I took the kids to a lovely exhibition at Hove Museum yesterday. It was about the work of Carol McNicoll - wonderful, witty pottery. I'd never seen her stuff before, but apparently she is a leading light in British ceramics since the 1970s. They had a great video of her talking about individual pieces and what was behind them. Often this was a cutting comment on politics and capitalism.
I could have stayed there much longer, but Leo was in a big hurry to get the museum over with and move on to the main business of the day at the museum shop! We have recently introduced pocket money in an attempt to curb his rampant acquisitiveness, but I am not very hopeful about this, judging by my experience yesterday. He left his pocket money at home and then pestered me non-stop to buy him something. So I ended up buying things for both of them (on grounds of fairness) even though P had dutifully brought a pound of her own money.
It's not the money that bothers me so much (although we are a bit skint at the moment, after Christmas), but the fact that his preoccupation with being bought something can overshadow the whole experience of being wherever we are - museum, high street, park, etc. In fact, once he had been bought a very small something, I think he did listen to my frustrated rant and look at the exhibits with a bit more interest. Maybe we should just visit the museum shop first...
Mind you, I don't know if I am a very good judge of what people are taking in from these kind of things. P, L and I went to another exhibition on Wednesday afternoon, at the Brighton University gallery in Grand Parade. It was an exhibition of collections, with accompanying text about the objects, and what collecting them has meant to the collector. Fascinating. I enjoyed it immensely, but felt again that the kids hadn't taken much notice of it.
But yesterday, Leo revived one of his old interests and put together a frog and snake collection in a display case, just like the ones in the gallery. So you never know.