I just want to show you a little bit of what sort of a day this has been.
Cold, basically. And wet. And grey and somewhat glorious. With the frog at work all day, the spud and I went out in the rain, foolishly, me with the desire to run him into some semblance of exhaustion and he with the desire to ride his scooter and throw himself into the park at full throttle.
We started in the playground where he abandoned his scooter. The slide was too wet even for him so we proceeded to the one-o-clock club where he rode the hell out of anything with wheels for 10 minutes; but we had to leave a little sharpish when he got protective of his rights to the wagon.
Then I carried his scooter to the duck pond where, due to it being a freezing cold rainy day, the ducks hadn't had a hand-out in living memory and therefore swarmed the spud's proffered crumbs. Hungry young crows muscled swiftly in on our bread action and for a moment it was very Hitchcockian - but by the time my superior mothering instincts had kicked in and I had got out the camera, the bread had been consumed and my son was gaily scudding about the flock with his arms at full mast.
The crows retreated.
This, however was by no means the end of the sojourn, despite the increasing rain. Next, I followed behind him (carrying his scooter) into the walled garden where we spent time sitting on various sheltered benches and walking around all the paths and patting rogue dogs and jumping over things a lot. When I stopped clapping at every jump, the spud walked up and grabbed one of my hands in each of his and clapped my hands for me.
Then, I tried to get him home, but instead he demanded that we go to the paddling pool - the sort of demanding that involves no screaming or shouting or tantrums but rather the sound of little wellie boots on tarmac, running the wrong way. It was belting down and the drain in the centre was gulping water - luckily leaving a few messy puddles around its lip for some handy stomping.
By this time I had been carrying his scooter for nearly an hour and was soaking wet, cold and thinking hungrily of a cup of tea.
I picked him up to carry him home but he struggled down and ran up the hill to the long way home. We picked up some leaves and he said the word 'yellow' and 'reaves' and finally asked for his scooter. He scooted merrily up the hill and then along until he was distracted by some absolutely bonkers people playing tennis, the yellow balls like emergency flares against the sky. Then he ran off across the grass in the general direction of the BMX bike track, at which point I picked him (and his scooter) firmly up and carried him the rest of the way home, warming his icy little hands against my cheeks singing 'It's raining it's pouring' while he giggled and pretended to snore against my shoulder.
We had hot chocolate while our coats steamed on the radiators. We took off our socks and sat on the sofa making 'mmmm' noises and grinning at each other and then the spud went for a nap and I made pumpkin cookies. Later, he had some friends over, still in their pyjamas having had a rainy day inside; and they ran amok and devoured mountains of baking while the cat cowered and their parents drank tea and kept a low profile.
If I tell you that he went to sleep like a stone, I hardly think you'll be surprised.
I rather hope it rains again tomorrow.