Some days, afternoons stretch before me like an empty abyss. All I can see are monotonous hours needing to be filled, as I struggle for ideas to entertain my two year old. Before Christmas, my work schedule often saw me exhausted, counting down the hours until bedtime. I’m ashamed to admit this.
It’s not been like that recently. Feeling less tired and myself again, I’ve enjoyed the time spent with my feisty little girl. She makes me laugh – proper big belly laughs. Today was one such day. And it was mainly because of a nature trail for toddlers. Or, to be exact, my toddler.
Armed with nothing more than a bag, a torch, a list and a crayon, we set off to find some “treasure”. (It should be noted that nature trails are a great way to con gullible toddlers into thinking sticks and leaves etc are actual treasure. There’s only so long they’ll be happy to rummage around for something that’s not an iPad or the latest One Direction album.)
If you look really carefully in the photograph above, you’ll see there are no pebbles. Not one. Nada. We looked everywhere for a stone or pebble and eventually Frog spotted one, nestled amongst all the other
stones and pebbles “bits of ground”. She was ecstatic. It went straight in the bag for treasure.
This is where patience set in and I had to quell my inner In A Rush Mum. We had nowhere to go and nowhere to be. I reminded myself I could simply watch her search the bushes of leaves for that *perfect* leaf. Gradually, I felt myself begin to relax as I succumbed to the peace of a tantrum-free zone.
I even felt a little thrill of excitement as we spotted an empty snail shell by the side of the path. (When you get out as little as I do, it’s the small things, OK?)
Arriving home, we unpacked our bounty. Frog inevitably lost interest and demanded we get out the play-dough, but a hot water bottle and some warm milk on the sofa put that idea out of mind for at least, oh, ten minutes.
Linking up to The Sunday Showcase at Here Come The Girls and Country Kids at Coombe Mill.