Being a Mum with two toddlers (at either end of the toddler spectrum and each managing spectacular tantrums and chaos when they feel the urge!) I sometimes have to grit my teeth and bear the weekend as best as I can; my husband wonders aloud why the house is so messy, Ben demands just one more sweetie / cake / pear, Ciaran arches his back and shrieks like a possessed child and as for eating out… well sometimes the food is nice but I spend most of my meal time helping Ciaran and encouraging Ben to sit at the table and not run off. A sunny Saturday when I honestly enjoy playing the kids’ silly games is something to be cherished.
So we woke up on Saturday to glorious weather and two happy children. When Ciaran napped I tried to sit down and plough through some minutes, but the sight of Ben sitting at his table in the garden with play doh was too tempting. Once Ben got bored of play doh he played with his tunnel and tent set (you know a couple of tiny tents on either side of a tunnel) and he wanted Mummy to have a go too.
Well – what could I do. Whilst Chris got out of the sun and got Ciaran up from his nap I wriggled myself into the first tent on my hands and knees. I couldn’t crawl through the tunnel like Ben so after pausing with my rear poking out of the tent I dropped onto my stomach and made my way through the tunnel before executing a nifty 90 degree turn to come out of the tent at the other end.
This herculean effort was appreciated by Ben and I had to repeat it (this time to with my husband’s witty commentary and helpful pelting of soft balls on my amply padded behind) and then it was his turn. Ben went first to show his Dad how easy it was. A few minutes later my husband was wedged into the tunnel trying to get out of the tent at the other end and completely stuck. Eventually with much kicking of legs he managed to escape the tent and tunnel and agreed that we would treat the kids to a McDonald’s.
This is a rare treat for the boys. Less than once every other month and often bestowed for no reason other than both of us craving something naughty for lunch and wanting to see Ben’s excited face around a cheeseburger.
A short trip to Baldock services (what – you don’t have Saturday trips to a service station in your family?) later and everyone was sat down. Cheeseburger, chips and fruit shoot for Ben, Chicken nuggets, chips and his first ever fruit shoot for Ciaran and large meals for Chris and I were quickly demolished. Ben and I popped to the Marks and Spencer’s Simply Food to get provisions for our walk (water bottles, dried fruit and fruit pastilles). Ben was behaving perfectly, smiling and talking to people in the line, explaining that babies couldn’t eat sweets but a big boy (like him) could.
Then off to Rowney Warren for a chance to walk in different woods to ones on our door step. Ben collected pine cones for Ciaran to look at and tried to play wood cricket with Chris (sticks as bats, pine cones as balls – not a huge success) before settling to the time-honoured game of fencing with sticks and rubbing his hands in the dusty dirt.
A quick nappy change in the boot of the car for Ciaran while Ben sat looking at spiders with his Daddy, eating sweets and drinking water from the bottle and then we headed back home to all play in the garden and eat mini milk lollies.
Both boys behaved brilliantly all day, ate everything they were given and were lovely happy children who played happily in the sun. At the end of the day Chris and I were tired from chasing the kids around the woods and garden but proud of our two lovely children.