I'm trying to let my memory wander back in time to 2 weekends ago, when we had a lovely weekend, which I was too tired to blog about. I fear that much of the detail has been pushed out by the rest of the nonsense that my brain has to contend with, but I'm going to give it ago.
On Saturday February 20th, our local hothouse/aviary/monkeyhome thing, Plantasia, celebrated its 20th anniversary by offering entry at 1990 prices. Despite now living here for an astonishing 13 years, neither Jamie nor I had ever been, and J-cub was just besides himself at the thought of meeting an animal which was not a cat or a duck. We managed to sort ourselves out and wander down there by 10am, and got stuck straight into the fun by shouting at the frogs, lizards, turtles, snakes and dragons (shouting "Cat!" of course. J-cub doesn't know any other animal words).
We let him loose in the school room and he drew all over himself with orange pencil, planted a plant (I managed to get soil in my mouth, delightful), met some friends (who had to quickly hide J-cub's birthday presents in their buggies) and got a bit too up-close-and-personal with a litter bin shaped like a frog.
Out in the main hothouse, African drummers were setting up by the Koi pond, so we fed the fish while they got all their stuff out, then the children were let loose on the instruments for a while. J-cub had a whale of a time on their drums, making us think that his Mothercare drum isn't really sufficient for his professional needs.
When his arms got tired, we went for a look at the monkeys. J-cub was just transfixed by them, screaming and clapping and shouting "Cat!" when any of them got close.
We had a little look round the birds and the cacti, then left to go and look at birthday presents in Mothercare. We got a wicked cool play tent and tunnel for his party, and some bags o' balls, and a fluffy book about ducks ("Duck!" shouted J-cub. All animals and birds are "Cat", apart from ducks, who are "Duck". He's very clever).
While he was napping at home, we set up the tent with some of the balls, and he went crazy when we showed it to him. It was, quite possibly, the most exciting moment of his life. He crawled around, cackling like a demon, throwing handfuls of balls in the air, and chasing Tilly through the tunnel. He can't wait for his birthday party.
On Sunday we had a peaceful day, culminating in a walk round to feed the ducks (the pond was covered with untouched slices of bread, and two very fat looking ducks were fast asleep in the reeds), and a swing on the swings.
My most favourite moment was when J-cub caught sight of his reflection in the water. It was the cutest thing I've ever seen.