So we went for a week long break to Centre Parks, Nottingham with the future inlaws. I was a little apprehensive about the trip imagining it to be something akin to a 1960’s Butlins holiday camp but my fears were unfounded, it is a very well run park with well kept cabins and lots to do.
For me it was a crash course in looking after children and babies. I was given the task of taking 4 year old Connie to the swimming pool on one day, my first escapade alone with a child in all 36 years. It was fun and went quite well, we got there, got changed no problem and into the pool, spent a while in the shallow waters lapping at our feet then attempting to go down a slide, Connie wouldn’t have any of that though, not at this stage, so we went in the outdoor hot water pool after 2 minutes in there we went back to the slide, 2 minutes later we were walking back to the lapping shallows.
Then we found the baby pool and joy of joy’s there was a yellow slow water slide in there. I spent the next 50 minutes walking from the steps to the slide to the other end to greet Connie at splashdown. Yep, 50 minutes back and forth. I cut my foot on something suspicious and swear I saw a plaster floating around. Then the courage was found to go down a big grown up’s blue slide, so we did that, successfully. We repeated this about 6 times and decided to try the other blue slide, this was a wholly different affair, it went pitch black, threw us around in the dark from side to side and at the end we both plunged fully submerged into the heavily chlorinated water at the bottom. After getting our breath and rushing to somewhere shallow Connie said: “I don’t like that one!” I said: “Neither do I” and that was that, we went off to get changed.
In the boiling hot changing rooms I had to negotiate tights for the first time. Putting tights onto a little person’s damp legs is a very puzzling affair. I couldn’t for the life of me get them the right way round and with sweat dripping from my brow I looked up to see she’d put her crash helmet on. I said: “you can’t have that on, you’ve not put your vest on yet” she laughed nervously and as I was removing the helmet I got her hair tangled in the little buckle having to snap it free. At this point, noticing I was losing all confidence in my child minding ability, she cried a little and said: “I want my mummy”. I panicked, I lost all control for I wasn’t yet clothed in my own stuff, still sopping wet, so I threw my clothes on without drying and then couldn’t find the exit. After a lifetime of searching we got outside into the cool and we found mummy and the rest of the family.
I had a beer and breathed, quite proud if a little unkempt.