I have been experiencing another parenting first; first time parenting two tiny people with a stinking cold and fever (me) while they appear snuffly but mainly healthy (thank goodness). My usual plan of ‘take the toddler to the play park to wear her out while I push a gently snoozing baby in the pram’ was getting off to a bad start when the weather was less delightful crisp sunshine and more that usually reserved for the opening sequences of gothic horror films taking place in austere stately homes in the middle of the North York Moors, but Kit was showing sure-fire signs of cabin fever, so we bundled up and headed out.
It took a turn for the memorable when the gently snoozing baby decided that in fact it was not time for her snooze, it was time for her cuddles with Mama, and my accession to that request by means of swaddling her up in my shawl like the cutest of green sausage rolls and tucking her under my coat left her big sister somewhat to her own devices.
To give Kitty her due, she slid down the slide several times very nicely, and played beautifully on the dino-see-saur, and then she discovered the sandpit.
It’s a very nice sandpit, and on a better day I might even be tempted to pack buckets and spades, but this was not a better day, it was not even a mediocre day. It was cold, dank and grey. Now I come from a family that would pride themselves on being fairly hardy, after all we were frequently the only family left on the beach, huddled under a hastily constructed canopy of beach towels propped up by driftwood when the English summers of my childhood turned out to be, well, English, and H’s family originates from Scotland where ‘resilient’ and ‘weatherproof’ are less character traits and more survival essentials. It is a credit to all of that ancestry that my slightly less than tiny girl decided that this was therefore the perfect day to discard her wellies in a quest for an even greater commune with the sand.
When I looked up from comforting Elma to discover Kit at one end of the sandpit happily dancing in circles, and the tell tale flowery toe of a left boot just visible over the log pile edging at the other end … well lets just say I’m glad she was wearing red spotty tights under her waterproof trousers otherwise I can guarantee that in addition to the removal of a uniform coating of damp sand from the bottom of two tiny feet, and the firm replacement of two boots, I would have been spending considerable time excavating said sandpit to unearth two tiny socks which would doubtless have joined their flowery companions.