Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mission Impossible...hunting dinosaurs in Suffolk

It was 6 o'clock in the morning and in the last faint moments of darkness, two little voices could be heard plotting...

"I'll bang him with the balloon" said one.
"No, switch on the light" said the other.
"That won't work" reinforced the first.
"Pull off the duvet" insisted the second.
"We could pull 'em off the bed" he continued.
"...daddy, then mummy...!"
"Yes...." they squealed in unison.

...and that's how the morning began, being woken up by the plotting of a 3 year old and (almost) 6 year old over the downfall of us oldies. We just lay in bed quietly sniggering at the array of suggestions and being proudly impressed at the developing strategy, but clutching tightly at the duvet in anticipation.

What caused such excitement at this early time was the promise of a much awaited trip to the Dinosaur Adventure Park in Norfolk. However, with one glance out of the window, backed up with a look at the weather forecast, this adventurer was getting prepared to disappoint. There was no way I was going to venture up the A11 in the flurry of wind and rain. It was time to hatch a plan!

And then the phone rang...It was Dorothy...armed with the same weather forecast, the same entertainment issues and a list of indoor activities already researched and fully exhausted...and now, like me, clutching at the last and shortest of straws...trapped indoors with children who are bored, bored, bored.

"Hmm" I pondered,
"How do you fancy a dinosaur hunt?"
"In this weather?" she exclaimed.
"Yes" I insisted
"In the woods." I finished.

I don't know how I managed to convince Dorothy that a morning in the woods, hunting for dinosaurs in the wind and the rain, seemed an attractive idea. Being more into tea-rooms than camp-fire living (yes she did once stay in a hotel at Glastonbury), I almost fell off my chair when she accepted the invitation. I was grateful for the company because it did make a dinosaur hunt feasible and consequently breaking the news about the Dino Park to the two little insurgents was now a lot easier.

So with a picnic packed, kagouls safely on and some dinosaurs hidden in my bag, it was time to drive off to Bradfield the wind...and the rain.

With the wellies on, we trekked along the path to find a safe sheltered spot for our picnic...and there at our chosen location, I unpacked what I can only describe as my piece de la resistance...our camouflaged play-tent! And so it was, our very own camp in the middle of our private dinosaur playworld.

While the kids were tucking into their picnic in the comfort of the tent, I discreetly sloped off to hide the plastic dinosaur props. Shortly afterwards, the three intrepid explorers were off on their hunt, accompanied by the sound of twigs snapping underfoot and dinosaur impressions from Dorothy, which more resembled the cries of a cow in labour rather than any Jurassic creature. After peering around trees and scrambling through ferns, they finally returned to camp with their booty...pockets full of little dinosaurs whose only fate was to be roasted on an imaginary camp fire.

I love it when a plan comes together, especially when it's spontaneous, requires little effort and is so much fun....oh yes, and saves me £25 on entrance fees to a commercial destination...not to mention the treats and souvenirs.

After a fun time with Dorothy and the dinosaurs, I am now up for organising a dino-fest, this time in the woods of Moreton Hall where all our friends can gather for a great day out. Anyone interested, let me know. Just roar in my direction and I'll sign you up.


picklesmum said...

Wow! You have such good ideas. A rainy day here was spent with a dance mat on the playstation and Sims on the PC. I did have a go on the dance mat though, so I was a little bit adventurous!

Em said...

What good ideas you have! I am not that creative, well yet havent had the need to be!

21st Century Mummy said...

Hi picklesmum & me, it was dinosaurs or refereeing fights at home. So always thinking about the element of surprise helps my sanity :-D