Parenting

Hungover husband plus theme park and toddler = bickerfest

We had a day out to a theme park this weekend. It was planned for a while but an impromptu piss up at the local pub meant that husband talked shit for an hour and a half on the journey there whilst also trying not to be sick and playing inappropriate hip hop on the car stereo.

When we got there, our toddler was extremely excited, which translated into running round pointing at animals, insects and people at the speed of light before having a paddy every time we moved him onto something different. Cue incessant bickering between husband and I on how to handle this best. We were made to feel better about these outbursts when it became clear that everyone in the near vicinity was having the same trouble, with parents locked into gritted-teeth grimaces, strong- arming their kids along and trying not to cause a scene.

We forgot to pack lunch so learned the hard way that a meal out at a theme park is the equivalent to the price of a four-course a la carte dinner except that you only get a peanut, queue for a mind boggling amount of time and don’t get a drink because the machines are all broken. Plus the restaurant was new but didn’t seem to have grasped the fact that a decent baby change would have been a useful part of the planning process.

Like a number of UK attractions, there are now hotels on site and I’m thinking the best way to visit if you can would be to make a break of it and stay on site, as the accommodation gives the option to look out over the animal enclosures and to visit the theme park after it closes to the public.

The main lesson from our toddler – ignore everything else apart from the slide and spend three hours setting off the animatronic dragon over and over again. My main lesson – don’t choose the only member of staff in the whole park who is on their first day and can’t give directions. But it was all worth it to hear ‘I had fun today’.

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