Do you ever have days where you just can’t wait until bedtime?
I had a week like that recently. As soon as daylight pierced my eyelids it was all I could do not to dive back under the duvet. I was tired, overwhelmed by a few things and a bit stressed. My 3 year old was having tantrums and, well, it was just one of those weeks.
On the Sunday evening I sighed a sigh of resignation as I mentally prepared for the week ahead, expecting more tantrums and exhaustion. Rather than start the week with a feeling of doom, I decided to write a list. I’m good at lists. They help me order my brain and have a calming effect.
For this list I used felt tips and little pictures. It was titled: THINGS WE WILL DO THIS WEEK.
When Frog woke up the following morning we trundled downstairs (after the usual squeaks of “I don’t want to go to pre-school, I going to watch CBeebies all day!”) and found the list, stuck to the living room door. I told Frog that it had details of things we would do that week. CBeebies was not on the list.
For Thursday, I had ambitiously planned a trip to the park AND a nature trail. My advice to you if you do your own list, by the way, is to aim small. When Thursday rolled around we ditched the park and headed straight home after pre-school. Once there, we collected a bucket and only paused to put on our wellies. We set off in the opposite direction and, what do you know, we found open countryside at the end of the road.
We’ve never had cause to venture to the end of this road before, as town is in the opposite direction. As we walked down the lane and found an old stile leading onto a public footpath I couldn’t help but smile.
This place had been waiting for us all along.
We found a stream and jumped in it. We collected different shaped leaves, acorns and the odd twig, squirrelling it all away in the bucket. We squelched in mud and ran and… there were no tantrums. Not one.
At bedtime that night, Frog turned to me and said, “Can we go back to the big field soon Mummy?”
We’re going back this week.