Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Parks, Prods, Wonderful Daughters and...Ted

We were feeling a little disconnected - from each other and the world.  We've had a few weekends in a row now where there hasn't been much bringing us together, commitments all over the place and emotions have been a bit unpredictable.  We haven't been in a bad way as such, but we've been a family in search of a reason.  Sometimes it's that feeling of going through the motions - mental checklist, remembering enough food, cleaning, washing, sit, sleep, start again - those sorts of feelings.

So we made Sunday a day to get out for a drive and just have a little picnic.  We decided on Wisemans Ferry again since it yielded such a gorgeous day about two years ago.  James made his delicious soba noodle salad, which three of us downed with gusto.  
Harriet found some boys to play with at the playground and although we (read: adults) were itching to get out and about, she was having such a fantastic time we did the parent loiter and she eventually moved on to hanging out with us.  

We had a ride on the car ferry and went walking (with Ted moaning the whole way about how tired he was, despite finding secret reserves of energy to throw rocks, climb boulders and create death-defying adventures into the path of cars).  We observed ants (almost) swarming, enjoyed picking out the finer details of colour that let us know spring is coming,discussed the logistics of car ferries and spent a lot of time watching the children run up and down a very small ditch.

I'm not sure how James found it, but I found the whole day seemed as if we were dealing with first one child's issues and then the other's, with very little chance in between to find that connection we needed. This is not a blog post with a "Oh and then we found ourselves as a family, connected and loving, gush gush gush" kind of ending.  Hey, this is real life.  Our lives, too.  And we are by no means people with a chilled out, laid back approach to life.  But it was a pleasant enough day.  It wasn't easy, or fun, or nourishing in a way we would have liked.  But the children waded in the river, made mud 'poo', stumbled around in 'fairy forests' and seemed to enjoy themselves.
And right now, having a day as benign as that, is a winner.  Harriet, as a newly minted seven year old, has generally been totally freaking awesome of late.  I just want to bottle her up and savour these days of sweet little notes left for us all over the place, concern, offers of glasses of water, asking how she can help around the house, impromptu massages and the like.  She has grown into such a considerate, intelligent, wonderful individual.  I've heard the golden days of child rearing are from age seven to twelve.  Let the golden days begin, I say!
In our progress towards getting Ted back into the shape of being Ted, he has had a couple of sessions with our local chiropractor already.  Ted loves having his adjustments.  This is the child whose favourite games usually tend to encompass some aspect of what he calls 'investigation'.  He likes to be poked and prodded as a puppy, an Egyptian mummy, a pregnant woman - you name it, he will likely ask you to 'investigate' his newly acquired character.  So the idea of having a real, true life investigation is like his play rendered real.  
Have I noticed a difference in his behaviour (by that I mean the way he acts, not the traditional concept of 'good behaviour') after two sessions?  Well I'm not sure if it's related but today Ted was...pleasant.  We had a fun day of doing not much at all.  Wednesdays do tend to be generally fun days with him, since I make an effort to do a lot of one-on-one pretend play which he thrives on and enjoys.  After two days at preschool I am assuming he is tired, needing to reconnect with me.  But strangely enough he doesn't show those signs as obviously as Harriet did.  I'm just having to guess that this is his mental state and respond to what I think, rather than what he shows me.  
We even went out to a park which we just don't normally do because Ted usually asks to stay at home.  But today we ventured out and ran into a couple of friends, as well as chatting to a school parent who I hadn't talked to before (but had wanted to because he drops off his preschooler while wearing his baby in the Ergo). A very social day!  Here Ted is saying goodbye to his little friend, Thomas.  No matter what our days may be like, I can nearly always guarantee that given a chance to be gentle and loving to a smaller child, he will embrace that opportunity wholeheartedly and his sweet nature will shine.  He really is a sweetpea.  Perhaps I do have that syrup-sweet blog ending after all?

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