Living with a three year old means we have our fair share of ups and downs, and there are those times when we’re meant to be serious but are holding back the laughter…such an episode happened yesterday.
Mid-afternoon Little Bear ran off to his room after being offended by me asking him to keep the pen off the table and on the paper (so unreasonable aren’t I?). His exit was swiftly followed by a calamitous crash…but no tears, so I guessed it wasn’t an emergency. I went, tentatively, to investigate. A box of cars and a box of food were sprawled across his bedroom.
I, fairly, asked him to be a bit more careful when getting boxes out and could he tidy up a bit and then I would help him. I returned to the kitchen and left him to tidy.
Or so I thought.
All was quiet. Too quiet for things to be being hurled into toy boxes. So I investigated…and saw a ghost. To be precise, a Little Bear ghost. Ok, it wasn’t a ghost, it was Little Bear covered in my duvet doing everything he could to avoid tidying.
Only a child could hear, “Please tidy your room”, and interpret it as “Make more mess! Go take everything off my bed! Please please pretend to be a ghost, it would really complete my day”. Ahhh well, I guess we’ll just clear it up “together” then!
Yesterday we had one those rare days where it was just the three of us together all day. We gave Little Bear the choice of what to do but after he said “just stay at home” we took the situation into our own hands!
After a lovely breakfast we did his latest magazine and checked the growth of our caterpillars (we’ve got one of those “grow your own butterfly” kits) before getting dressed and heading out.
We visited a local nature reserve, Woods Mill, and it was brilliant. Little Bear had a map and a stick – he was in his element! We spotted dragonflies, beetles, worms, and pond skaters, and a butterfly even landed on Little Bear’s chin.
We spent the afternoon at home, checking in with the caterpillars at regular intervals! We made a Pirate Cove and had some swashbuckling pirate adventures, then Little Bear helped to cut the vegetables for dinner.
It wasn’t a particularly exciting day, nothing particularly funny happened, but it was pretty close to perfect. Everyone liked each other, everyone was happy, and everyone got lots of cuddles – it was one of those days you dream of having but seldom achieve!
Every morning, much like many families I guess, we say goodbye to daddy. He has a kiss and cuddle from each of us, and generally we tell each other “I love you”, “Have a good day”, “Enjoy playgroup/swimming/gymnastics”, and other such relevant niceties.
This morning, Little Bear took all that up a notch in his happy little sing song voice…
“Love you daddy, I hope you don’t die!”
Oh, ummm, no plans to today darling so I’ll try my best!
5 minutes after finishing a treat from Nanny and Grandad, Little Bear uttered from the back of the car, “I love those ponies”.
As we were driving down a main road, no where near fields, we both questioned, “What ponies?!”
Little Bear – “The pony that I just had from Nanny”
Me – “Do you mean the hippo?”
LB – “Yes, the hippo. That’s exactly what I just said!”
Me (under my breath so I don’t start a war but because I can’t stay silent) – “Well you definitely didn’t.”
Earlier in the day we had another great Little Bear moment as he told us about his dream. It was quite long and convoluted but he had us in giggles…here’s the highlight:
LB – “So I drove in a car”
Daddy – “What, on your own?”
LB – “Of course! But it was soooo annoying because they made me pay for two tickets…”
Me – “Why did they do that?”
LB – “Because…I was dressed as an elephant!!”
I mean, where does he get this stuff from? At the 4am ghost dream was replaced by something happier 👻
On Tuesday morning we had a minor meltdown. Little Bear was making up songs and started singing “Father Christmas is rubbish”, to which Daddy replied,”No, you can’t say that or he won’t bring you any presents!”
I have never seen a face crumple so completely. Little Bear burst into tears immediately and couldn’t be consoled, and it was a good 5 minutes before we could convince him that he would still get presents. Not the most festive of starts!
In the afternoon we watched Polar Express which is becoming his Christmas favourite, and then went searching for Christmas lights. We drove past a house which has Father Christmas waving in the window which he loves almost as much as his “Christmas Light Searching Snack”…aka a few chocolate buttons! Well, it is Christmas!
Wednesday was a busy day with a play date and card exchange in the morning before going to Tulley’s Farm to visit the big man.
It was a wonderful afternoon! We visited reindeer, walked through the magic elf forest, and so much more. We made reindeer food – the third bag this year that we now have to leave out having received some as gifts already, I’m a bit worried they won’t be able to take off when they leave here. Little Bear decorated a gingerbread man – eventually…it was quite a long wait and as soon as we were in the kitchen with Mother Christmas he decided he needed a wee so after a quick toilet break he returned to his workbench. He stood by himself next to children over twice his age who towered above him but he listened well and copied the others when it was time to decorate, Mr Independent!
He wrote another letter to Santa asking for a trumpet (thanks Nanny Willow!) which he left off his original letter (shame) and posted it in the post box. He saw some reindeer and stroked their antlers, he watched singing chickens, and then warmed himself by the fire.
But best of all we went to visit Father Christmas in his house in the woods. We took a sleigh ride with some other children and an elf, and then she left us with a sleeping Father Christmas. It was a great Father Christmas and he told the children a story before they took turns sitting with him for a photo. Little Bear got given a star to take to the workshop where we made our own present helped by the elves – a Build a Bear!
It was so magical and definitely something we will try to do again next year!
Only 3 more sleeps!
Last week I bought Little Bear a Busy Book…the ones that have a story, playmat, and little figures. He chose the Fireman Sam one and in the last week he hasn’t really played with anything else.
The other night I was having dinner with friends when I got a message from my husband. He had heard a noise coming from Little Bear’s bedroom so went to investigate and found this…
He had found his most prized possession and was having a sneaky late night play!
When he realised he had been caught he started putting them away and said, “I’ve finished now, I was just tidying”…of course you were darling, of course you were!!
My dad lives a couple of hours away from us and runs a B&B, these two things mean we dont get to see him that often although he tries to get up once a month or so. When Little Bear was tiny it would take him a while to remember who he was and to warm to him, which was hard for everyone I think. It seemed like just as he was comfortable and happy with him it was time for my dad to go home. I know it couldn’t be helped but still, it was frustrating!
But now, and for a fair few visits, he instantly recognises him and will happily cuddle him straight away. We’ve just had a visit from him, and probably one of the best days out we’ve ever had together. We went back to Paradise Park which I first visited with Little Bear on my birthday in April. With the weather looking uncertain and changeable it seemed like a safe bet woth a good mixture of indoor and outdoor activities.
Through the museum Little Bear was excited to show grandad everything he remembered from before – the shark, the dinosaurs, the caveman, and the astronaut…it meant we went round quite quickly but it was good to see how much he still enjoyed it.
Outside, the playground was still a bit wet so we decided that could wait until later and we would go to the indoor play area instead. Little Bear loved the soft play and was soon whizzing around on his own, waving at us from the top.
After a good play we decided to walk around the gardens which have miniature figures of local historic places. I thought Little Bear might get a bit bored but true to form he surprised me and had a great time looking at everything and guiding us round the paths, we even stopped to feed the gigantic fish a couple times! My dad seemed to enjoy this bit as well so I felt I was winning on all fronts!
After lunch we went through the museum again and finally Little Bear got to go on the slide, and then grandad managed to crash a boat and capsize it so we made a swift exit through the gift shop…where Little Bear was spoilt with a dinosaur toy which he cuddled all the way home whilst he slept!
I saw a lot of all my grandparents when I was growing up and have clear memories of time spent with them all, and I just hope Little Bear has the same.