But it was worth the tiredness, because everyone brought a toy along to share. One of the toddler group parents owns our local cycle shop and brought along with him some of the tester trikes. You should have seen Nathaniel's face as Andy came in. I have never seen eyes so wide!
The object of Nathaniel's affection (yes I know it's not really a trike)
Eventually, after lots of triking around, tiredness overcame Nathaniel, and so leaving the others to lock up (and managing to leave our tea caddy full of tea in the kitchen!), we zoomed home so that Nathaniel could have a mammoth sleep. Two hours later it became necesary to wake him up in order to fit in some lunch.
Then we jumped into the car and braved half-term traffic to drive up to Creepy Crawlies. You would all hate Creepy Crawlies. I hate Creepy Crawlies. But Nathaniel loves it. First of all we went outside and Nathaniel and Maisie found trikes which they asked to be pushed around all the animals on. This wasn't back breaking at all!!!!
Once the goats and ponies and rabbits and chickens and sheep ("baaa baaa") and dogs ("ooof ooof") had been exhausted and we had played on all the outdoor equipment that could be reached by one year old hands, we left the delightful piped muzac and went indoors. I can't really describe indoors. It's giant cage on many levels filled with soft play obstacles. Think Fun House and Pat Sharp and you're almost there. Here is the under five's section (which Nathaniel treats as a recovery area from the over-five's area!) - its tiny in comparison to the main cage:
In the past, the kids have been interested, but not enthralled. But now they can walk! We have never been so exhausted. Four one year olds running around, trying to climb onto the slides on their own, drowning in the ball pools and trying to play on the equipment designed for much older, taller and more stable children, equals chaos. I tried to take some photos on my phone, but the camera isn't really up to much. So you'll have to imagine the faces of the four of them riding down "one of the UK's longest four lane astra slides" on our laps. Here is some flailing around in the ball pool:
When enough fun had been had, we packed the tired children into cars and sat in more half-term traffic on the way home. They all fell asleep which would have been fine if it hadn't been five o'clock. So we woke them up when we got home and Mahine and Phoebe came round for supper. We had made Tricolor Couscous Salad, and on realising that Mahine had not been able to bring the highchair with her, I should have aborted the plan. But common sense did not prevail and so we proceeded to have a picnic on the floor with a large bowl of couscous and two over tired one year olds. Anyone see where this is going?
There was a bit of a mess. This picture doesn't do it justice. There was couscous everywhere. On the sofas, on the piano, in the cracks between the floor boards, mashed into our socks. It was just as we started to get the giggles that Paul, our estate agent called to let me know about two house viewings tomorrow. It was all very silly. Its a good thing that Nathaniel now likes the hoover, because there was no escaping the need for using it before bed!
What a fun day!