Good Times

7 May

Bank holidays are usually met with a stifled groan in this house, instead of relishing the extra time off work, it is viewed as another day of hard labour entertaining “he who will not rest”.

But this bank holiday we had weather on our side, a holiday to stock up for and a credit card begging to be spanked like an errant child. This one would not be wasted.

It started nicely enough on Saturday. I was seriously overdue a haircut and colour after the last one was postponed in place of a weekend in hospital. But today I was to be accompanied by the boy, who had his first “proper haircut” in a salon.. hmmmmm, expensive.

After 2 hours of dying and “jooshing” for me, Oscar trotted into the salon to numerous “Ahhhhs”, smirked at dear old mum in her tin foils and calmly took his place in the big boy chair. For 15 minutes he chatted and performed like a pro, and left the hairdressers looking every inch the “boy about town”. Another hour of chopping and drying for me and I left the place lighter on head and lighter in pocket. But who cares? I’ve barely looked human in 4 months. I owe me right? RIGHT?

Sunday was to be retail therapy day. I was a woman on a mission, and my mission was to find me a new pair of sunglasses. No cheap shit. I did the £5 fashion glasses as a teenager and broke no fewer than 4 pairs a year, now I’m on to the hard stuff. Designer. Hard on the pocket, but hard wearing in the handbag. Well, all except my last pair which managed just 2 years after a particularly savage beating by my house keys when I refused to use the case – but you should have seen the size of it!

So we were off to Westfield, mwahahahahaha!

Once the tike caught wind of project sunnies, he naturally declared he wanted some too. Ok, as long as they are CHEAP SHIT.

Once in the mall of dreams, we made it as far as the Croc shop, and I couldn’t help myself. See, it’s one of my life ambitions to own a pair of Crocs. They look so comfy and light. But let’s face it, they make me look like some sort of dumpy, wading platypus, wearing clogs. NOT feminine. But Oscar, he looks super cool in the kiddie range, so I do the next best thing and buy him some. And these ones are special. They are adorned with a mini ambulance on the right and a mini fire engine on the left. Both personally selected by the boy.

Right, move on you fool…. Back to my plan, sunglasses for me.

We make it round the corner to the Lego shop.

“Let’s see what they have in here mummy”

(bugger, bugger, bugger)

“Ok Oz, yes let’s”.

One Duplo train later, we are back looking for a sunglasses shop when I get distracted by the mammoth Next shop.

“Ooh Ben that reminds me, I just need to get Oscar some shorts for the holiday”, I excuse, hot footing it into the shop before he can object. He shrugs instead, resigned to his fate and toddles off into WH Smith to peruse the anorak magazines while me and the boy go in search of shorts.

Barely in the front door and I’m impressed, already sporting the 2 pairs I need. But the nipper it seems has other plans. Sitting in his pram, waving me on like lord muck, he guides me round the store pointing out garment after garment that he wants.

“Think I’ll have one of them mummy” he says, showing me a t-shirt full of construction vehicles, “and these” he states, grabbing a pair of sun hats. Christ I can barely keep control of my own shopping addiction and now he wants in on the act? It’s ok I justify. I actually need this stuff for the holiday.

4 t-shirts, 3 pairs of shorts and that pair of hats later, I make it out of Next just about in one piece. “What’s next mummy?”.

“SUNGLASSES!”.

Finally, I make it into the sunglasses shop and Oscar pays me the favour of sitting obediently in his taxi (yeah did I mention the taxi we hired him? – good lord), while I try on just about every pair in the shop. My luck is in. I purchase a pair, feeling broke, smug and hungry. We peg it to the extortionate food court for my favourite lunch, whilst Oscar, having eaten his lunch in the taxi, settles for an apple the size of his head.

After lunch, I set one final task. Getting compliant boy’s feet measured for a new pair of trainers. But post apple, the bean is, erm…. full of beans.

Or gas.

Gone is patient boy, in comes wild man. We try to get him a pair of Nippers in JD Sports, but they don’t do measuring and the boy is more interested in hoovering my hair with some contraption from the inside of a trainer, and trying on my sparkly pumps. No joy here.

We drag ourselves round for a final push in Russell and Bromley Juniors (eek), and after a brief stint coaxing Oscar off the display table, we find him the required trainers.

“Are they comfy?” I ask?

Apparently so, since he’s now legging it out the shop as fast as his new shoes will carry him. I abandon daddy in the shop and chase the little fucker some considerable distance across the shopping centre and pin him down in another shop while he roars with laughter, and I ….. gasp for breath.

Time to go home.

Back home, the new Lego train is opened and the boys spend some quality time playing together, whilst I come over all useful – rebuilding the Lego police station I broke in a fit of rage the last bank holiday weekend.

4 hours later, the little man now in bed, and I’m regretting my decision, but there’s no doubting it’s magnificence, and even hubby is mildly impressed.

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Then, in a final flourish for the evening, I check out the weather forecast and book tickets for Peppa Pig World the following day. My bank account is weeping, but how often do we hear of sun on a bank holiday?

The next morning, we are on our way bright and early, the boy so excited he’s on his best behaviour, wearing his new t-shirt, hat and Crocs (well it is technically a holiday today).

Upon arrival, the sun is shining, the air is warm and the atmosphere is electric.

Oscar sprints it into Mr Potato’s Playground and takes all of 2 minutes to spot the “Muddy Puddles” water park. No matter, we have come prepared.

Next, a spot of lunch followed by a ride on Grandpa’s train. Then comes George’s Dinosaur and Daddy Pig’s Car. At this point I’m not sure who is enjoying this place more, the boy or me.

The sun beating down, we decide we’ve queued quite enough, and make the trek into Paulton’s Park to trial the super size water park.

30 mins under the water features and an ice lolly later and the boy is in his element. When his lips turn blue we move on to the sand pit and as he wanders around building sand castles, hubby and I quietly reflect on how much he has matured.

This time last summer, we took him to that same sandpit and had to steadfastly stalk him, ready to strike at any moment should he take exception to a child in his way, and try to send him flying.

But now. Now, he quietly and considerately works his way around the other children, occasionally giving us a wave as we watch on proudly, or joining us briefly to tell us all about his exploits.

After the sand pit came a return to the water park, the lure of those water jets just too strong. And again, as he ran up and down, showing off his tricks to us old folks, I couldn’t help but be thankful.

Finally, came a flurry of other rides and slides, a walk through Dinosaur land, followed by dinner in the pub, and back home to bed, our bank holiday weekend complete and hardly a tantrum in sight. Sure, that’s because the boy had everything he could possibly want. I barely said no all weekend. But after the shitty mum he’s endured since January, I figure he’s due a day that’s just about him. To do and have as he wishes, with his parents devoted to his every desire.

And for once, perhaps for the first time, I just let go and enjoyed every last second of it.

Thanks for reading.

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3 Responses to “Good Times”

  1. Kay C May 7, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    I sooo want to go to Westfield! sounds like you had a great weekend and BH, I laughed re the Crocs, Luca lives in his for as much of the year as he can without frostbitten toes, tried them on yesterday and they are way too small so am also on Croc Hunt 🙂 Well impressed with the Lego building! xxx

    • ferreroroche123 May 7, 2013 at 7:55 am #

      Thanks. Croc flip flops are the best I can get… Dead comfy. No boat feet.

      • Kay C May 9, 2013 at 9:14 am #

        Ipanemas work for me and for D, we both have wide feet and its hard to find ones which are soft but don’t rub! Luca will live in Crocs his whole life it it were possible to play footy, cricket or tennis in them!

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