⇒ For those of you that follow me on || Intsagram|| you will know that I love to write long captions. I often write whole little stories. I decided to start a hashtag, I choose a picture every week and write my musings about it here. I will post on Instagram with the hashtag #talesofmymotherhood.
|| Nature, Naps and No need to rush ||
The summer holidays are here. I will admit that I find the holidays hard. Having four boys between the ages of one and nine, with different needs, means it is a balancing act to keep them all entertained. The boys find the lack of routine, without school difficult. In all honesty I do too.
Thankfully, just last week I passed my driving test. This means I will have a lot more freedom with the boys. My hope is to have a much freer holiday, freer from screens and the confines of our house. I am hoping to give the boys a simpler holiday with lots of outdoor and creative play.
On the first day of the holiday it was raining, but I decided that if I was going to give the boys the holiday I feel we are all craving that the weather could not be used as an excuse. I got the younger three boys dressed in their water proofs and off we went in search of adventure.
We walked up to our local shops. The boys found puddles to splash in along the way. They were really happy that they were allowed to stop and jump. They were seeing who could make the biggest splashes, counting to three and jumping. SPLASH. I did have to stop them a few times when someone walked by, for fear of them soaking an innocent passerby.
It was really lovely watching them, but I wanted to get to the shops and I found myself saying the two words children hate when they are having fun. “Hurry up“. I tried making into a game, we became puddle hunters, walking and scouting for puddles. We counted how many puddles we could find and had to decide if they were big or small puddles. The boys enjoyed this but after 30 seconds with a puddle, I was ready to move on and again I would say “Hurry up”
Darwin noticed a Holly Bush and asked “What’s that?” I answered “It is a Holly Bush, it’s spiky, don’t touch it, leave it.” But Darwin didn’t want to leave it. He wanted to look at it and to touch it. In that instant I found a moment of clarity and suddenly began questioning myself.
Why was I rushing? We didn’t have any plans. It was in that moment I realised we had no need to rush. It was then I decided to try and see what the boys see. To notice all these exciting things around us and to allow ourselves to explore, without time constraints.
We walked slowly to the shops stopping at every puddle, talking about what colour cars we could see and what Transformer Rescue bot they would be and if they were one of the good guys or bad guys. We ran away from the bad guys, which ironically meant we got to our destination faster. We went to the charity shops where the boys both chose a toy each and then we went to Gregg’s and they both had a Pizza slice and a treat for after.
After we hadn’t finished eating I decided to take the boys to our local nature reserve. It’s not much to look at, but it’s open space with mud, stones and did I mention open space. It’s perfect for my boys. So off we went to explore. I’ve been a few times with the boys now and we have almost covered all of the pathways, this time the boys choose a different way. At one point we were at the highest point and Zachary told me the houses in the distant were “So super small and down”. The boys walked ahead and I pushed Ezra in the pushchair. We saw a cat, heard what I think were crickets and met some lovely ladies walking their dogs.
Although the boys do like walking and looking at the different sights. I knew the real reason they liked coming and the real reason I bought them here was, for the MUD. Like most children Zachary and Darwin love mud, well anything tactile really. However Zachary and Darwin are both classified as having Sensory Intergration Issues/Disorders. Which in layman terms means they crave sensory sensations (or at least this is what it means for them). Darwin is almost 4 and Zachary almost 6 and they still often revert to playing with their food and most things end up in their mouths. Occupational therapy has taught us to try and get their needs met through sensory play during the day, to try and eliminate/reduce the amount they crave it in ‘unacceptable’ situations. So with that in mind, we went and found the mud.
The boys used stones and sticks to draw in the mud. They wrote letters, numbers and a map showing where we were and how to get home. Zachary has recently been learning about pirates at school so has been drawing a few maps lately. As it had been raining earlier and the boys had their water proofs and wellies on we once again became puddle hunters and went to a spot we know that creates the best puddles. But, when we got there, there weren’t really any puddles at all. The boys were disappointed, they tried to play with the wet mud, but it just wasn’t what they wanted. Then Zachary came up with a fabulous idea. He decided we should tip the water out of our water bottles and make our own puddles. What great problem solving.
The boys had the best time, jumping and splashing, submerging their hands into the mud and throwing bits of mud in the air. It was wonderful to watch, they were just so free. Without me telling them to be careful, don’t get wet, stop shouting they played and played and it was great. Once they were finished they both wanted their hands cleaned and lets just say, a baby wipe wasn’t going to cut it. We found a small stream of running water and they jumped right in and cleaned their hands, they thought it was the best.
Ezra, didn’t get much action and spent most of his time in the pushchair. I forgot to bring him some shoes he could walk around in. I am still getting used to the fact he can walk…around…outside. We bought him different flowers to smell and the boys ‘hid’ their toys in the tall grass, playing peek ‘a’ boo with them, to make Ezra laugh. I put him next to a tree and let him feel the tree bark with his feet. This, he did not like. Darwin and Zachary also saw some plants and when I asked them what kind of animal do they think used to eat those plants, they said Dinosaurs. I love the photograph above, where Darwin is pretending to be a Dinosaur, he was trying not to laugh and saying “yum yum yummmm”. I love you can see his little dimple.
The nature reserve has houses all around it and certain parts have garages that back onto the reserve. We came across this particularly Instagram friendly garage door. I saw a great opportunity to get some cool pictures, unfortunately, the boys didn’t get the memo. I did however end up with up these pretty cute pictures, which capture the boys and their personalities perfectly. I love that I will forever have the memory of this day, captured by my photography and my words. When I slowed down and stopped rushing and trying to make the boys have fun, we really did have a great time.
Oh, if you were wondering about the nap mentioned in the title in of this post, then that would be the one I took later that day as I was shattered even if the boys weren’t.
♥ Do you often get time to just slow down and go at your kids pace. What do you think the biggest lessons are we can learn from our kids? What one quality do you want to nurture in your child and how do you do it?
Much love and many thanks
#talesofmymotherhood ~ If you would like to use the hashtag, I would love to see your images and read your stories too.