This weekend has been a busy one for me, a normal weekend for me is very quiet, with me hardly going anywhere, whereas this weekend, well yesterday I took Boy Lacer to a gym party in a neighbouring town and today me and Girl Lacer were out of the flat at 7.45am to go into central London for a biological day.
When Girl Lacer was a baby, way before I was even pregnant with Boy Lacer, she took part in a language development study (in part because she had a mummy who would do anything for free nappies, but also in part because Girl Lacer’s freebie loving mummy was also an ex-scientist who had a hankering for the ‘old days’). I knew that the study was looking at how children acquired language, so later on when Boy Lacer arrived on the scene and his language was delayed, I always looked back sort of proudly that me and Girl Lacer had helped out in our own little way in helping future children with developmental delay learn to speak. (Boy Lacer himself benefited greatly from early diagnosis due to separate lung problems, he had lots of speech therapy (as well as physio) and I’m sure he’s now doing far better than he would have done if he had been diagnosed a year or two later). Anyway, when the people running the study contacted us again for a follow up, of course (as long as Girl Lacer wanted to) we were going to help again. This time Girl Lacer had to do several hours of computer games followed by more computer games in a MRI scanner. It was nice heading back to a part of London where I had studied for my Masters and Girl Lacer was as good as gold playing the computer games and amazing staying still so long in the MRI. The scientists running the study were brilliant to, with one of them showing and explaining to Girl Lacer what the MRI scans of her head showed afterwards, so we saw lots of slices through her head and all the nerve impulses going from place to place across her brain.
We spent a good chunk of the day there but we still had time afterwards to go and visit the nearby Wellcome Collection. Now, despite living in London for a frighteningly long time now, I’ve only been to the Wellcome Collection once and I’ve never taken the kids, although to be honest it’s probably not the most fun place to take the 5 and under, but for a 7 year old who quite likes museums, even though as the collection’s website states, the exhibits are aimed at 14+, Girl Lacer certainly enjoyed it. Although being a medical museum, I should warn anyone else thinking of taking young children, there are some graphic images, but nothing that really bothered Girl Lacer (or bothered me for her seeing them). They were even giving out some really cool young explorer packs, which has to be the best freebies I’ve ever seen from a museum ever, a cotton bag, a nicely produced booklet with activities to do there and at home (I do love it when museums extend the activities you can do with them to home as well), a pencil, a scientist’s moustache, fimo (so you can make a votive at home) and stickers. There is a very nice cafe there (which unlike a lot of museum cafes, it looked like the sort of place people go to just because of the cafe and not just because it’s the only place nearby where you can eat), they didn’t really have any kid specific food there, but they had a gorgeous pesto pasta salad which Girl Lacer really liked (and I couldn’t stop nicking pieces off her). There’s also a nice shop, with some really cute soft toy Einsteins, Freuds, Darwins and Florence Nightingales, I was sorely tempted.
Below are some photos from the collection, you may notice the majority of them were from the Human Genome, which as an ex-geneticist, I was totally awe struck by (whilst Girl Lacer wandered round bored in that bit wondering why mummy was making such a fuss about a bunch of books).