So after the success of day 3 (no lost children and only one dent), we were eager to get to day 4, where we would be taking them out to a country park….. on our own…….. We were excited and terrified in equal measures, as we would in affect be ‘proper parents’ taking two kids we were just starting to get to know to a busy park.
Would they get lost (and if they did would they recognize us or even say we are Mummy and Daddy to the authorities if found), would we be able to keep them under control (melt downs in public!), would they ignore us, would people look at us and think we were not up for parenting? It was a a vortex of emotions and I could not help worry if I was going to be up to it (over thinking brain again). I knew that S would be a rock, so that did settle my nerves a bit (brownie points…).
MY TIP – Plan ahead and take a few things that can be used to distract the kids if they get bored. Have contact details of the foster family ready…just in case
So we rocked up to the foster house at 7am again to watch the kids come down the stairs (Hair all over the place again, and huge grins when they saw us – I could get used to this.)
We watched the breakfast routine, but were a little more involved this time. Getting the food, helping them cut toast, telling them off when elbows where on the table (in a friendly way). We had paid enough attention to have a good idea of what was expected, but still were a little nervous about saying something wrong or overstepping the mark.
We even felt brave enough to help with the teeth, and I am pleased to say none of them choked or complained, although I am not entirely sure that I got the dentist clean smile with my first attempt.
Before we knew it we were in our car, driving to the country park. Well when I say before we know it, we did have the adventure of changing the boys nappy. First time for everything…..and he really did he give us a present to change for our first time – a special scented candle had to be lit but even so….. my word what does he eat! Then there was the fun and games of getting them into the child seat in the car and being competent enough to buckle them in which I can assure you can take an age so plan ahead…..
This second point may seem simple to you parents out there, but I can assure you, doing it for the first time ever with a 5 and 2 year old and a foster family watching (encouragingly), is a little stressful. Especially as you are trying not to show our kids that we are new to this – Blimey they can not even get me into a seat, how can they be a good mummy or daddy for me….
MY TIP – If you have friends with kids, ask them if you can help them put their children in the seat a few times. It becomes easier, but with everything else going on it is better to have some practice before you do it for the first time with your kids (you have enough to think about).
So we were off. We had downloaded some kids songs and stories for the journey (otherwise know as mild sedation), so for this adventure we have the Gruffalo on….. you will get very familiar with this story very quickly. With my marketing head on I would say it is a good story, but has some continuity flaws, why not just eat the mouse at the start – the gruffalo is not there so will not know who did it – to be fair I may be going a little bonkers 🙂
Anyway, we arrived at the country park with no car dramas (Phew) and decamped the kids from the car to find the entrance. S was holding our little boys hand and I was hold the girls. This was the first time we were walking as a family together and it was so thrilling . It almost made me forgot my concerns about them remembering us if they got lost.
We entered the park and started walking towards the big grassy area where there were ducks and even some peacocks wandering about. But before we could get there it was toilet time. New first coming up, taking them to the toilet out in the real world….. btw this will be a very frequent occurrence….yep they have bladders the size of a pea 🙂
As it was our girl needing the toilet S decided to take the plunge and head to the toilet. I could tell she was a little nervous…not that she could not do it, just another new experience.
I waited outside with the boy trying to keep him entertained. We had some little cars and tractors for him to play with, but it was the wooden statue at the entrance that he was most interested in. Should I let him climb it????? (Well I did 🙂 )
S came back out smiling (so it was all OK) after a few minutes and we were off to the park again.
Oh Oh…whats that smell….yup you guessed it…
So off I went to change the boys nappy (seems I lost the lottery of toilet duty with S).
Going into the baby change room (first time that too), I had to work out where to change him, while stopping him rolling himself off the changing table (hence his nick name – ‘the squiggler’). I think on that day I had 3 left thumbs and an over sensitive nose…but finally I managed to get him changed with only a slight bit of retching…. – I chalked it down to experience and knew that this was going to one of many times. He did not seem to mind, and loved the hand dryer, although he seemed to think it was a hair fluffer (hands up who hasn’t at one time or another…).
Take 3 – we were finally in the park……hurrah
Once we got into the park we were greeted by 30 odd ducks. We had been forewarned that they were here and were friendly, and had even been given some duck food to feed them. We stood back and watched as both our kids fed and interacted with the ducks. It was such a nice sight to see them completely relaxed and focused on having fun. There did not seem to be any need to please us and we got to see some real bright genuine smiles (dimples and everything). I was getting my Daddy Pride feeling as we realised how kind and gentle they were and how much joy they got from something as simple as ducks. (note to self – kids like simple things)
MY TIP – Sometimes try to forget you are an adult and try to enjoy life like a kid. Simple pleasures can still light up your own face too.
We spent the next couple of hours exploring the place, racing each other to trees, climbing mounds of wood chips, looking into the ponds to see the fish (Yes, we were holding onto the for dear life so they did not fall in) and generally having a great time (even though it was a little wet). We were having so much fun that time flew by. We even almost got through it without any denting, but that would have been too simple…. oh yes S managed to strike again….. this time denting the girl trying to go the wrong way up the slides. I have a sneaking feeling she does it on purpose to get the big cuddles after wards to make it all better…. only joking S 🙂
So before we knew it, we were on our way back to the foster parents (Car seat was a little easier this time – just in case you were interested) listening to Room on the Broom. Another exciting adventure, but we did have a disaster as we got back to the foster parents before the end of the story. If anyone know what happened and if there was actually room on the broom for them all… please send a postcard 🙂
Next day we would be heading off for the whole day…. an aquarium and a lunchtime cafe to navigate…. fingers crossed…