Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't totally adore her, it's just that the maternal gene has not only passed me by, but flipped me the bird on the way past.
When Izzy was first born, it didn't even enter my head that I wasn't a 'natural' parent. However, the realisation kind of crept up on me as she got older, and friends kept 'commenting' on all the cool things I have taught her throughout her four years on this planet:
"Are you sure she is old enough to drive a forklift truck?"
"Maybe she should be stirring the bowl rather than chopping those onions with that knife?"
"I would probably have bought her a doll rather than that toy chainsaw."
"You really think she will make it down ok if you strap her to that [snow] board?"
Ahh..... it's all just a symptom of the nanny state. Anyway, ignore that, I had planned lots of fun activities for the weekend and our first sojourn on Saturday was the Millets Farm Centre outside of Oxford.
One of the key attractions of the Milletts Farm Centre is that they have a battery of animals that the children can walk up to, stroke, and feed. But therein lay the flaw in the plan......most of the species in the Milletts farm centre also reside in the farm at the back of my house and therefore hold no 'special' interest to a countryside kid.
Pic.No.1 Some ducks.... they aren't even exotic ducks, they are bog standard ones
Pic.No.2. A pig. Apparently eating mud. The countryside is gross
Pic.No.3. Crikey, where's the sheep's head?And so one field after another, Izzy quickly dismissed the animals as 'boring' whilst I suddenly realised that seeing a sheep / cow / goat was not only mundane, but was starting to make me feel hungry. Admitting defeat, I leant on the sheep's fence that was next to the kid's playpark (to contemplate my next step) and became aware of a mother behind me explaining centripetal force to a small child on a roundabout...."yes darling, the feeling that you get when you are being pushed sideways out of the roundabout ..... that is centrapetal force"
As if I didn't feel inadequate enough, at the exact same moment, Izzy suddenly developed an interest in the animals and shouted; "Look! that sheep is weeing!" and proceeded to drop to her knees pointing and laughing as the sheep partook in some rather vigorous urination.
Centripetal mother turned and looked at me, shaking her head in a pitying / berating way.
"Excuse me!" I waved at her, whilst she regarded me with pursed, and disapproving lips.
"I think you will find that your child was experiencing centrafugal force, not centrapetal," I smiled, blowing kisses, and dragging Izzy out of the competitive kid-pit posing as a play area.
"So Izzy," I asked, "what would you like to do now?"
"Eat lunch in a restaurant," she replied assuredly. Way to go! A girl after my own heart and only four to boot.
Pic.No.4. Moi in the restaurant
We ordered a panini each, a cappucino for me and a fresh orange for madame Izzy. It was nice, but at nearly £14.00 ($22.69) it was bloody steep and a period of personal quantitative easing beforehand would have made the blow a little easier to take.
Pic.No.5. I could have purchased a small Scottish Island for the price of this panini and cappucino
Finally, after eating, I took Izzy to the park to play, after after watching her descend the same slide 63 times, each time shouting "look at me!" I decided I was getting a bit bored.
"Come on, it's time to go," I told Izzy.
"NOOOOO!" she replied so loudly that every parent in the park turned round as though I was physcially abusing her.
"Sssshhhhh," I motioned frantically, "if you are quiet, you can go on one more thing."
Pic.No.6. Izzy samples the wonders of a bouncy chipmunk
After thirty minutes of watching her ride a bouncy chipmunk, I was 'farm centred' out, and this time, I did manage to extricate from the joys of the Farm Centre and get her back home.