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Posts Tagged ‘Tatton Park’

My baby doesn’t like to do things by the book. There’s no second-guessing him. He was born three weeks early. From week one, he refused lie passive like a babe in arms, preferring to be held upright so that he could peer over my shoulder. When his peers were still gumming about in their cots, sleeping the untroubled sleep of toothless babes, Milo was busy growing a set of eight gnashers. He kept us up for three weeks solid when the first two came through, and then out popped another six teeth almost unnoticed.

While babies his age were concentrating on rolling over and sitting up, Milo was dragging himself around on his belly. Ah-ha, I thought, he’ll be crawling soon. But as others made unsteady progress from tummy onto all fours and then onto self-propelled motion, Milo was having none of it. I’m no rug-rat, thought Milo, look, I’ve got two wonderfully fat feet and by god I’m going to use them.

Two weekends ago we all went to Tatton Park: one set of grandparents, plus mum, dad and Milo. It’s chilly but bright and we’re wandering around the gardens, stumbling across random artworks (part of the Tatton Park Biennial) and thinking about the man-size slices of cake we’ll eat in the café later. Milo, usually content to be carried or wheeled about, wriggles, twists and grumps.

I plonk him on the ground, letting him stand while he holds my hands. And then he’s off: tottering among the flowerbeds, through the rose garden, past a folly and towards a lake. He has no shoes but that’s not stopping him. He has a huge grin on his face, a look-at-me-I’m-bloody-well-walking smile. He is triumphant.

As I hold his hands, as my back complains and my shoulders ache from being bent double, I console myself with the thought that all this exercise will at least wear him out. Hopefully, foolishly, I wonder if it might even encourage him to sleep through.

Later, at 4am, Milo wakes up. Hmmm, he muses, I wonder if I can get Mum to help me walk from one end of the cot to the other? Let’s see: wah-wah-waaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Ratings. Babychanging facilities: Yes. Cafe: Yes, though the food isn’t great. Buggy-friendly? Yes. Staff: Friendly. Cost: £4 to park, £10 family ticket for the gardens, god only knows how much to go into the house (by the time we’d been fleeced in the crappy café we were skint). Worth it? Beautiful park and grounds but pricey. Take your own picnic.

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