I picked up Chance 30 minutes early at 9.30am on Friday, which was the start of the week I have them while Mel is away.  Friday was the first day, and I starte dby taking Chance to Costa.  Unfortunately the cute waitress wasn’t there, and so my devious plan of "use cute child to attract her attention and show what a wonderful daddy I am" failed to materialise.

Chance seemed to enjoy himself. I bought him a chocolate muffin and a milk, but when I asked him to share his muffin he replied quite clearly "No, you have a coffee!"  He was right, though I’m still not convinced it was a completely valid argument.

After taking a phone call from Tasha, who is working in Chelmsford at the moment, we met up with her and decided to vist Starbucks (better coffee, though less attractive employees.  Unless you go to the one at the opposite end of the High Street, which has a barista who looks a little bit like a more attractive version of Duffy).  

On walking through the front door I caught the eye of one of the mums from the school who was just leaving.  She smiled and said hello, and I semi-waved back as she breezed past.

"Dude," said Tasha, "when the regulars in Starbucks say hello to you, it’s a sign that you spend too much time here!"

Cheeky cow.

The rest of the day was spent watching Chance play with his train set indoors, before picking the kids up from school at 3pm.  

Yesterday we spent all afternoon in Maldon, meeting Lisa at 12.30pm by the pirate ship climbing frame in the park.  It had been cloudy and overcast all day, so we hadn’t taken sun cream or anything remotely sun-related.  Obviously no sooner had we got to Maldon, the clouds parted and we had glorious sunshine for the entire three hours we stayed in the park.

Fortunately Lisa’s three year old, Brodie, is as fair as my lot, so Lisa had a supply of sun cream to hand.  Hindsight, however, is a wonderful thing, and I wish that as we’d been liberally applying it to each of the five kids I wish I’d have remembered to apply to myself.  I’m sitting here now with a bright red face, neck and arms, and am dreading the morning shower which I know will hurt like Hell.  Hopefully I’ll remember next tume, though I did say that last time!

After the park we went to Monkey Puzzle, just down the road from where we’d been, which is an indoor activity centre.  It cost £21 to get my lot in, which is obscene, but we were there for a couple of hours which the kids enjoyed.

We had a bit of a scare while we were there.  The complex is enclosed, so that kids can go and wander and not get lost.  The only way out is through the front door which is always staffed, or through the fire exits.

I hadn’t seen Chance for about thirty minutes, assuming that he was with his sisters or playing in the infants only ball pit which he is wont to do.  Suddenly all the girls were back at the table and none of them knew where Chance was.  I enlisted their help to have a look for him, and spent five minutes scouring the complex looking for him, to no avail.  

I’d been fairly calm up to that point as I know that he couldn’t have gotten out.  There was one place left to try, which was a long shot but was the only place I hadn’t looked.  There was a birthday party going on when we had arrived, which had parentce moved to a party room where they serve food and cake.  I strolled through to the back and asked the first parent I saw whether she’d seen Chance.

"Is he about 3?" she asked, to which I nodded, "I think he’s through there." She said, pointing to the party room.  I went through and there he was, sitting in the party, with a plate of food in front of him.

"Have you got an extra kid in here?" I asked, smiling and looking at Chance.

It turns out that they thought he was the brother of one of the kids that was at the party, and that he’d been there for twenty minutes or so.  I mumbled an apology and took him back.  Just goes to show that he has no shyness, I guess! 

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