Caving In

It’s been a busy old weekend and, as it’s a bank holiday weekend, there’s still a day to go.  When I was working full time, bank holidays were something to look forward to, an extra day off and an extra lie in followed by a shorter working week (although these weeks always felt weirdly long).  This time I hadn’t even realised it was a bank holiday weekend until J mentioned it at the end of last week, and the joy of a bank holiday is J being off for the one day of the week that the kids aren’t at school.  Though he’s probably going to be holed up lesson planning whilst the kids and I hunt fairies with the neighbours.

It is also the end of the first week of having some time to myself whilst both the kids are at nursery, and, as a friend warned me, there just weren’t enough hours to get everything done.  The garden is still refusing to be finished, hanging around my neck like a millstone, but I have started to harden off leeks and broad beans in the hope it’ll be done in the next couple of weeks and I can start planting out.  Because of the garden’s reticence to be complete, it has been my focus, which means the house looks a bit of a mess and the crafty barn has once more been destroyed by the kids.  I’m starting to make some plans for storage and making it more of a play area but, as with everything else, it has to wait for the garden to be done.

However today, we finally relented, and took the kids down to Grasmere for the day, although, by the time we organised ourselves, it was more of an afternoon jaunt.  We had originally planned to try and do Loughrigg fell, one of the lower ones close to Grasmere, but due to our tardiness this plan had to be forgotten and instead we went to explore Rydal caves.  The area around, and leading up to the caves is quite managed, and so doesn’t have that wild feel of a Lakeland fell.  There was a lovely big bridge perfect for pooh sticks,

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Setting for the pooh stick championship

and the paths were wide and easy for the kids to manage – the girl barely fell over at all.

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None of this stopped the boy moaning, and sitting down, most of the way around, and only becoming animated when there were piles of rocks he decided he’d climb, despite our pleas (and then shouts) for him not to.

His ignoring phase still rolls on, though now he ignores both J and I, so at least he’s being more equitable with his ignorance.  He has also recently developed a new habit of fibbing, pretty much everything that now comes out of his mouth is a lie, “The girl has wet herself”, “Yes, daddy said I could”, “Teacher punched me over and over today” although one of my favourites is when he calls the girl an idiot / shouts and screams at her, we tell him to stop and he says “It wasn’t me, it was the girl” – even though we have been right there when it’s happened and seen it all.

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He did really enjoy the caves though, we saw rock climbers at the first of the caves we came to, and had to prise the boy away from trying to join in with them, with a promise of letting him have a go when he’s a few foot taller.  The main cave area had stepping stones through a shallow pool to get to the back of the cave, which both of the kids enjoyed leaping across, with a few helpful lifts from J and I, and there was even somewhere within the cave for the boy to test out his climbing skills and then leap from (with daddy holding his hands to prevent broken bones).

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The girl spent much of the walk saying how much she loves the big hills, and I love seeing them out, enjoying walking and our amazing surroundings.  I definitely find it easier to be a parent when we can let them run a little wild and find it so much more relaxing than having them cooped up.  Although the boy likes to test out just how free he can be (by totally ignoring anything we say to him in an effort to keep him safe), and admittedly I find that much less relaxing.

We all survived though, patience slightly more tattered than when we’d started, but at least we were still all speaking to each other.  We headed home, via a stop off at a pub for a meal and a couple of pints for J (taking of advantage of my throwaway comment this morning about enjoying driving more), once more the diet is put off until tomorrow.  It seems to be becoming a bit like the garden, never ending…or, more accurately, never starting.

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