It’s been a funny few weeks without time or opportunity for blogging. Somethings shouldn’t be blogged perhaps, at least not while they are happening. In and among all of that, we’ve twitched our working life and Max has gone back to employment, leaving me to run our business and rather a lot of the childcare for the first time in 7 years. I’ve had a lot of learning to do, some frantic tying off of ends and I’ve not spent nearly enough time with my littlest boy. Yesterday, hottest day on record or no, was the moment to rectify that and be properly present for him and so that was what we did. With school runs still punctuating the day, there isn’t time to go far afield so we just went to our local country park but we did it well.
Of course first we had to set ourselves up for the day. School run, nip into work to do some essential jobs (where to my shame my 3 year old son smacked my employees bum as she bent over and said “hello cheeky!” *blush*), pop to the shops to buy supplies for a picnic. We’d been asked to review some Petit Filous yoghurt pouches so we hunted them down (conveniently right next to the rest of their range!) and Bene was very excited about these as being your typical 3 year old boy (I think this is a fair generalisation), he’s extremely lazy about eating, picky about eating anything with an overt appearance of being healthy, constantly require food thrills in the form of new and different and perpetually hungry. Yoghurt in a sucky bottle ticked several boxes in one go 😆
We also stopped off for new shoes to take on our day out. There is no end to the joy of pirate shoes.
Then we headed for the park.
It’s parched there just now. We are in the east of the country, so we get less rain than some and the grass already looks like late summer, brown, crunch, curled back tight to the ground. The walk to our favourite spot was like crossing the desert so we hopped from tree shade to tree shade, little islands of cool in the boiling 34C the car was thermometer was showing. He’s such a joy these days, making jokes about being “too hot!” and “tooooo tired!” and squinting up at me with a cheeky glint in his eye when he asked me to carry the bag full of cars he had for the sandpit because it was “tooo hebby!”
We took a detour through the longer grass, “swishy swashy swishy swashy….” – it’s never too hot for a bear hunt and found our own private camping spot.
He went straight for the pouches. Petit Filous is one of only two brands he will eat and being in packaging he still recognised got us over an essential hump. And pouches are good; in fact one of the only ways I can currently get fruit into him is by giving him baby food puree in similar, so it’s a handy method of calorie delivery. While he’s an outdoor boy with a dairy fetish so Calcium and Vitamin D aren’t a problem, it’s a good way of topping up both those essentials in a different type of child.
Approval. He drank two straight down, plus juice, grapes and a bar. (Also, can I just mention he managed to sneak some Jaffa Cakes into the shopping trolley and came out with new shoes and a new hat I hadn’t intended to buy. I’m deeply out of practice at taking toddler shopping with me. 🙄 ) He liked how easy it was to get everything out and could roll it up to finish it himself. The only down side was that the packaging is quite thin, probably so it cools quickly, so we had a couple of early ‘squeeze eruptions’ but he got the hang of it fine. It does mean if you take them out you might want to wrap them with an icepack, so they don’t warm up too fast but as a speedy and tasty delivery of food, just perfect. He loves all the flavours we got – strawberry, raspberry and apricot.
And then on to the the main attraction. Our park – Ferry Meadows – Ha recently upgraded the play areas and we now have a gorgeous young kids areas with tree trunks, water features and sand.
We never really get much further than this bit and the slide. Some cheap trucks and cars to plough, rake, and make tracks for. Sticks to flatten out a racecourse – sticks for EVERYTHING to be honest – and time just sitting close together and talking. He’s great company. I needed to be present in his life a little more, to sit and watch and enjoy and love him. I’m trying to use this change in our life pattern as an opportunity to reset and set up some new habits that are more like what I had planned for him. It was perfect.
All cars must go down the slide. It’s important and the accompanying parent must sit on the slope at the top (handily in the shade of a tree) and be 100% focused on the sliding. Perfect. He’s very good at entirely engaging his pet parent.
We came home as it clouded over and had a second picnic curled up on the sofa and a third in the garden later on in the day as the afternoon sweltered to it’s conclusion. I discovered my 3 year old boy can play with a large syringe and a bucket of water for 4 hours without stopping (except for more picnic).
I call that impressive. And watching him was just what I needed.
Disclosure: our Petit Filous yoghurt pouches were sent to us for review. Opinions are my own.