We drove through some fairly horrendous weather today to get to Cardiff, where on arrival we had the great pleasure of finding that the Boy Wonder was waiting for us, waving out of the dining room window and pressing his nose to the glass.
Sadly the weather kept us indoors all morning, and after his lunch I had to persuade the BW to nap in his cot, which has become a considerably harder task since he turned into a small barrack-room lawyer. In the end my gentle insistence on him staying where he was outlasted his determination to get "UP!!", and after no more than twenty or so rounds of Show me the way to go home (which he can now sing himself, to my amusement - there's something especially charming about a small child warbling an old music hall song about a drunk not being able to find his way home), half a dozen choruses of Happy birthday to you, and probably only sixty or so of The Wheels on the bus (wheels only today - people, bell and driver were firmly rejected when I tried them), he stopped thrashing around the cot and kicking the bars and me, gave up interrupting my singing to tell me his plans for the weekend, sighed deeply, and went swiftly off to sleep.
When I got downstairs the Boy's mother and grandfather were having a loud conversation in the hall. "If you wake him up," I said snippishly, heading for the sitting room, "you're on your own with him." In the end though, he slept so long that R had to go and gently rouse him, because it was by now fine enough for us to go out, and we wanted him to have some fresh air and exercise before the end of the afternoon.
Because it was lateish by this time, and the weather was still quite threatening, we decided not to risk the further park (with the Swedish cardamom buns), and headed straight to the nearer one. Just over the road is a bakery that sells takeaway coffee and outrageous treats, and it was from here that the Boy received today's cake. Believe it or not, this white chocolate brownie was one of the less egregious concoctions on the menu, and this is only a third of one - cut to my instructions by the member of staff who served us. I kept another third to eat with my coffee, and quickly stuffed the bag with the remaining third into my pocket, before it could be noticed and noted.
Brownie and babyccino consumed, the Boy got out of his pushchair and toddled off, but to our consternation the gates of the children's playground were chained shut. "Can' go in," said B. "Oh no! 'S'locked!" Eventually we found someone to ask about this, and were told that it was a health and safety issue: the playground has a large birch tree in it, and given the gales of yesterday and today, it had been deemed too dangerous to open it. "Ridiculous," growled R and I to each other sotto voce, in between carefully and cheerfully explaining the situation to B. We had to eat this opinion in short order though: while the Boy was quite happy to simply noodle around the rest of the park, splashing in puddles and stopping to admire almost every dog that passed us, we had to mark him closely to stop him straying into some large and potentially deep pools of flood water, and keep him away from not one but two trees that had been brought down by the weather. Suddenly, the health and safety constraint on the use of the small children's playground seemed entirely reasonable.
The extra shows one of the smaller floods, with a snapped tree lying in it. Given the damage it has done to the birch behind it, I'm rather glad that I wasn't nearby when it fell. If you look closely there's also a springer spaniel in the shot, which was having a high old time galloping through all the pools. As ever, it seems that one person's problem is another's opportunity.
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