Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Old McDonald's had a farm...

So, today's activity was Blackberry Farm. A quick browse on the Internet meant that Google flagged up this Sussex-based attraction as the ideal family day out. Given it's just the boy and me this week, I felt we could manage to put our wellies on and venture out into the countryside to bother some beasties.
After paying a small fortune for the entrance fee and a cup of animal food - I was totally aware of the cynical marketing ploy to get your paying customers to also pay to feed your livestock, but felt obliged to buy some as every other bloomin' middle class parent was clutching a cup - we made our way in. Dexter headed straight for the gravel, mud and puddles, in that order. He became fixated on the duck pond and showed absolutely zero interest in any of the rotund, four-legged animals (all those cups of food had rendered most of them grossly overweight/borderline arthritic). I did distract him for approximately six minutes as we bumped around in a rickety trailer attached to the back of a tractor, driven by a ruddy-faced boy with great carroty fingers. I was rather taken by the miniature donkeys; Dexter favoured trying to kneel in a puddle.
As lunchtime approached, we headed for the farm cafe. There was a large queue and word on the street/pathway/hedgerow, was that food would be an half hour wait. Fearing a total meltdown that would rouse the invisible farm pigs from their conspicuously empty sties, I whizzed the boy away and popped him back in the car. I say 'popped' him back in the car, but first I had to strip him of his dungarees as he seemed to have been conducting his own science experiment in the puddles, sticking his feet/legs in them to see just how much is the optimum amount of foetid water some Gap denim can absorb in one morning.
I knew we wouldn't make it home without a pit-stop, and besides, this is our week for 'doing stuff'. I took Dexter to *whispers* McDonald's. We drove through (or 'thru' I believe is the hideous vernacular); I had a Big Mac and he had his first Happy Meal. We ate it in the salubrious surroundings of Uckfield Tesco's car park.
I drove home with shame seeping through the discarded brown paper bag in the footwell, launching fries into Dexter's mouth to keep him awake. We had to stop at a garage on the way back as the boy suffered a spontaneous nose bleed - I can only assume it was the Karmic god of organic, over-priced fruit pouches punishing me for my terrible parenting sin.
He slept all afternoon - clearly a potent combination of mud, country air and saturated fat. Happy days!

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