With a total washout half-term week I decided to treat my kids on their final day off school to the local attraction at Willows Farm. Even when it rains the kids can have a great time in the giant soft play barn. I arranged to meet my friend and her three kids there and we hoped that it wouldn't be too busy as with sideways winds and torrential rain a hilltop farm isn't normally a top attraction.
Well needless to say we were wrong. The place was packed. Taking two toddlers to soft play is reasonably stressful at the best of times but yesterday took on a new level of challenges.
I found a small corner to park my double stroller. Once eldest daughter and boy in the middle knew where I was they ran off to throw themselves down the slides. A&E pulled off their wellington boots and dived into the small and compact toddler area suitable for 2-4 year olds. They were happily running around and climbing and I even found that I managed to sit down for approximately three minutes before toddler E got confused as to how to go down the slide and toddler A noticed there was a larger world of soft play tunnels and slides to explore.
In a flash they were off and disappeared from my direct line of vision in different directions. Moving to a central spot where I could survey the mass of bridges, tunnels and slides I made a mental note in my head as to what they were wearing in case I lost either of them and then felt relief when I noticed A daringly cross the rope bridge and E happily watching bigger kids hurl themselves off the drop slide. All was going well until seconds later A was getting crushed on the bridge by a group of 4 year olds trying to step over her on the bridge and E was refusing to move out of anyone's way. I had no option but to rescue them both and persuade them it was lunchtime.
I secured them into highchairs so that my stress levels could be reduced at which point they both needed to go to the toilet!
We did have a fun packed day. Not long after lunch A climbed into the stroller, found her dummy and her bunny and went to sleep. I really tried my hardest to encourage E to copy her but instead she took the opportunity to have me to herself and persuaded me on to the slides again!
After four hours in the sweaty indoor soft play zone we managed to get outside in the drizzle, see the animals and other attractions before heading home. I successfully loaded my four wet and muddy children into the car, E was asleep before we left the carpark, and I drove home with four happy children and with a sense of achievement that I had kept my kids entertained all day and I hadn't lost any of them.