With my husband hauled up at the ice cream factory for most of summer, winter is our time to do stuff. Either that or risk the four of us festering at home slowly driving each other mad (yeh right, this is totally us most days). As Daddy had yet to experience the delights of Peppa Pig World, we thought we would book up a weekend in wonderful Winchester (my home town) and also check out Marwell Zoo whilst we were there. By coincidence, this was also the opening weekend of the Santa’s Grotto at Paulton’s Park. I immediately imagined Coco’s darling little face, lit up with joy when she saw we were not just at Peppa Pig World…but visiting Father Christmas too! The reality? Hmmmm not so much smiling, more hysterical sobbing, but more on this magical moment later.
To find that Coco had wet herself whilst sleeping in the car en route to Winchester was neither here nor there. It was removing her wet leggings in the car park of Marwell Zoo as the wind and rain lashed around us that was more of a problem. Ordinarily, this would have been enough to generate my own shitty mood style stormy cloud and demand we take shelter in Starbucks. But on this occasion we decided to brave the weather and check out some wild animals, and you know what? It was pretty darn good. There was just enough people there to make us not feel completely crazy, the kids were in surprisingly good moods (gotta love a long car sleep) and when the tears from the occasional tantrum are mixed with rain drops you feel sorry for the poor darlings instead of pissed off – a win, win!
This fab weekend feeling continued as we snuggled down in our cosy hotel room with a round of hot chocolates (gotta love a Premier Inn – again, more on that later) and even lasted as we walked up Winchester High Street taking in the sight of the beautiful christmas tree, feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Sadly, this feeling lasted roughly five minutes until Raffy projectile vomited across our table in Zizzi’s just as our starters arrived. The look on the waitress’ face was priceless, yet mine remained unchanged. It says something when your child spews it’s guts in a public eating place and horror has been replaced by the thought “I hope they have a plastic bag for the wet wipes.” I was also kind of proud when the waitress later congratulated me on my handling of the sicky situation (of course we stayed for dinner).
Assuming Raffy had gagged on a piece of bread we went back to hotel in high spirits. Coco was still extremely excited over the three beds in the hotel room (it’s the little things) and I was happy to settle down to a bit of Strictly. It was only when Raffy barfed over our entire bed and my favourite PJs bottoms that we realised we might be in trouble. But kudos to the fantastic manager on shift at the time, who came and took our bedding with no fuss and replaced it sparing us any eye rolls or narky comments. He even took the time to converse with a hyper Coco without looking like he wanted to slit his wrists – hugely appreciated.
Sunday was Peppa Pig / Santa day and after a hearty brekkie and a watchful eye on pukey boy, we set off excitedly to meet Father Christmas. As mentioned earlier, I was pretty convinced the scene would blow Coco’s tiny toddler mind and had already been imagining the heartwarming moment captured on camera. The tantrum at the mention of meeting Santa when lingering around the Paulton Park gates should of been the tip off I needed to know this wouldn’t end well. Equally so should have her whinges and cries as we waited in line throughout to see Mr C (other kids were lapping up the singing reindeers and sparkly lights). But it was when Coco came face-to-face with the big man of Christmas himself that Coco really lost her sh*t. Despite being a very lovely looking and authentic Santa, Coco couldn’t be convinced to raise a smile (or stop howling) as this wonderfully forced photo shows. Definitely one for the mantel piece!
The rest of the day was spent riding high on the likes of Miss Rabbit’s helicopter and hot air balloon. Thankfully Raffy remained well and even windy castle not enough to entice another vomit from the little love. The park was busy but manageable, (I love a theme park as my beaming smile shows), but the heady cocktail of queues and the surround sound of babies crying and toddlers tantruming was enough to test the patience of even my laid back husband and, by 2pm when the kids could hold it together no longer, we decided to end our weekend on a high and head home.
Have you got a classic Christmas snap of your kids snubbing Santa? Old or new, I would LOVE to see it. Please share on my Coffee, Kids & Ice Cream page or add to instagram tagging @coffeekidsicecream with the hastag #santagetsnubbed
Please get sharing and give us the gift of a Christmas giggle!