Rhubarbs on Tour: Birthday Fun

I have a four year old. It makes me feel quite middle-aged; but is luckily counteracted by having a Spouse who is now well into his thirties, allowing me to smugly remain a twenty-something, who doesn’t even need to think about that decade until late next year. Hoorah.

Traditionally (well, we’ve done it twice), we host a birthday barbecue for Daisy & Daddy’s joint special day, but last year we were moving house and this year we were just a bit sh*t. So we decided on an impromptu tour of the country instead, mostly so that we could squeeze in a visit to the Southern fam before offspring number three arrives.

So on Saturday (the eve of the birthdays), I loaded the car with a couple of bags, two children and a box full of birthday presents; collected the Spouse from cricket; and we travelled down to the Mother-in-Law’s in Hertfordshire.

One last sleep as a threenager

The big day was spent playing with numerous presents, toys & games; riding a shiny new bicycle; and swimming in the sunshine. I even took a dip myself, fully clothed, after an overly confident birthday girl stealthily shed her armbands, jumped in and failed to float… Good to know that I can be trusted to perform some Baywatch-esque manoeuvres* in a crisis and also a stark reminder that we really must organise those swimming lessons we keep talking about…

*Mostly I slid/fell into the pool, more akin to a walrus than Pamela, but I did feel a bit heroic.

Despite the drama, the birthday babes seemingly had a marvellous time, although D did query “why are they having so much fun on MY birthday?” after a particularly gleeful moment from the boy who was forcing his Grandpa to chase him around the washing line.

The birthday boy and the birthday thief

This guy (avid hater of water) surprised us all with his keenness to swim about all day

Her Frozen obsession is refusing to fade…


Monday involved a trip to Paradise Park in Broxbourne. D got a glitter tattoo from Belle (of Beauty and the Beast); R bonded with a cheetah (but did insist on referring to all the big cats as tigers); both of them fed a zebra; and the sun continued to shine (amazing scenes for August in the UK)!

On Tuesday, we bid farewell to “Gaga & Poppa” and began leg two of our journey. We headed down to Southampton for a day at Paulton’s Park, home of Peppa Pig World and every toddler’s dream! Daisy the Fearless dragged the Spouse onto pretty much every ride, whilst Ralph the Significantly Less Fearless & I supervised from the sidelines. We did persuade the little Chop to try out a few of the tamer attractions and I’m pretty sure that meeting Peppa & George completely blew his tiny mind. Oh and there were dinosaurs, so it was definitely the best day of his entire life, ever.

Once we’d finished making all their dreams come true, we loaded the offspring back into the car and ventured west to Toller Porcorum in Dorset, so they could meet their “Grandpa MW”, “Grandma LW” and Uncle Fred. Now it was my turn to have dreams come true!

Woolcombe Farm, home of the Father-in-Law & co

Ok, maybe not come true; after all, no one offered to let me have this house for free; but this place, wow. I would like to live here please, you delicious specimen of property porn and every Instagrammer’s idea of heaven (probably). Yorkshire, of course, has my heart; but Dorset did tug on the strings a bit. We spent a gorgeous Wednesday paddling in the sea, exploring the countryside, feeding the farm’s many occupants, playing cricket in the (glorious) garden and generally just experiencing major home envy.

Uncle Fred, D & the Spouse brave the sea

R & Grandma LW

Cricket in the garden (D wearing R’s clothes after a large wave incident at the beach)

Today, we made the long journey home. Two exhausted, but blissfully happy, little humans are fast asleep in their own beds; and I reckon we’ve given our four year old a birthday to remember.

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