When people say they’re taking a staycation, they are implying that they’re staying at home but planning to embark on some local adventures. The first two weeks of the summer holidays, we literally took a staycation. Besides the smallest little bear going to her dads for a few days, the biggest little bear having an overnight stay at granny and granddad’s and Mr C and I having a one night stay at a local boutique hotel, we’ve hardly left the house.
Mr C has been at work, the girls enjoyed the novelty factor of being in a new home and I, to be quite frank, was bloomin’ knackered after moving house during an insanely busy term at school. It felt amazing to have time in the day to potter around and make the place feel more like home. What shouldn’t have, but did surprise me was how well the girls adjusted to life offline. Shoot me down for being a terrible mother, especially when we have the gorgeous Dales countryside at our fingertips but I don’t think there is anything wrong with children having some time of age appropriate and safe computer activities. They love it, they develop their computer skills in a world where those skills are increasingly vital, and to be honest, it keeps me sane. I work full time during term time and so sometimes I really do need to have the chance to not have to entertain the kids so I can get some house chores done.
As much as I found it hard I thought our smallest little bear would have developed the shakes. But it wasn’t so bad – the girls had to learn to play nicely together. This does not come naturally to my two little bears, trust me. It took regular refereeing on my part but on the whole they made it work and they played games that engaged their creativity and imagination.
On sunny days we stepped out of our garden gate to the river to explore.
We played in the garden and enjoyed some meals alfresco.
But on the most part, the weather hasn’t been great. Apparently summer didn’t get the memo. The girls were happy to read the library books they chose for their summer reading challenge, create a whole world for themselves.
Sometimes they just needed to get out of the house and be ok with getting a bit wet. I joined in and it was pretty wonderful.
And in those times that we needed a bit of extra help to warm up we’d run bubble baths in the middle of the afternoon (something the smallest little bear thought was hilarious) or light the fire and snuggle under a blanket, watching Disney Fairy movies. With snacks.
I know I can’t keep the girls at home for seven weeks (yes, seven weeks!). I want to make memories both at Riverside Cottage and away from home. The four of us had a day at Light Water Valley Theme Park which we all felt was one of the best days we’ve ever had as a family. We all laughed until we nearly cried at times, the biggest little bear overcame come fears of rides and the smallest little bear relished the thrill of every white knuckle ridge she was tall enough to get on.
But I have loved slowing right down for a few weeks to unravel a bit. It’s what I needed. And I’m pretty sure it’s what my little bears needed too. I don’t want them starting school again even more exhausted than they were when they finished in July. It’s been a time of restoration for all of us and now we’re ready to take August by the horns and have a great month together.
Mrs C x