I don’t know about you but January seemed to take its toll this year, aside from the fact it lasted about 458 days, the weather has been so terribly cold that venturing outside has been pretty impossible and i’ll put my hands up, I have spent more time than I would like to admit, sat in front of the television.
January is such a difficult month to navigate, especially with small children. After a glorious month of festivities, eating whatever you like and whenever you like it, visits from friends, family and more friends, late nights, parties, presents and generally doing what the hell you like, all in the name of Christmas, January hits us like Miss Trunchball and her javelin throw, with New Year’s resolutions, detoxes, half price gym memberships, and the dreaded return to school, its easy to succumb to the ‘January Blues’
My eldest boy, now he is a boy of home comforts, given the option he will 90% of the time always opt to stop at home, particularly in the cold weather. The influx of toys from Christmas and his new desire to play video games, makes venturing outside all that more difficult.
It became apparent one Sunday morning that we were half way through our second film of the day and everyone was still in their pyjamas (sounds like heaven doesn’t it), but the kids were bickering, the living room was trashed, their toys lay strewn across the floor, un-played with, just discarded for no real reason…these kids needed to blow of steam, have fresh air on their faces and their minds occupied with something more meaningful, and with that, we threw on their coats and their wellies and bundled them into the car.
Now this was met with some serious resistance from the eldest, I mean he had just selected the film we were halfway through watching, and saw this attempt to head outdoors as a blatant sabotage of his win, couple that with the fact he detests the cold and its safe to say we had a battle on our hands.
We are very very fortunate to have a wonderful National Trust property on our doorstep, with a fabulous outdoor play area, made up of all natural materials to inspire the imagination.
We headed there, much to the annoyance of Spencer, who was really holding fast with his desire to return home and abandon all plans for the comfort of his living room. A battle over gloves in the car park and a lot of complaints as we trudged towards the play area, I did begin to doubt myself, was this going to be a total utter waste of time..? It was starting to feel like it.
My daughter, the youngest, now she is made of completely different stuff, and tends to throw herself at things with a zest for life that both amazes and scares me. She had locked on to the adventure playground and there was no turning back now. But …
5 minutes in here is a picture of a little boy, who hates the cold, did not want to leave the comfort of his sofa, and did not want to get muddy…
Two hours spent outside, playing, using our imaginations, blowing off steam and finding nothing to argue over, made for a new lease of life for the afternoon. This boy just needed a little reminder that it might be cold, its might be a bit muddy, but there is fun to be had.
Take the time to get outside, breath some fresh air and blow off those January cobwebs, we did and we feel so much better for it.