Today, is my busiest day of the week. I work, running the parent/carer & toddler group, with my team, and I am there, from 930am until 1pm, having done a school run and dropped Small Boy off at his child-minder (he doesn’t enjoy the large, noisy and busy group, and finds it incredibly stressful, now we know his ears and sensory issues as a result of his ear infections, makes him feel this way, we have found he is happier in a smaller, home environment for a few hours, and he loves being at the child-minders home, so it works well for both of us)
After I have finished work, and we have tidied up the toys and cleaned everything away, I head home, I tend to do any admin that needs to be done, planning, shopping, printing, and then it is time to collect Big Girl from school. We normally head home, I feed her supper and then we go and collect Small Boy and come home and do the bedtime routine.
Today, we broke from routine. I decided that we needed some time out. I collected Big Girl from school and we wandered up to Ham Common, close to where we live, and went to check on the swans, who were nesting 5 eggs. We were delighted to find that 3 babies had hatched, and were paddling about in the water on the pond, with their proud parents. I don’t know how the story of the Ugly Duckling came about, because I think that cygnets are very cute, and pretty and not at all ugly when compared to their duckling counterparts.
So, we sat, and ate ice lollies, in the baking sunshine, watching the swans, and chatting about all sorts of abstract things. “Why do swans lay eggs and not have real babies?”, “why do we have hair on our heads?” “how do ice lollies stay frozen and why do they melt?” “how do ducks swim?” You know, random things that curious 6 year olds want to know, and I tried to answer to the best of ability.
We then meandered slowly, to pick up Small Boy, collecting an ice lolly for him, along the way (his sister pointed out that it was only fair, as she had one) and when we got home, Big Girl had supper, then there were demands to play games, with some new toys that Great Aunty Jill had sent and requests to watch a movie. I normally stand firm, and insist on school night bedtime routines, so they are in bed at sensible times and get enough sleep, but I just decided to wing it, and we constructed Marble Runs and when Daddy came home, he joined in, and then watched The Princess Diaries. They were in bed later than usual, and I know will probably be a bit tired, tomorrow, and getting up and out the door may be a little painful and require my patience and a bit more coffee for me, but you know what? It was fun, and it was worth it, and spending time with them, and letting routine and plans go out of the window, was good for me, and for them. I am not a spontaneous person, I like my routines and my day to be orderly, but today, simple and non routine were the answer.