OK, so I am cheating a little bit with this weeks’ #WASO theme ‘Our best day this week’.
I would have loved to have managed to come up with one wonderful moment this week to write about but good times have been in short supply due to one poorly Buzzbee, a stroppy Beeswax and miserable weather enabling a bad case of cabin fever for Buzz, Waxy and Myself. Despite Bumble and my best efforts, every suggestion of entertainment or activity was greeted with ‘moans, groans or LOTS of stropping’.
Rather than ‘wimp’ out of this weeks’ theme, it occured to me that a couple of weeks ago, while visiting my parents for dad’s birthday. I probably had one of the best days I have had with both boys in quite sometime and at the same time I managed to share the memory of a place that I have want to show the boys for several years and is very special to Bumble and I – The Landmark Trust Victorian Hill Fort where we had our wedding reception.
OK back to ‘our best day ever’. Having boys I have quickly learnt to accept that there are many things I cannot control when it comes to the boys ‘natural interests’ in wars and armies, Although I hate listening to the boys talking about different guns or pretending that sticks are guns or swords, or seeing them play acting army men, I have come to realise that the more I prevent them from playing these games, the more they become obsessed with the subject and then the play gets out of hand and it is teats before bedtime.
So when to my delight I learnt that the fort was finally having an open day and I could take the boys to explore the extensive collection of tunnels, ramparts and cannons, I was ‘over the moon’.
We then learnt that the open day would have a wide selection of living history exhibitors/reenactments – Bonus, not only can I share a special place with them but they boys could absorb themselves safely in one of their obsessions and at the same time I could fit in a little ‘home ed’ learning (Buzzbee and his camera were once again best friends).
As it was my dad’s birthday, my nephew and niece also joined us. Despite Beeswax and my nephew originally making a fuss about not wanting to go and convincing themselves they would be bored, all 3 boys were soon in their element (as was my niece). Each had their own personal interest and to the credit of the exhibitors – they gave each of them as much time as they wanted to ask questions, handle equipment and guns, or try on various uniforms.
Neither of my boys are very good at staying in one place for more than a few seconds and as a rule Bumble and I routinely have to ‘slow’ the boys down. Not on this day – if anything, it was the adults who were in too much of a hurry to move to the next thing, in their minds.
I knew taking the boys to a new place was a gamble and potentially could have gone very wrong, but in the absence of Bumble for support, I knew mum and dad would be equally as good at ‘tag teaming’ if or when I needed it. As it was the boys were so busy exploring the ramparts, tunnels and cannons that the only meltdown to be had came from my nephew who was getting hot and bothered in the gorgeous sunshine.
I know some of you reading this will think I am soppy but being able to show the boys the fort and have them asking questions about what cannons we used at our wedding or hearing them laughing at my dad’s tale about his sister forgetting to turn her car alarm off before the cannon was fired, brought a lump to my throat and left we with lots of warm, squishy mummy thoughts.
There were several moments in the day that I will treasure but if I had to pick one moment from the day, I think the best moment would have to be when an excited (slightly overstimulated) Buzzbee called loudly to a member of the crew, shortly after the cannon fire demonstration and said “That was kinda sick but my mummy and daddy fired that one on their wedding day and mummy did it in her wedding dress. Now that is cool, and she didn’t even get her dress dirty, unlike you” (one of the crew had a smudge on his cheek) – proof that sometimes they do listen when I am talking 😇
For the boys, I suspect the highlight of their day would have had to have been the 30 minute long ‘WW2’ skirmish between the British armed forces and German soldiers – they boys were mesmerised and squealed with delight at the end when one of the “soldiers” gave them some empty bullet shells as a keep sake.
Although at times it feels like every aspect of our family life is one constant battle, having days like this reminds me just how lucky I am to have both my boys in our lives.