For all that James loves Pokémon and Mario, watching videos on YouTube and playing indoors with his toys, he’s never happier than when he’s outside. And so when he expressed  a wish this afternoon to go to the park, we knew he (and we) would have a great time. We managed to find a knackered old football in Mel’s parents’ garage, and enjoyed a kickabout on the huge grassy area next to the car park – during which Mel cynically tripped James when he was  trying to dribble the ball away from her. I waved an imaginary yellow card in her direction as James clambered back to his feet (unhurt, obviously; it wasn’t that bad a challenge) and we carried on, running around and laughing together.

It helped that the weather was lovely. While we watched City-Spurs fight out an entertaining goalless draw in almost torrential rain at White Hart Lane, the sun was blazing away in Bruntwood Park.

Naturally, we found a bit of time to see the ducks, though they were as lazy as usual, with James’s favourite – the red-crested pochard – noticeable by its absence. He did, however, spot a female, impressing a passing family by loudly announcing “there’s just one female red-crested pochard, the males must have all gone on their holidays”.

The other brilliant thing about our visit to the park was that James ran around so much, he completely tired himself out, meaning he went to bed without any kind of fuss, and drifted off to sleep within seconds of his head hitting the pillow.

And given the energies we expended chasing our ever-active son about the place, it’s likely that in a couple of hours’ time we’ll do exactly the same.


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