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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's a well known fact that Devizes is the Alton Towers of Wiltshire, and that no visit to the town is complete without experiencing the white-knuckle thrill rides of the local toddler park. The 2011-2013 promotional video did a lot to sell the sheer excitement and danger of the place...

... but it's always worth updating your material. So here's the 2014 director's cut...

By 2015 I'll have Toby climbing up that ladder, and Amelie smoking a cigarette with the latchkey kids on the swings.

Anyhoo, if you're wondering where Lisa was in that video, she was just out of shot, running for the hills with her passport and a one-way ticket out of Dodge. Suffice it to say that family holidays are never really holidays for the parents. Unless you trust your childcare to luck and head for the nearest tapas bar. The kids are as challenging as usual, and the environment even more so, with Big Sis's house on three floors, and filled with white furniture and precious breakables.

But in addition to that (or possibly because of it), Toby's had a bit of a funny turn. We thought he was unwell on Monday, as he seemed dopey and miserable all day (which is more Amelie's shtick), and when we attempted to take him shopping, he screamed down the supermarket and went wild in the aisles to such an extent, you'd have thought Dale Winton had hoved into view.

That coincided with a text message from Brighton, informing us that the birthday party being held this Saturday for one of Amelie's friends has had to be postponed due to an outbreak of chicken pox. Amelie has already experienced life as a poxy child and interestingly, she had it at the same age that Toby is now, so it did make us wonder if he was about to break out in spots.

But whilst Amelie's 'Frozen' party was put on ice, leaving a dozen disappointed kids out in the cold, Toby seemed a lot brighter yesterday morning. So in a moment of foolish optimism, we decided to drive them both into town. At which point, everything changed. Toby, who has never had a problem going in the car, suddenly acted as though he'd been offered a lift by Richard Hammond. He screamed, kicked, fought and arched his back to such an extent that we physically couldn't get him into his car seat. Even stopping for twenty minutes, letting him calm down, and then trying again later, made no difference. The moment he went near the car, he started acting like the girl in Final Destination 2.

In the end we had to give up. I took Amelie into town, while Lisa stayed at home and Toby had a tantrum. On the bright side, Amelie was as good as gold, which is not like her at all. It's like both of them are ill.

Lisa recovered slightly while Toby napped after lunch and Amelie and I watched 'Frozen' on DVD for the seventeenth time in three days, after which I took them both to the nearby park and watched them go down the tubes...

The evening gave me the chance to experience a massage from Big Sis's boyfriend, which taught me that I must never allow them to split up, but the highlight of today so far is this picture of an elephant drawn entirely by my daughter...

Not only is she making good use of the felt tip pens I bought her in Tesco yesterday, but she's included a nod to UKIP by adding the Red Tractor logo. That elephant can be traced back to a British farm.


Phil's Mum said...

Amelie's elephant is as good as the one her Grandad has just made out of balloons. And perhaps Toby doesn't want to go in the car or to shops because he just LOVES the local park.