After a long and tiring week it was great to wake up this morning and get told to go back to bed for a lie-in. Then, when I finally did emerge blinking into the living room I was greeted with a rousing version of 'Happy Birthday' while a bemused toddler following instructions dragged a bag full of chocolates in my general direction and handed me a card complete with his own 'handwriting'. (I later discovered that this endeavour had resulted in pen on his stomach, on the floor and on the kitchen cabinet. But still. Seriously lovely.)
My lie-in kind of put pay to any original day-trip plans, so we decided to stay close to home and run around at The Horniman Museum. And run around we did. Samuel hurtled through the creepy bird taxidermy section and past the eery cabinets packed with primate skeletons, stopping only briefly to open a fire exit and, later, grab a flea-bitten stuffed badger. It's terrifically Victorian and gothic in there.
Outside he was let loose around the sprawling gardens where he scrambled up and down gravel hills absolutely fearlessly. He clocked the huge outdoor xylophones and clonked them to his heart's content while I sat on a bench, taking in the fresh air, taking in the Dick Whittington-style views of London, taking in the moment.
We got to the cafe just before crazed lunchtime rush and nabbed a table in the sun. Samuel, distracted by pigeons below and aeroplanes above, happily scoffed his lunch without a single tantrum and let us do the same. Total birthday luxury.
Before we left we went to check out the mini farm they have there. Samuel laughed his head off at the goat (he always laughs at goats - toddlers are odd) and waved hello to every single animal. Then, when he accidentally operated the hand dryer in the hand-washing area and burst into terrified floods of tears, we knew that it was time to go. But what a top birthday with my boys.