1 year, 6 months, 2 weeks & 2 days into Daddyhood

At the recent Christmas Fayre at my local primary school, I bought a couple of raffle tickets and won a complementary pass for four to go to the West Midlands Safari Park. I had to use it before early Feb and although it was nice to win something, I thought we probably wouldn’t end up going – what would my eighteen month old daughter want with looking at a bunch of animals from a distance in a car?

Not ones for wasting a freebie, however, we decided to invite Jo’s dad and partner along and make a day (or couple of hours or so) of it. Which we did on Saturday the 30th of Jan…

And Talise loved it!

We almost didn’t go on the actual “safari” part, for the reason described above. What if Talise got bored half way through? As there are no places where you can make a swift exit scattered along the safari trail, and I suspect it would be frowned upon (and perhaps a tad dangerous) to floor it round the lion/rhino/wolf reserves, I didn’t relish the prospect of a restless (at best) or screaming/wailing (at the-opposite-of-best) toddler accompanying our journey through various exotic fauna. But…

As previously mentioned…

Talise loved it!

She sat there happily, in her car seat, munching on her raisins, peering out the window at the bounty of beasts, roaring at the lions, laughing at the camels, only expressing a modicum of whingey boredom when we were slightly delayed at the gates between the reserves… understandably. We completed the safari in 45 mins; 30 mins short of the “recommended” (or something) 1hr15mins, because even we thirty-something grown-ups only had a limited concentration span… and with the tickets being free, we didn’t feel we had to “get our money’s worth”… and we still had some concern that our little missy might get bored and we’d have to zip speedily past the elephants and the buffalo (and we didn’t fancy the potential consequences of startling a trio of elephants). But 45 mins was more than enough time to enjoy the experience and to enjoy our daughter’s enjoyment of the experience. Which we did. So then…

Upon meeting up with Talise’s Papa and Grace, we strolled around the rest of the park – or at least what was available for perusal during the winter months. Did I say “strolled”? Talise squealed and giggled and big-toothy-grinned and toddle-ran… and pretty much set the pace for the rest of us… as she is wont to do when there are things to see, boys and girls to chase after and tiger-headed bins to growl at.

She wasn’t that bothered with the seals (no doubt because the “Seal Encounter” involved too much sitting/standing still) or the bats in the bat-cave (what bats? Oh those occasional dark shadows flitting by in the almost pitch dark), she loved the fish (who I’m sure I could see reaching for the Paracetamol as we were leaving), she was too tired to be bothered having a look at the reptiles… but…

A memory which will stand out amongst the day’s events…

…is something we have never seen her doing before and I’m sure is something neither Mummy or Daddy taught her…

…that being…

…in the Explorer’s Cafe

…dipping her chips in her milk!

And her beans!

Ooh, ya just can’t take her anywhere…

( 😉 )

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