Where does the time go?? This has been our February…
Brownies, more Brownies, and Guides too
This month has been a bit of a Brownies and Guides extravaganza! Hannah enjoyed her first weekend away with her pack and had the time of her life sharing a dormitory with her friends, crafting, exploring, den building, singing around a camp fire and toasting marshmallows.
Hannah also did her first Brownie badge on her own and played hostess for a Valentines themed afternoon during half term. It was so incredibly cute and I loved helping her plan and prepare.
Mia earned a badge this month – her Performers Badge. She is very independent when it comes to Guides, and isn’t particularly forthcoming about what she actually does there. She takes herself there and back (her pack meets in a church on our street), she always seems to be packing things to take with her for various badges and activities and comes home with all kinds of wonderful things which give us a bit of a clue on what she’s been up to – such as bath bombs, home-made goodies and crafts, photos and badges. I think she likes it being “her” thing.
My girls do Brownies and Guides at their own request, and I love that they do. It lets them be part of a group working towards goals and achievements and keeps them involved in community events. Best of all, it makes having fun the old-fashioned way (i.e. traditional games and activities, no technology!!) cool again.
Being the “big kids”
I was a very young Mum when I had my girls, and as such they often find themselves as the older kids when we get together with friends and family. Sometimes I think it would be nice for them to have more cousins locally their own age (they do have similar aged cousins who they love to hang out with, but none nearby unfortunately). This month I’ve enjoyed seeing the girls embracing the roles of being the bigger kids, keeping an eye on the younger kids they’re hanging out with and finding ways to entertain them. There has been much fun had playing on the park and soft play, watching younger kids movies and making funny Snapchat faces. It’s made my heart warm that they’ve not retreated into a corner with their devices (well, not all of the time anyway) and just enjoyed the experience. I’m sure it won’t last forever, but it’s certainly fun while it does.
Half term and the virtues of being bored
We had half term in February and as usual, planned lots of fun activities and meet ups. However, I’m very much of the opinion that it does the girls good not to have every minute of every day scheduled, that they should have their own free time to fill too. The girls have been good at entertaining themselves for periods of time since they were little, but I’m finding as they get older it’s not as easy to get them to find something to do which doesn’t involve electronics.
By Tuesday I was fed up of seeing them zombied out and asked them if they could think of something other to do than staring at a screen. After complaints about being bored, and a bit of bickering, they found ways to entertain themselves and I later found the remnants of Monopoly, a sister makeover session, and a sneaky join game of The SIMS in progress. What did we do between the ages of 9 and 12 before electronics?? I honestly can’t remember.
Independence and an anxious Momma
Like many parents, I have the odd moment here and there where an irrational fear of something bad happening to my child hits me and my brain goes into overdrive on all the terrible possibilities (I have GOT to stop reading the Daily Mail!). This month, there have been two specific occasions which have hit me hard, to the point of me almost keeping my girls indoors where I can watch over them constantly.
The first was with my youngest, as she got ready for her first Brownie pack holiday. I had been so excited for her, and happily reminiscing on how much I loved pack holidays when I was her age, before the niggling thoughts started. What if she wanders off, gets lost, gets hurt, gets taken my a mad man roaming the Yorkshire countryside? I developed a major anxious feeling about her going and had to have a serious word with myself about what the chances of anything other than her having a lovely time were.
The second was with my oldest, when she asked to get dropped off to meet up with her friends. This isn’t unusual, she is old enough and responsible enough to have a bit of freedom, but this time the drop off spot was a bit further afield, where she’d probably need to get a bus home from, and wasn’t so familiar with. Again the anxious feeling came. After chatting with her and making sure her phone was fully charged, that she knew which bus to get, and having her promise to call me at a set time, I dropped her off and tried to get about my afternoon without worrying too much.
I’m pleased to say that not only did I get my girls back alive and well, but also that I didn’t let my own issues stop them from being normal kids. It’s hard to let go sometimes, but if I keep them too close forever they’ll never be ready for the real world! I hope I’m not the only one…
Feeling the birthday love
February happens to be my birthday month. While the number doesn’t seem to be anything to celebrate, my girls did me proud and we had a fantastic weekend of presents, food, family, and more food!!! Being gifted with various gadgets for making sugar look like things other than sugar has made me realise that, no matter how old we get, we never stop enjoying play, it’s just our gadgets and toys that change – the inner child is still there, and I hope she always is.
Bring on March!