3 June 2013

How to ruin a perfect weekend ;)


Shipley Country Park, on a truly glorious glowing Saturday. It has (mostly) been such an amazing weekend, the kind of perfect sunkissed holiday that (hopefully) carries us through a long week of hard work. Right up until the very end of the weekend, which left us wanting another holiday thankyouverymuch and not to have to do all the busy-ness of Monday morning at all!


On the hill, Rowan finally got to fly her kite, barefoot and tousle-haired, shrieking with glee and racing back and forth to keep it aloft, trailing a rainbow of streamers. She is a child of sunshine, bubbling over with joy so very much of the time. Skipping and dancing her happiness - I think she almost floated home after that delicious half hour of kite flying.


Talia is less and less baby, less and less a part of my arms (so used to moulding to her warm solidity), and more and more one of the crowd of girls. Many times a day she stops, shouts to me, and holds her arms up to be lifted. Many more times she shakes her head (or even more emphatically, waves her arms about scoldingly and holds her hands away from me) and strides off looking so... complete. A world to herself.


As Sunday dawned so bright and warm again, we went for icecream at Bluebells. Talia always finds a way to scavenge as much extra food as she can from the rest of us. I don't think I'm going to get away with sharing mine with her much longer; she's pretty sure she is ready for her own portion!


Sunday afternoon was spent at Belper Goes Green (a small village eco-fest). It was wonderful. We must have spent an hour at the Greenpeace stand, with Rowan talking enthusiastically about different kinds of whales and how many species live in the Arctic. I think a few people thought they were hearing things when I told them that she is four. ("Where has she learned all this?" - "Oh, mostly the Octonauts, and her large collection of sealife books...")

We had a picnic lunch of garlicky potatoes and tomato and chickpea tarts bought from a couple of stalls. Jenna found some lovely fresh bread for us too.


The (rather major) blot on the day was when all the children were thoroughly enjoying running around barefoot again, playing with a large parachute with some other children. They came to me in turn to get a bit of sunscreen on their exposed little shoulders, and after getting hers Morgan ran back towards the parachute and started playing again.

I sunscreened Rowan, and caught Talia to put her shoes back on so we could get ready to go, then called the others to get their shoes too.

No Morgan.

Not at the parachute (about five metres in front of us), not anywhere in sight.

She was missing for fifteen minutes and we had a fair few people searching by the time she appeared from inside a willow sculpture where she'd been happily weaving new sticks in without a care in the world. Jenna grabbed her and burst into tears. Six! She's SIX! I half thought we were past Morgan wandering off absent-mindedly.

(And *this* is why I'm not looking forwards to trying to go out with all four of them on my own. One is a baby, one is a feisty preschooler with no fear of anything, one is a vague dreamy introvert with no fear of anything. I HATE taking them out in crowds. *sigh* We're just going to stay home. A lot.)

As we walked to the car Jenna sobbed, "I thought I'd lost my best friend."


Oh but, you know, green spaces have sticks. So that's OK, and all the girls were happy as can be after a few minutes of hugging and the long walk back. Isn't it always the way that an event that barely registers on the personal radars of small children can leave parents shaking for hours afterwards?


  1. It really is the most awful moment in the world when you realise your child is missing.

    I also have a dreamer who tends to wander, and the one thing that has helped are walkie talkies.

    I bought a basic set with a decent range, and made both girls a small bag to hold their 'phones', which closes with a simple velcro tab. I keep them on the charging stand in the hall, and whenever we are going out I bring them along. I don't always use them, but if we get somewhere that I think I am likely to 'loose' a child, they get given a walkie talkie bag. We always do a quick check to make sure we are all on the same channel, and then they understand they only use them in an emergency.

    They also know that if Mummy pages them they have to respond immediately. It doesn't mean the end of their fun, it just means I need to check where they are.

  2. Great idea! I usually sharpie their arm with hubby's mobile number, but totally forgot yesterday. Ack it's been a long time since she wandered. :( Good reminder not to take for granted how capable and grown up she often seems now!

  3. I love the walkie talkies! I was going to suggest wristbands with mobile numbers too.

  4. I have had recent experience of this with a friends little boy who always manages to get lost and it is SO scary. He is only 3 and does not even answer when she calls his name. Last week we had a heart stopping 10 minutes in BHS when he sat under a rail of dresses completely silent despite 4 people calling his name. The pen is a good idea though, I never thought of that.

  5. Yep i would second a walkie talkie, hope you are ok now.

    hugs san x

  6. Off to search walkie talkies! I can just imagine mine doing that. ((((((((((())))))))))))) for a scarey experience.

  7. I've got one about to turn eight who makes the most terrible decisions. What I need for her is a homing beacon of some kind. She'd leave a walker talkie somewhere in the grass and wander off, no doubt.

    1. Yes, this *is* my daughter who has lost two water bottles so far this year (both have been on a strap which she is not supposed to take off in case she loses the expensive bottles)! :S


Penny for your thoughts? :)