I was thinking I’d write a blog about those little things that make parenting particularly joyful. But today was one of those unexpected, unplanned, wonderful from start to finish Mummy-Son days. So I’m going to tell you about today instead.
Before I prattle on, I think I can safely acknowledge, in the company of friends, that when you are a parent to a young child (I can’t give an age range as I simply don’t know. Maybe under 8?) days rarely go to plan. Particularly if you have meticulously planned a day out somewhere, figured out how you get there and where you will eat and all the MARVELLOUS things you will see. Because your child is not plugged into your brain, does not know the emotional importance you have placed on this marvellous day, does not realise that they should shut down the tantrums, or the refusal of food they usually accept, or the rejection of things that up until the moment they woke up that morning, they adored. And even if it is not a momentous day, if it is just a day where you have planned to pop to the park, or the playbarn, or to a friend’s for a cuppa; it still won’t quite go as you’d envisaged. Your child will fall out with another child at the park or the playbarn, or with your friend’s child who they have previously been inseparable from. Or they will wee themselves on your friend’s sofa, or throw toys, or just sit and look sad. Whatever it is that happens, it won’t be what you’d pictured.
And then a miraculous day like today will happen, a day when you have planned nothing at all and wonder glumly what you will do with yourselves as the sky makes yet another half-arsed attempt to snow and the wind slices a layer of skin off your face as you peek out of your door.
And then your child will unexpectedly decide he feels like doing craft, which he normally HATES, and you will spend a happy half an hour colouring in a picture of a fire engine together until your Husband calls to say he has left his insulin at home and you will roll your eyes and bundle your child into the car and pootle off to Brindley Place.
And your child will decide the walk from the Brindley Place carpark to Daddy’s Work is in fact the most joyful adventure of his life and will run and laugh and jump and at one point dance in the middle of the bridge crossing the canal so happily that strangers laugh with him, and then you will get to Daddy’s Work, and you will spy Daddy at the end of a long atrium and point him out to your child who will enact the kind of reunion seen in films, sprinting down the atrium wooping MY DADDY MY DADDY before throwing himself on his Dad.
And you will hand over the insulin and trot back on the walk of joy to Brindley Place for an impromtu lunch at Carluccio’s where your child will be an absolute poppet and unexpectedly colour in the nice little kiddy colouring pack that is usually ritually flung on the floor as soon as it is handed over while he waits for a lunch that he will absolutely relish to arrive, and you will want to burst with pride at how well behaved he is while you tuck into your own Vegan (I know, I KNOW) lunch.
And then in the car on the way home a little voice will trill ‘Mummy, can we go to the park’ just as you approach the Botanical Gardens, so off to the Botanics you go, which is sunny and cold and deserted and beautiful (I realised today how desensitised I am to how lovely the Birmingham Botancial Gardens are – see photos to follow) and you will spend a happy hour exploring together before reaching the playground at which point the heavens will open with an almighty hailstorm. You will dash to a little wooden cabin for cover and turn round to watch your child dancing and shrieking with delight at the first hailstorm he has encountered.
And then tea time and bath time and story time will pass easily and uneventfully and happily, and you will sit and reflect on the nicest Friday you can remember in a while, made all the more pleasant for its total unexpectedness.
Excuse the haggered state of myself in the first photo. Tired. Long week. All made better by today. Have a great weekend.
dazedandmumfused is on Twitter @dazednmumfused and Instagram: dazedandmumfused