing, especially with sunshine bouncing merrily off the Thames. We sat on a Sphinx that survived a bomb in the First World War, and was still lounging in place with a few shrapnel holes in the side, all ‘Bombed by the Luftwaffe, suckas. No big deal’. That’s the kind of history I’m in love with, and in London, it’s everywhere.
Then we made a pilgrimage to the Shake Shack they’ve just opened in Covent Garden, and oh, it filled every one of our burger-and-crinkle-fries dreams. It was the sort of lunch that brings tears to the eyes. A solemn occasion. Teds thought so too.
FYI, the Natural History Museum would like you to know that it’s made for little boys carrying toy tigers around, and adults who would like the Jurassic Park theme tune in their heads all afternoon. Richard Attenborough, get over here in that snazzy white suit and subdue this T-Rex.
I am enjoying him so, so much at the minute (Henry, I mean, not Richard Attenborough). Those cheeks. That chatter. The way he pronounces ‘tigers’ as ‘kiders’ and ‘dinosaurs’ as ‘dinnyslaws’. He can have a birthday any old time he likes, as long as we’re all agreed that he never gets any bigger, and there are always crinkle fries. Alright? Alright then.