It’s a Hoot Hoot at Paultons Park

Posted on July 14, 2011
To get away from the pressures of being a top class cricket manager and all the political scandals that are going on at the moment, I went off on a trip with my youngest son to a sunny Paultons Park today?. It actually turned out to be quite a poignant one, as now he has just turned thirteen, it will probably be the last time I visit the place, unless of course I am still on the planet when my son’s have children of their own. I have been visiting Paultons with my children for over a decade, so leaving it for the last time was like closing another little chapter in our lives. I have over the years grown really fond of the place with it’s fun rides, pleasant staff, impeccably clean gardens and picnic areas. However, we have to face up to facts, Peppa Pig World just didn’t do it for us in the way it did for the ecstatic five year olds running around like all their Christmases had come at once. If you have a small child I promise you this, it is a pretty impressive way to entertain them.
Two things dawned on me at Paultons Park today. Firstly, I couldn’t believe how young the people who have kids are these days are, there were incredibly youthful parents with toddlers everywhere. Sadly, the second thing to dawn on me was that actually, they were no younger than me when I had small children, in fact they weren’t particularly young parents at all, it is just that I am now middle aged one with teenagers. Fuck, where did the time go? Apart from some healthy looking Grandparents who are destroying the national pension pot, I was one of the oldest people there! I am no longer a young buoyant father with a spring in my step, I am a forty something who squints his eyes in attempt to read the site map and says words like ooooohhyaahbugger when bending down to get on an innocuous ride that does strange things to my lower bowels and the area just above my testicles (not that you wanted to know that). I even had a little snooze after our mid afternoon picnic for God’s sake!
However, before you get too depressed, it is not all bad news, because one thing is for sure, having toddlers is a young man’s game. Everywhere I looked there was stress in the air, with parents perpetually chasing their wandering offspring, wiping ice cream off them, consoling them, nursing head injuries from aimless walks in to picnic tables and in some cases simply wishing they would just shut the fuck up for five minutes. There must have been a switch in my brain that flicked to off at some point, because I had actually forgotten that despite their cuteness, toddlers can be an A1, 24 carat, pain the arse, no matter how wonderful the parents claim to be. Seeing one child going in to near hysteria as her desperately patient Mother prised her away from a “Wiggleworld” ride made me eternally grateful to my girlfriend (Diane) who would rather have a lesbian affair with Anne Widdecombe than have a child with me. We have both done our bit for the population thank you.
If I am honest, I felt a right smug bastard marching confidently around with my well behaved thirteen year old. Well I did for a while, but then he rolled back the years with a nostalgic tantrum after I holed a glorious eight foot putt to beat him at crazy golf. I think his words were “Dad, you’re not Rory fucking Mcilroy.” A nice addition to the vocabulary of the fast learning three year old behind us I thought and enough to get us a few perfectly justified filthy looks from young parents around us. Perhaps I shouldn’t have punched the air as if I had just won the British Open, but you should have seen it, it was a bloody good putt, coming off the back wall and dropping in for a sumptuous Birdie two. He is a good boy my son, but sadly he has inherited a deficient gene from me that makes him a shocking loser and a rather punchable winner.
Still, all in all, despite realising I am now a middle aged parent rather than a young one, I had a great day out at what has been one of our favourite places to visit over the years. Time moves on and the next chapter now starts, I guess it is one that revolves around waking up screaming in the night after nightmares revolving around flunked exams, teenage pregnancies, alcohol and soft drugs. Why the Hell any of us would want to be a parent is anyone’s guess, I am beginning to wonder when the worrying stops, if it ever does at all?
Still, I’m no old fogey yet, I remain young at heart. Right now I’m sat in my pyjamas in an empty house screaming abuse at Newsnight with a bottle of Old Thumper in my hand!
I haven’t wet myself yet though!

1 Reply to "It's a Hoot Hoot at Paultons Park"

  • Trevor and Amy
    July 15, 2011 (2:55 am)

    Great post Bob. As a forty something with 2 toddlers I'm certainly not a young parent with the buoyant spring in his step (I often wish I was). I envy you your afternoon nap (something which I'm unlikely to be able to get away with for at least another 5 years). Both our kids are capable of incredible tantrums. I'm sure I was never like that with my parents (but then again I probably was).

    Excellent description of your golf antics. Love it.

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