Saturday, June 30, 2007

Let loose at The Trafford Centre

Today we met up with Hayley's brothers David and Nigel plus families (too numerous to list) at the Trafford Centre. To give Hayley more time to catch up with them I took Oliver off for a walk around the food court, a huge central area with numerous fast food outlets around its perimeter.

The layout consists of wooden walkways with ramps up to raised seating areas in the centre. Oliver absolutely loved these ramps. Ha would run up and down one about 10 times until, having lulled me into a false sense of security, he would suddenly head off into the seating areas through tiny gaps leaving his Dad to hot-tail after him, excusing himself as he squeezed past people trying to enjoy their KFCs (not an easy task in itself I imagine).

I would then coral him to another area to entertain, irritate or just bemuse another group of diners. Actually no-one seemed irritated. He tends to produce a lot smiles and yesterday was no exception. His enjoyment of such a simple pleasure as running free and exploring was infectious. Every now and then someone would wave to him or indulge him in a game of peekaboo and he was always ready to partake.

On the way home in the car he spotted Hayley and I eating Extra Strong Mints. "Choc choc", came the comment from the back seat. Guiltily I tried to tell him it was for grown-ups, but then decided to let him sample a very small piece. He looked it over for a while before finally licking it. His face after tasing it was an absolute picture. It gradually broke out into a big mischievous, conspiratorial smile. I'll never forget it.