I like to think that one day I could become a 'Nature Walk Mum' - the sort of Mum who tramps through the countryside with her son on winter's days, pointing out interesting trees and flowers and coming home with collections of odd things in plastic buckets. I've seen mums like this in the blogosphere on and Pinterest and it looks very attractive with just a whiff of good parenting about it.
Realistically I think I might end up being a 'Roller Coaster Mum'. Yeah, we could go on nature walks and so on, or we could get in the car and drive to Blackpool on a whim to see the lights, eat unhealthy food, dig in the sand with sticks (we had to go to St Annes for that as the tide was in!) and marvel at the Big One which OB called "train in the sky!". One day, as soon as his hair is brushing against the height line, I'll get OB on the Big One and we can scream together until we are breathless!
It was a mixed day, to be honest. We arrived in Blackpool at around 2.30 and after one hour, we were back in the car on the way to St Annes. The tide was well in on the Golden Mile so there was no chance of playing on the beach (an activity I had hoped would kill several hours!) and after a listless wander around the South Pier and one go on a totally empty kiddies ride, we had pretty much exhausted everything that the south end of town has to offer to toddlers on a windy October afternoon.
So, armed with hot doughnuts, we made our way back to the car and, with a detour around practically the whole of the Fylde coast looking for a petrol station, went on to St Annes where the beach is blessedly large and sandy. We did have plenty of fun digging in the sand, finding random stuff and getting generally too cold and too wet.
This was curtailed by OB wetting himself. Now, I'm trying to be patient with the potty training thing, but we had been to the toilet multiple times that day (I had even brought the potty with us and tried him in the car when we arrived) and he had steadfastly refused to go. When he wet himself it was 4.30pm and this was the first wee he had done all day! Not long later, he repeated the exercise and added a massive poo for good measure, although we had been to the Toby carvery for our tea and visited the toilet there no less than three times (at his request) to no avail.
Honestly, there's nothing I love better than to be dealing with poo-filled underpants on the pavement at the side of the car in a whipping wind and rapidly descending twilight. He is completely unbothered by the whole thing and I find it hard to resist thinking up ways to make sure he's having as crappy a time as I am at that moment!
Never mind! By the time we had got back to a Blackpool greatly enhanced by darkness and the Illuminations, I had battled down my frustration so that we could enjoy the lights together ("It's gonna be fun!" shouted OB!). And he did love them. As with all new things, he was initially unresponsive, just staring without comment, but as we drifted north and I put the heaters on and opened the windows wide so he could get a better view, he loosened up and started pointing and shouting at things in a most gratifying way.
When we reached the end, he begged to see them again, so I turned around and went straight back down, stopping on the way to buy him an over-priced but immensely fun light wand thingy. In the end, it was definitely worth it.
I'm thinking of going again next week!