Monday, 29 July 2013

Bringing up baby: Hamilton Gardens, with child

We had a brilliant day, and mostly everybody stayed happy.

  • Getting out of the house on time,
  • Tilly staying awake the whole 1.5hr it took us to arrive there, A very nice weather day, Seeing lots of interesting things with Tilly, Tilly's interest.

Tilly's highlights:
  • "Dragon Turtle".

I dressed Tilly in his going-out gear, complete with his much-despised vest (it covers up the dog picture on his t-shirt), which he acquiesced to nicely enough, with the promise he could take it off once we arrived at Hamilton Gardens.

Mummy and Daddy took longer to get ready, what with me wanting to pack a snack-box for three people, just in case we got hungry before the designated lunch break.

We eventually got out, and I'd brought what I though was necessary, including our sun hats.

Onwards on the motorway we travelled. I thought I had to keep Tilly I interested in the journey,so we pointed out the highlights when we thought he could see them from his car seat.

"Look, Tilly! Cows!"
"Black cows!"
"Brown cows."
Not bothering to mention any more cows, as even he had stopped being excited.

We did see some swans in a field, and a couple of horses, however we whizzed by so fast Tilly probably couldn't see them unless he'd been looking out for them.

"Waikato River!"

The kauri rickets I the car park has grown taller, which is a good thing.

Koala bear (new addition to Tilly's menagerie since Aunty returned from Australia) was his companion of choice, despite our objections. It was supposed to be a nice family day, so we acquiesced to his decision despite my misgivings.

Dad and son strolled around Turtle Lake, I visited the latrine. It has gone upmarket since we last visited. For the better. There's even a Dyson hand-dryer, Mark II. [Aside: a couple of drawbacks - too noisy, scaring babies and small kids; bigger small kids can't reach in to dry their hands.]

I caught up with the family, and Tilly informed me they had been watching "fantail". We continued the stroll, and saw another fantail and some other bird.

Tilly wanted to hunt for the flighty fantail. We dissuaded him, saying the fantail would find us after it had gotten it's lunch.

I went to the Information Centre and got yet another map. Realising that we no longer had the luxury of faffing about with map reading, I asked the nice lady to circle our places of interest:
  • Italian garden,
  • Indian garden
  • Sustainable garden,
  • Playground.

Buoyed, we set forth.

Tilly was suitably impressed by the wolf and two babies statue (Romulus and Remus, and adoptive mum).

He was less sanguine about departing widely from his stroller. A real hullabaloo.

We departed the Italian garden, parental units chastened and wiser.
Indian garden was a big hit, and Tilly got out to play with the small fountain burbling by the river.

He loosened up enough to play with mum and dad.

He even played with pushing his stroller.
English garden was apparently interesting to Tilly, although there wasn't much as the lawn was herbicided and fungicided.
Japanese garden was all right. Tilly liked it enough to want to explore the Shinto rock garden of contemplation.
Chinese garden was good. Twelve large orange goldfishes, dad pushing the stroller uphill up the shallow steps. The Dragon Turtle. Tilly was very impressed. I was too slow to take a photo of his first encounter. Sigh. On the other side of the path, Tilly pointed out "butterfly". As we left the area, mum and dad saw the butterfly.
Back to the entrance/exit area. Tilly toddled off into the English garden again, pursued by Daddy.

I savoured a yoghurt coated rice cake. I was famished, and ready for a spot of lunch.
Onwards we trouped. We saw the Kitchen garden, and the crop garden. I never can recognise oats. It looks like grass.
To the Sustainable Garden.

It was fascinating enough, with it's chicken coop and chickens. I saw a free range mouse.

The garden was cramped and narrow, and when I tried to remove the stroller to a more open area, Tilly became insecure.

Parental unit not wise enough.
We diverted to the Tudor garden, with its dragons, unicorn, and gryphon.
Gotta be lunchtime. Had lunch.

Tilly enjoyed himself quite a lot, climbing over Daddy.

We ended the session with Tilly sitting contentedly in his stroller, watching Turtle Lake, chatting to me. It was so nice.
We found Daddy, and Daddy found the playground. Daddy and Tilly played while I sat in the sunshine and watched their leisure pleasure.
Husband drove us home. What a hero.
On Sunday, preparing to go out, Tilly (after he had distributed the sun hats) said, "Dragon Turtle?"

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