Last Friday Monkey had an inset day, when I looked in my diary I had planned nothing! So unlike me so I decided it was perfect timing for a visit to Thomasland. We hadn’t been this year and Monkey had mentioned it a few times. I was really looking forward to spending a day with him, a ‘school’ day. I still remember our last trip – temper tantrums ruined it – please let’s not have a repeat performance!
I checked the weather forecast – sunshine. Right Monkey let’s go. I also decided to leave my normal camera at home. I’m really guilty of snapping away all the time. I wanted inset day at Thomasland to just be about being with my school boy son; enjoying a moment. Of course I did still have my phone – it’s a hard habit to break.
We arrived half an hour before the rides started but I could tell already that it obviously wasn’t a local inset day – happy days!
Monkey has grown up so much over the last couple of months, being in Reception really does seemed to have given him some confidence to be a little braver, a little more independent. I wondered if I could persuade him to try a new ride?
Well we had a walk round and grabbed a drink and snack whilst we waited for the rides to open. So Monkey do you want to try the Winston monorail ride today? It was being built when we last visited, hence meltdown that the Vintage Car ride was closed. Yes Mummy!! But I want to go on Thomas first. Obviously.
So we went on Thomas, and Percy and Thomas again, said our hello’s to the ever sleeping James – does he ever wake up Mummy? Shall we go on Winston now Monkey? No Mummy, I want to go on the cars. Ok, let’s do that first.
Mummy you can sit in the back. Really?? Ok. That’s a first. He loves this ride. It’s been at Drayton Manor for years, I can remember watching my eldest nephew and niece riding around on it long before Thomasland existed. It’s a classic, calm ride. Now shall we try Winston? Yes Mummy, let’s go. He ran all the way there. No queues and we were straight on.
Again, he loved it and we talked about being higher than Jeremy Jet’s Flying Academy – could we try that? Yes Mummy? How about Harold’s Heli Tours – yes Mummy? Blimey.
We headed over to Jeremy Jet’s Flying Academy and on we got. Monkey wasn’t sure about going up high, but once he realised he could control out height he was away. Pilot Monkey at the controls. We queued for Harold’s Heli Tours – the only thing we really queued for all day, but the wobbles kicked in. No problem, let’s go on Diesel’s Locomotion Mayhem instead. We might even get to ride in Mavis. Imagine his delight when we did. Peace and harmony were restored.
Mummy, can we see the little trains now – another favourite. Of course, so back on Thomas we went and then Monkey did his usual trick of running round and round following the trains. He was happy, having fun and he was being lovely company.
Monkey then decided he wanted to see the dinosaurs, no real surprise as he is dinosaur mad these days. But we stopped off at Spencer’s Play Area. What a difference a year makes – confidence, independent, he was away. It was wonderful to watch.
Monkey then came down the shute! This may sound like a totally normal thing that all children do, but not Monkey. It’s hard enough to get him to go down a slide. He had never gone down a shute before. He was giggling and just went back up and came down again and again. Then he started coming down on his tummy. It was wonderful, my son, the action kid! Who would ever have thought we’d see the day. Bless him.
I’m ready for some dinosaur hunting now Mummy!
He was in his element, asking me questions, hunting down his beloved dinosaurs.
We’d had a truly lovely day together. Me and my son, my nearly 5-year-old school boy who is never-ceasing to surprise me in good ways these days! He’s been making such good progress with his reading, writing and phonics since he started Reception that I wanted to reward him. I told him he could have a train if he’d like one, but no he made a beeline for the Thomas books. We have a full box set thanks to a first birthday present from his godmummy. But he’d spotted some new ones. Ok, you can have 2 books if that’s what you’d really like. Yes please. Happy Mummy. Our house will always find room for more books.
We decided it was time to head home, but as we were about to go The Fat Controllers Show started. A bit of singing and dancing ended a perfect day.
Inset day at Thomasland had been a resounded success. Yes, the car park charge – please get rid of it. It bugs me, it bugs me a lot! Us parents spend so much more inside the park than just the entrance fee, do you really need to charge us on top of that too? The calm before the storm of a week that saw Monkey having a stomach bug and me not getting out of bed for nearly a week with a god awful virus. But that’s a whole different story!