Holiday Mark IV – Return Of The Slug

For some people money makes them jealous, but for most parents the thought of a lie in in the morning is enough to make most parents green with envy. If you are one of those parents then brace yourself, as this morning was an 8.30am, yes I did start with an 8, an 8.30 lie in! What a difference! I started the day with, as 8.30am is such a perfect time, with both the birds and Daddy singing.

We decided to visit a period house which, based on the past few days, I ensured that my credit card was to hand just in case Captain Destruction reared his ugly head. As it turned out we started with the gardens where they had a croquet set, and after teaching my kids how to play I quickly realised my mistake in giving my son a giant hammer made of solid wood, so I encouraged ball games instead. While I tidied the croquet set away, I turned around to see my son with a tennis ball and my little girl with a cricket bat. My son had already started his hundred metre run to sling the tennis ball like a ball of fire and my little girl was swinging the bat like she was swatting a fly. To my horror just centimetres away from them sat a young family having a picnic beside the wickets! I managed to stop the cricket bat and tennis ball, before accident and emergency crews became involved.

We had been issued with a sheet to complete certain tasks with the children. I must have missed when they were given out to the kids, as they were over excited about completing them very very carefully. As we got to the end my son even ran to the office, and waved the sheet around like it was on fire. All became clear when the kind lady said take a gift from my treasure chest. I am so sorry but you just said to freely go though a chest big enough to hide Father Christmas’ entire sack of presents for the world and now we are going to be here until next year! Months, possibly years passed while the kids went through the chest, and as my son finished choosing I started herding the kids out, to find them coming back to check they had made the right choice. I think they should’ve provided chairs for the parents, and possibly a cafe as we were there for a long time!

Only the prospect of lunch to bribe the children out worked and I did feel sorry for my father-in-law as he put my son inside his car boot to sit and eat sandwiches, as the ground was wet, along with other cousins, whilst he sat in the front of his car. Only the rest of the family knew what really happened and in those few seconds my son was playing disco with my father-in-law’s interior light, and then proceeded to hand over to my mother-in-law part of the boot lock, which my wife then tried to put back, but between us I feel it may never look the same in the back of the car. Most of my son’s sandwiches were on the floor and I am fairly sure I could recreate a picnic for the three bears based on the left over food crumbs in the carpet.

We headed back after lunch to look inside the period house, and they entertained both of my kids with dressing up in period clothes. This went down a storm and huge laughs and grins will be remembered for a long time to come. My son, who still had his toys on him, proceeded to sit in the narrow doorway and hold everyone up whilst he played on the floor. It was only upon seeing a queue of people all looking at me that gave the game away.

As we left my son decided to pick up pine cones, but by the time we registered what he was doing he was asking for a nappy sack to collect them. He was well beyond a nappy sack and I was wondered if you had to pay carrier bag charges on giant black bin bags as he had so many. It was getting late so we headed back to the car when my little girl asked if we could “….get something to remember the day by?” “Sure!” I said, “How about a photo?” Knowing full well she meant the gift shop. We stopped in the shop and my little girl chose a variety of finger torches, and my son got a giant slug. The thing that puzzled me was that how would you remember a giant period house steeped in history? Me personally, I would have said like my father-in-law, a history book with extensive photos, not finger torches and a giant slug, unless my kids believe the lights were iffy and slugs were the new residents of the house, in which case what a great way to remember the house. I must let the trust members know.

Bedtime was our usual affair, which on holidays I like to call the ‘bungee rope effect’ as we cuddle our children, read stories and kiss the kids goodnight, and they pretend to be sleepy. We go downstairs and the kids take it in turns to come down with various excuses of which they vary in believability, ranging from there is a drought and they need a drink, to they are so hungry the lights are fading. Today my son finished the day with “I need a poo.” Sorry to be blunt, but I put him on the loo, and held him to stop him falling, in case he really was sleepy (sorry clutching at straws I know). Unbelievable, but he strained with sounds like he was letting a football pass through his system, to be greeted with something that I needed a microscope to find. Oh the joys of being a parent! I know, I know, stop complaining you had an 8.30am lay in.

My son came back a few times with various great excuses such as a ‘hurtie’ tummy, and “I need a cuddle.” To be honest it really means “I need Mummy.” Now would you be alarmed if your wife came down and said your son had a plastic hammer and was ‘repairing’ a chest of draws you did not own? No? Maybe if I told you my little girl smashed an upstairs window at my in-laws house out with a plastic hammer, now do you understand why I am a man of a nervous disposition? Wonder if I should ring my credit card company now and extend my limit?