I took the Tiniest Trefusis and her friend to the Rubens exhibition at the Royal Academy today, on the pretext that it's terribly important for children to experience High Culture at an early age, but really because I couldn't face another morning confiscating all the screens in the house to try to prevent the Infant Trefusii from watching yet more Mermaid rubbish on Netflix.
The Rubens is quite wonderful, and even if you're there on your own I recommend acquiring the children's Art Detective leaflet, much more entertaining a way of looking at Ruben's paintings than the grown up equivalent, I'll bet. The infants were quite agonisingly well behaved, sitting quietly for ages in the room about Ruben's ceiling paintings (reminded me of what a complete treasure the Banqueting House is), drawing their own designs for a decorative ceiling on their leaflets - the TT's of an apotheosis of Ninja Cats were unorthodox but inventive.
There were only two slightly dodgy moments - right at the beginning when The TT ran towards the sculpture in the courtyard (pictured) shrieking 'climbing frame' (I moved fast), and then later, when her friend thoughtfully stuck her finger into the middle of one of the fried eggs on Sarah Lucas' 'Two fried eggs and a kebab' ... I had visions of running across the road to The Wolseley to beg for a well done fried egg to replace it, and smuggling it in under my coat and onto the Sarah Lucas table before the RA realised the original had a hole the size of a seven year old's finger in it. Fortunately, on closer inspection, it seemed no harm was done, and I hurried them back into the room of Ruben's fleshy naked ladies before questions could be asked.