Sunday, 3 April 2016

{The Ordinary Moments 16} #14 'Cherishing the Ordinary Moments'


I've said many times on my blog how I am someone who likes to makes plans and get out of the house with the boys most days. I'm not the most organised person so for the most part, these plans are often decided that morning, or at best, the night before. I'm terrible for planning ahead of time and my calendar is usually empty, not because we don't do things, but because we never really plan far enough ahead of time to write anything down. I've even been known to write stuff in the calendar that we have already done just to make a note of when we've done things, or maybe just so our lives don't look boring retrospectively (I hope it's not just me that does that?!). 


But regardless of how disorganised and last minute our plans are, we do get out most days to do something nice. Although I'm really into crafty and creative things, and my cupboards are full to the brim of crafty materials, glitter and paint, mostly from my days as a teacher, LO right now isn't into the whole craft thing, and so won't sit at home wanting to do something creative. He'd rather sit and watch TV or the iPad, and so that's why we tend to head out. 

But with this constant going out, it can be really hard to think of things to do all the time, and it can also be ridiculously expensive. A trip to soft play can cost the best part of £15, and since having Little L, unless we go with other friends it's basically impossible to supervise LO and also sit with Little L and feed him. So while this used to be our go-to activity during the week, since New Year we have hardly been at all, and those trips certainly haven't been spontaneous. I've then started taking LO to a sports coach group twice a week so that he is doing some sport and seeing other children. We really enjoy going but as always, there's not much in the way of groups near where we live so it's a good 25 minute drive from home and most definitely not spontaneous.

When it's the school holidays, although my two aren't at school, I have struggled to know what to do with them. I avoid soft play like the plague as quite frankly it's hell on earth with so many older children there and any other exciting places will inevitably be heaving with children and parents all with the same idea of wanting to go out to do something exciting for the day. This week was the first of the Easter break and so I again wondered what to do with my two. 

I like to keep LO entertained and to do something which will tire him out enough so he naps, so trying to think outside the box, we took him out to a small stately home called Lotherton Hall on the east side of Leeds. It was a lovely place to visit, but it was a long drive and horribly cold and windy- the worst kind of weather when you want to just run about and enjoy playing in the stately home gardens. Determined not to just head home again because it was so cold, we had an explore around the inside of the house. He thought it was a castle and loved exploring, going up the fancy staircase and exploring the 'treasures' in each room, but it was a long way to go for an hour of exploring. So trying to make the most being there, so because it was far too cold to eat our picnic outside, we decided to have a little picnic in the car which was parked in the field- we let LO sit in the footwell of my sister's car which he just thought was the best thing ever- we sat and passed pizza, crisps and other snacks through the electric window which he used as his serving hatch and he found it so exciting. 

Our little car picnic in the windy field made me remember the very thing which writing these Ordinary Moments posts has always reminded me- that while the holidays, trips and big planned days out can be amazing and lots of fun, it's often the smaller, more simple and ordinary moments which can mean more, especially to a two year old. That while we had a lovely trip out to that stately home on Friday, it was the simplicity of getting to sit with his auntie eating lunch on the floor of her little Toyota Aygo (which he is obsessed with) which he probably enjoyed just as much as exploring around the house. 

I wrote about our day out on social media and how it had ended up being a bit of a stressful day, resulting in a toddler tantrum of epic proportions. Someone wise commented and what she wrote really stuck with me and I have really taken something from it- that for a toddler, a muddy walk and going for a hot chocolate can be the biggest adventure- you don't always need to go on big days out, or on endless trips to soft play for them to enjoy themselves. They will often get as much, if not more enjoyment from playing with a tennis racket in the garden, going for a muddy walk to feed the carrots to the horses down the lane, or just simply snuggling under a blanket and reading books in the house. I think I need to put less pressure on myself to think of exciting trips out all the time, to just slow down a bit and realise that these more ordinary things can be just as exciting, and so see the world through the eyes of my boys, as it's often these ordinary moments they will love the most. 






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4 comments

  1. What a lovely post Amelia and you are so right- children don't need fancy days out or exciting holidays. They just need to have an adventure in some form. One of our girls favourite things to do in the world is have a carpet picnic, it's so ordinary and every day but to them it is the most exciting thing in the world. It is so hard when you do trips and they don't work out the way you want them too- I remember those days from having a toddler and a newborn myself. x

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    1. Thank you Katie- I take a lot from reading and writing the ordinary moments posts which yourself and others write and it's really changed my outlook on life- to appreciate and notice the smaller and more ordinary things and I always remind myself of this every day xx

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  2. Sometimes the simplest things really can be the best for a child and you don't need to spend a fortune. I often forget this too! x

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    1. Absolutely! It's so true isn't it? Kids are often most happy with the simplest of things x

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