Lesley caught up withe the two overexcited boys near the entrance to the park, there they were both sat panting, out of breath from the exertion of running the length of the car park.
“I won mum!” Jack squealed, bouncing on the spot. “Come on, can we go in now?”
Lesley smiled at his obvious glee. “Yes, come on guys, let’s get in the queue and get your wristbands sorted. Then I think a quick toilet stop for us all, we can fill our water bottles and then it’s over to you, we can do whatever you both want today.”
Both boys whooped with joy and followed her over to the back of the long queue which snaked it’s way around the reception area, packed full of hyperactive children, moody looking teenagers who’d clearly been dragged along on a family day out they really didn’t want to be part of, and weary looking parents who looked like they were already counting down the seconds until they could go home…or until the bar opened!
“Erm, Mrs Daniels, do you know how much longer we will have to wait?” Tom had tugged at her arm has he asked the question, and she noticed he looked quite uncomfortable, presuming this was from standing still for so long.
“It shouldn’t be long now Tom, the queue is moving steadily and I think most people are in quite large groups. Don’t worry, I know it’s boring having to stand here. Tell you what, why don’t you and Jack go and have a look at the big park map over there and plan where you’d like to go first?”
Jack had heard this, and immediately grabbed his friends hand and pulled him across the room to the map giddily bouncing around and pointing out all of the fun rides he wanted to go on. Tom, meanwhile, looked distracted, and whilst he really was looking forward to the rides, he was struggling to get excited. The real reason he’d asked how long they’d have to wait wasn’t because he was bored, but because he really needed to go for a wee! He hadn’t been joking in the car when he said that it had nearly come out when laughing, and now he was worried that it was going to come out all over the floor before he could get to the toilet.
He glanced furtively around, but couldn’t see any toilets, nor any signs. There was nothing else for it, he’d have to hang on until they’d paid and gone inside. He really, really hoped he could, that would be far too embarrassing if he didn’t make it.
As the queue inched forwards, Lesley kept a close eye on the two boys, making sure they didn’t wander off. Once they were inside she wouldn’t worry as they’d not be able to leave without an adult, but she didn’t want to lose them before they’d even got their wristbands. Noting Jack’s over-excitement, she smiled. He really was like a toddler still at times, but she was pleased to see him so happy. Tom on the other hand still didn’t look happy, and she noticed that whilst he wasn’t bouncing like Jack he didn’t quite seem able to keep still, and was ‘playing with himself’ a bit more than was normal. A toilet stop once they got through was definitely number 1 on the to-do list she mused, as he writhed some more and crossed his legs.
“Tom” She called, catching his eye and beckoning him back over to her.
Jack was still distracted by the interactive map, pushing buttons to make the different rides and attractions light up, so he didnt hear his Mum calling, nor notice his friend slipping away. Tom practically danced back through the throng of people to where Lesley was stood, and now had both hands firmly planted between his legs.
“Are you ok lovey? We should be able to go through in 5 minutes or so, do you think you can wait that long?” She was conscious of embarrassing him, so didn’t actually mention that he clearly needed the toilet quite badly, but tried to let him know that she knew.
“Mmmmm, I think so? I hope so! I really need a wee Mrs Daniels.” Tom replied in a loud, high pitched voice whilst blushing, and Lesley chuckled. So much for not embarrassing him by letting other people hear his predicament!
“I know you do sweetie. Don’t worry, it won’t be long. As soon as we go through the barrier, you run straight to the loo eh? They’re just to the left on the other side of the desk.”
Tom nodded, and squeezed himself even tighter, holding on with all of his might and even starting to shake a little with the effort. Lesley noticed this, and despite the boys being 7 years old she was suddenly grateful that she’d had the foresight to bring a change of clothes for them. Although she hoped they wouldn’t be needed, as that wouldn’t be a great start to their afternoon out at all.
“Who’s next please?” Called a tired, bored sounding voice from up ahead.
“Ooh, that’s us. Come on Tom, you can make it.”
“JACK! Come on love, we’re going through now. Quick!”
The three moved forward to the cash desk where Lesley asked for 2 children wristbands for the rides, and an observer pass for her as she wasn’t so keen on the rides. She handed over her credit card, and gave Tom an encouraging squeeze on the arm as she heard him whimper next to her.
“Oh, I’m sorry, that payment hasn’t gone through for some reason I’m afraid. Could you bear with me a moment please, I just need to ask my supervisor to take a look, won’t keep you a second.”
Lesley of course agreed, embarrassed that her credit card had been rejected but fairly sure it was a technical issue rather than a problem with the card. Jack carried on impatiently bouncing around, completely oblivious to his friends struggle and just wanting to get on with the important business of playing, and poor Tom was now crying into her side, sure he was going to find himself stood in a puddle at any moment, and mortified by the very thought.
“Just hang on a couple of seconds longer love. It won’t be long, I promise.”5
Audio Version of Chapter