Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Yesterday Evening

Okay, so I haven't blogged in ages. To be honest we have been puttling (?) along quite nicely although with a couple of visitors and a trip to America and I realise should do a May Round-up type blog but I specifically wanted to talk about yesterday evening.

Ken and I had needed to pop out so Angus was collected from school by his friend Jake, and Isla was cared for by our neighbour Clare who has a daughter in Angus's class and an older son. So, to start with both had already eaten dinner by the time we came home at 5.30. Combine this with a beautiful summer evening: blue skies, sunny, still warm and a woodland just across the road from us. What you end up with is Angus, Isla, Clare's children and assorted friends, an older lad from further up the road with his school friends (all lovely lads) playing with a rope swing, various dollies and pushchairs, all without a cross word. I was promised by four of the older lads and Angus that Isla would be cared for and not allowed across the road on her own. We still kept a parental eye just in case and what we saw was wonderful.

Ken and I watched (with glass of wine in hand sitting on Clare's bench) as our children did what children should do: climbed trees, climbed over walls, played, talked with friends, invented stories, pushed dollies, helped each other and the push chairs over the wall into the woods, negotiated with one another (from what we can gather mainly over making sure the children on the swing didn't knock over the smaller children with the dollies and push chairs. Apparently the babies were on a bug hunt!), fell over and all had a wonderful but socially stimulating evening. I was quite touched as one of the 9 year old lads attempted to carry Isla from the woods and pass her over the wall to me after a minor tumble. He was quite concerned as she had bashed her mouth again. A quick brush off and hug later and she was back with her dolly in the woods, hand held by the lad.

We eventually managed to disentangle our children at 7.15 and felt like spoil sports as they were still having so much fun. They fell into an exhausted sleep half an hour later.

I  have no photos of this fun as I didn't know some of the children and wasn't sure what they would think of me taking photos! Trust me, it was a wonderful sight. Simple joy and the pleasure of a summer's evening.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Big Brothers

It rarely ceases to amaze me just what a good big brother Angus is. Okay, so Angus and Isla have their spats as do all siblings: Angus took my ...; Isla kicked me!; etc. But on the whole, they get on amazingly well and clearly enjoy each other's company, complaining when they are apart that they miss each other.

Today was a perfect example of how the two of them play together. Angus came back from his swimming lesson (yes, Jo, we got that sorted and he is loving it.) and wanted to go inside to watch a DVD. He was tired. Isla, however, wanted to go outside on her tricycle as it was a mostly sunny evening. Angus decided to help Isla get ready while I sorted groceries.

Firstly, I was informed that between them they couldn't get the long handle on the bike and could I please help?  Of course. I returned to the kitchen. Next, could I help to get it out of the door. Naturally. I then heard Angus tell Isla in a perfect quote from Mum, "Just wait a minute. I'll be back soon. Don't move Isla, I won't be long."  What was happening? Isla was sitting on the bike on the pavement with little control over it although stationary. Angus was walking up the path looking back at her being a perfect immitation parent. I was duely informed that Isla needed her nose blowing and could I please provide a packet of tissues as Angus thought he should take them with him just in case! Tissues were provided. On the way out he picked up his bike helmet (Isla doesn't yet have one) and told me that she would be safer with one on. Isla was told this too with a lengthy explanation of bicyle-related head injuries.

She complied and the helmet was attached. Angus then performed a three-point-turn with the bike following a quick explanation from me (visual-spacial awareness is not his strong point) and off they went down the pavement. At this point Angus realised that Isla didn't know quite how to peddle. "Her legs are long enough to reach but I don't think she is strong enough to push." I had given up trying to cook dinner as watching them was far more fun. He decided that a demonstration was the way forward literally. Isla jumped off: Angus jumped on a explained and demonstrated peddling.

Isla climbed back on and they went about five yards down the pavement when Angus realised that pushing Isla around the block was far too much like hard work and actually they would rather have a mini-beast hunt in the back yard. Bike returned, helmet removed, shoes taken off, and Isla said, "Thanks Angus. I love you." "You're welcome Isla," as they marched through to the back garden.