Half term tricks and treats 

It’s halfway through the school term so the teachers have decided to take a well earned break and hand our delightful offspring back to us to look after ourselves for a week. Well, six days if you take the Inset day into account (what are they anyway?) Any school holiday brings me out in a cold sweat because it’s tricky enough to entertain an inattentive, energetic four year old boy for the weekend. But a week is manageable, unlike the six weeks of school holidays which most definitely did not fly by. 

So far this week my son has spent two days and nights with my mum having some bonding time and keeping her busy. Mostly by turning her home upside down and shouting demands at her for a full 48 hours (such happy times). We’ve also checked out some of the local attractions offering ‘special’ Halloween activities for kids. As per usual both of them seemed to be more about me trying to give my son a pleasant day out, than the ungrateful little monster actually enjoying himself.

First day out was to New Tredegar House, a stunning old country home near Newport. They put on a pretty good traditional Christmas shenanigans last year so we gave it a go. It was £2 to park plus £8 entry. Of course my son didn’t give a shit about the house, or grounds, apart from two very climbable trees. He just wanted to decorate a Halloween biscuit. We couldn’t find where they were, but managed to explore a great deal of the house looking for them. Even the staff toilets after the boy announced he needed a wee in the house after I’d just struggled up ten steps with the baby’s pushchair, and the loos were back by the car park. Then I was told that pushchairs weren’t allowed in the house. Faced with the choice of letting a strange man escort my little boy to the toilet without me, or leaving the baby and pushchair with his colleague, I chose to abandon the baby and hope for the best. After all, at least he was surrounded by other people in a public place. And had a rusk.

We found the biscuit decorating eventually. We’d walked past it at the beginning. Fucking typical. The biscuit was decidedly average for £10, and I felt like it would have been better to just buy a pack of them from the supermarket and stay at home. 

It’s a lovely place to visit if you’ve got more time and an accommodating youngster. There’s a play area next to the house and huge grounds to walk your dog in. A tearoom is also on site which sells some pretty decent cakes, but I’m not sure it’s always open so best take a back up snack with you if you’re always hungry like I am.



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