Keep Off The Grass! And the drums and teepees and borders and …

23 July 2014

Like a moron, I dragged the remaining sleeping minxes out of bed at 0830hrs, thinking that they needed to get back into a sensible-ish routine again of meals at the same, regular times; early bed and early rise. I’ve no idea why – it doesn’t suit me, and it definitely doesn’t suit them!

Best breakfast ever? Just add coffee. About a gallon

Best breakfast ever? Just add coffee. About a gallon

In a sudden flurry of wannabe-Uber-Mummy activity (don’t worry – it soon passed), I heated up a Treat Breakfast of croissants and mixed some fruit to counter-balance it a bit: not-quite-ripe melon, over-ripe strawberries, festering red grapefruit, on-the-turn blueberries. The kids loved it. Ever-hungry Midi even polished off some toast and nutella, too. I bet if I made it tomorrow they’d hate it and declare it poison.

They’re canny, those girls – I was so pleased that they’d enthusiastically eaten all their breakfast that I let them watch DVDs while I made up a packed lunch. They huddled together in front of the screen, cackling, “Mission accomplished”.

Beautiful tree

Beautiful tree

The lunch was because I was meeting a friend and her little girl for a bit of a play and walk around Drum Castle. We’d never been before. And I’m afraid that based on today’s visit I don’t think we’ll be back,

It’s a beautifully-presented National Trust castle and grounds. Everything is very well-kept. The adventure playground is only 2 weeks old. As we went in, an irate sign noted that the living willow tunnel was broken already, and that parents were to keep their children in the tunnels only. Oh? A quick look told my inexpert eye that perhaps little kids thought the wide spaces between the willow stems were meant to be there, and to walk on through? Or maybe it really had been trashed by trunk stepping stones

Mini walks on air

Mini walks on air

I hope we don't get scolded for letting the kids climb this tree!

I hope we don’t get scolded for letting the kids climb this tree!

boisterous louts. I shrugged and got on with admiring the wooden stepping trunks inside the woods, the submerged tyres, the scrambling net, and the teepees. Oh. They had an irate sign on them too (see photo) instructing us all that there was to be NO CLIMBING on them. The all-wooden drumkit looked cool. But it too had a painted sign (see photo) – NO CLIMBING. The meadow flowers in front of the summerhouse were pretty. But the sign beside them ordered us not to stand in the borders.

no climbingno climbing eitherHmmm… So many bossy signs ordering the adults around (well, most kids who go to playparks can’t read yet)! So much pretty equipment and facilities, but you can’t play with it how you’d like. Look but don’t touch. My friend confided that one of her friends had phoned to complain about the playground twice already since it had opened a week ago, on the grounds of it being unsafe. For example, one of the gates can be opened by a child onto a road beside the carpark. But surely you’d keep an eye on your child? I glanced around the playground at my fellow carers: tartan blankets in every colour, strewn over all available, manicured grass; the entire Boden summer catalogue draped over said tartan; kids leaping around, decked out in the Ikea Family hi-vis vests. Maybe; maybe not.

We found 12 fairy doors like this

We found 12 fairy doors like this

We broke for picnic lunch, then strolled a short mile walk around some ancient woodland, spotting some miniature carved doors propped up on tree trunks (“fairy doors”). They motivated 3/4 girls to walk around the path with some interest, but caused 1/4 to get upset that she’d not spotted the doors first.

By this stage, Mini was fading fast and wanting to go in the sling. I distracted her with a short jaunt over to the pond and back, then over again to the adventure playground. That worked. Then Midi doubled over with a sore stomach. Time to go home! And as I suspected, a drink of Ribena sorted out the stomach pains – they’ll be your innards complaining about not getting enough fluid, dear!

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