I celebrated it with a lovely lunch at the Plume of Feathers in Mitchell, followed by a trip to Newquay Zoo. Both elements of the day turned out to be much better than I might have anticipated considering they were quite unplanned and completely impromptu. My dad went for the traditional Sunday roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, middle son and I had grilled mackerel on a bed of crushed potatoes with rocket and horseradish, youngest son had scallops in a caper butter with chips and tomato ketchup on the side and Mungo chose a bacon and black pudding with a poached egg salad with Parmesan shavings.
But of course, it wasn’t really my day today; it was Mungo’s, my eldest’s birthday and wonderfully, the Plume of Feathers were able to decorate our table with balloons for him.
I like it when you don’t have much of a plan; there’s much less to go wrong or disappoint. I also wonder incredulously, however did my kids manage to move on from chicken nuggets to be able to make such discerning food choices for themselves?
Yesterday was a different day entirely. It involved a lot of stressful shouting and yelling at the younger two.
“How can you sit in the same room and NOT notice Mungo ripping one leg of his jeans from ankle end all the way up to the crotch?”I shrieked at them. If the fact that he tears his clothes to shreds while he is watching telly and doesn’t appear to know what he is doing wasn’t so frustrating it would be funny. He stood there, a young teen who is now almost as tall as I, with one good denim-clad leg but they other barely covered by a flap and flashing a long pink leg as he walked.
I berated them so much that my neighbour came round to tell them off as well! And while I was ‘off on one’ I pointed out how ‘useless’ they were and how much of a ‘pigsty’ their rooms had become….See, I’m already a practicing parent of 3 teenage sons and quite ahead of myself! Catch them now and they did reluctantly do a good job of tidying up and chucking stuff away…and a few years time they’ll shrug, grunt, slam the door and disappear to hang out with their mates until they get hungry enough to come home again. However, generally my parenting style is at best only semi-effective and my children have worked out that, keep me in a good mood and I’ll do practically anything for a kiss.
And in my typical ‘much less than best,’ it’s Saturday afternoon and I realise that I’ve not bought a present, baked a cake or organised a thing for him. It’s always the same dilemma. What do you do for a disabled child who can barely speak or can tell me what he’d like to do? Therefore, I’m afraid he always gets a bit of a raw deal. I took him out with me so he could choose something for himself. At his age he should be nagging me for an iphone so I guess I should be grateful that he only wants yet another box of lego. (Sigh). He also said he’d like a Vanilla cake with strawberries – basically a Victoria Sponge – which I was still up icing at midnight.
I’d thought we might have grown out of visiting Newquay Zoo, but not a bit of it. A lot had changed since our last visit some years before it was so much better and a host of babies and tiny creatures for us to oooh and aahhh at. It was actually difficult to drag ourselves away.
Besides, it provided the inspiration for my middle son’s homework – he had to write a sonnet, which is a tough call for a dyslexic.
He and I managed this collaboratively.
SONNET FOR THE ZOO
My brother for his birthday desire
Chose the zoo for us. Methinks
The thought of animals in cages can be dire:
Such as the pacing of the lynx.
I compared the mongoose to the meerkat,
Saw steak being fed to pumas,
Was reminded that the lion is a BIG CAT,
But liked best the leaping lemurs.
I’d hoped to see the kangaroo-
rat, however, sadly it had died.
On the day we went to the zoo,
Oh how I laughed and cried!
The baby beasts were so adorable.
There was no animal there that was ignorable.