I am Suck it up Mum

Right. Feck it.

I’m doing it.

Before and After Postsโ€ฆ Letโ€™s call out the BS.

This is my first Before and After post. The two photographs were snapped only 3 seconds apart. ๐Ÿ˜…

So what did I do? What did I take? A magic pill? A Fantabulous Super-shake? A cup of Magic Tea? Nope.

A breath.

I took a breath. ๐Ÿ˜…

I straightened my back, turned my body slightly and sucked it all in!๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡ You see, yes, I might be back in my favourite jeans, (after 16 months of training in Jim- NOT overnight), but after 2 magnificently STRETCHY pregnancies and two VERY messy C-Sections, my Belly is not what it might APPEAR to be when you meet me in my clothes! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Itโ€™s squishy. Itโ€™s soft. Itโ€™s covered in stretch marks. There is extra skin that sags when I suck in my tummy. If I relax my tummy muscles, it is quite humongous! ๐Ÿ’•

Some days I love it. Some days I hate it. Somedays I am so bloated that I look like Iโ€™m 6 months pregnant again. But everyday, I look in the mirror and I see a real life miracle. The stretch marks are my war wounds. My skin is stretchy because it made a house to grow my babies in. ๐Ÿ’•Itโ€™s my Post-Baby Belly and the only person whose opinion on it matters, is ME.

So when your news feed is full of โ€œWeight lossโ€ adverts showing you โ€œbefore and afterโ€ shots of how you can lose โ€œ15 stone in a dayโ€ if you just sign up to their pyramidic BS shakes, pills, teas, knickers etc, remember that it is likely that the pictures might just be BS. And when you see someone posting their โ€œLook at my absโ€ pics, telling you how happy they are with their progress, there MIGHT just be another photograph in their camera roll that they HAVENโ€™T chosen to share.

If I had posted these and said there had been a 6 month gap between photographs, chances are youโ€™d have believed me. (And of course, you WILL see GENUINE โ€œBefore and Afterโ€ photographs of GENUINE weight loss journeys, but they are โ€œJOURNEYSโ€, with hard work and sweat and determination, NOT miracle products.)๐Ÿ˜ฒ

And if your body has stretched and changed to grow your minions, be proud of it. Itโ€™s yours. Itโ€™s a miracle and itโ€™s beautiful, whether you suck it in or let it all hang out. Have a fablis Friday my Lovelies.

(It goes without saying that anyone who feels like writing anything hateful or negative, has my polite invitation to go build themselves and bridge and get over themselves. My body. Not yours.) ๐Ÿ˜™๐Ÿ˜™๐Ÿ˜™

#beattheBS #realityplease #postbabybelly #perspective

I am Seven Summer Fundays in Donegal Mum


Summer

 

Itโ€™s here.  The summer holidays: when routine goes out the window, the fridge seems to have permanent bums waggling out of it, and we find ourselves wondering, once again, how on earth primary teachers deal with up to 30 of our little minions in one room.  Of course the holidays are great, but they also bring their challenges. The biggest one?

 

Boredom.

 

Kids get bored, verrrrrrrry quickly.  Kids need constant entertainment and fun.  Entertainment and fun cost money, and while there are of course hundreds of things you can do with your minions, here are 7 of my favourite things to do right here at home. They range from absolutely free to the not so free but no matter how often we do these things or go to these places, the girls always enjoy them and feel like theyโ€™ve been somewhere special.

 

In no particular order:

 

 

Glenveagh – Now those of you who follow my blog, know that Glenveagh National Park is a firm favourite in our little family.  We go there 2 or 3 times a month and myself and The Him love it just as much as the girls do.  Itโ€™s only a short drive from Letterkenny, has absolutely NO phone coverage and has THE most stunning landscape in the country.  NOWHERE beats Glenveagh for beauty. The best thing is that entry to the park is absolutely FREE. You can bring a picnic or try some of the insanely good cakes and food in the tearooms there.  We walk the 4k to the castle every and usually take the bus back up as Mini-Meโ€™s legs arenโ€™t quite able for 8K just yet! Bikes are available to hire from Grassroutes in the carpark too and you can get one of the little buggy-trailers for the minions.  The castle grounds are beautiful and while ours are too young to do the full bridal path, there is lots to occupy them (and their imaginations) in the gardens.  (Tell your minions that the gates with the stag heads are the Gates to Santaโ€™s summer house.  Never gets old!)

 

The Beach – We are so blessed to have so many beautiful beaches on our doorsteps. Lisfannon Beach in Fahan is possibly my favourite place in the world.  Itโ€™s not only where I often escape for some sneaky Mam-me time, (seriously, some life changing decisions have been made on this beach), itโ€™s also where I take the girls if we want to have some good old fashioned free fun.  Itโ€™s only 15 minutes from my house, but the girls feel like theyโ€™ve had such a treat, even if we only stop for a 20 minute run-about.  Over the summer, I keep a blanket and buckets in the car, so if we find ourselves nearby, itโ€™s easy to stop here.  I also keep a bag with a change of clothes and a towel in the boot, just incase itโ€™s warm enough for a paddle.  Thereโ€™s loads of parking and in the summertime, thereโ€™s usually an ice-cream van in the carpark.

 

Nature Walks – Mini-Me loves these.  We live in the backend of beyond, so in fairness, even a play in the garden can be a learning curve, but if I really want to occupy them for an hour, I plop Princess in the buggy and off we go.  Mini-Me is beginning to recognise some of the tree types (reminding me  of things that I used to know!) and thereโ€™s a gate at the end of our farm where I once told her the fairy kingdom begins, so she loves to visit there.  She stands on the side of the road talking to the gate, but in her head, sheโ€™s on a serious adventure! Fun fun fun and FREE FREE FREE!

Parks – We love Ballymacool Park.  Just outside the town, itโ€™s peaceful and quiet, even when busy.  Itโ€™s easy to park, has lovely trails for walking and beautiful views. The little playpark is wonderful; clean and full of playthings for kids of all ages.  The best thing about this little area is that itโ€™s fully fenced off, and so no matter what direction Princess runs in, sheโ€™s safe (and enclosed!).  

 

Soft Play – Some days, Soft play is the only answer isnโ€™t it? Especially with the summer weather we get here! The most exciting thing about going to soft play, is going to soft play with OTHER minions.  Itโ€™s win:win; A catch up for the mums, excitement (and a guaranteed successful bedtime) for the kids.  Arena 7, Dizzy Rascals and Century Play are all wonderful and have different features that the kids love, AND they all serve good coffee.  Keep an eye on their pages for deals and rates.

 

The Happy Camper –  Now.  Here is a secret that every parent in the area should know. The Happy Camper at Cooneyโ€™s is probably the ONLY place in Letterkenny where Mammy and Daddy Bear types can get to actually DRINK their cuppa.  Not only are the pancakes incredible, they have a fully childproofed level with a brilliant corner full of toys and chalkboards and books for kids.  There is a stairgate so even your littlest ones are safe to wobble about.  Now that Princess is at the stage of point-blank refusing to sit in a high chair, this spot is perfect for us.  If I meet a mate, we can actually chat.  And if Iโ€™m on my own with the girls, I get to drink my coffee and theyโ€™re in playtime heaven.  

 

Oakfield Park  –  Again, we LOVE Oakfield Park. Itโ€™s only 10 minutes from where we live and great for famiy Sunday-fundays, but also for random afternoons over the holidays. There is a charge to get in of course, but what I love about this place is that every year when they reopen, something new and wonderful has been added to the park. They add to the facility constantly.  The new Buffers Tea rooms are lovely, but you can also bring a picnic along with you. We bought the annual pass this year and itโ€™s great value if you use the park often. The park is stunning, so well kept and beautifully presented.  Thereโ€™s a play park and the Fairy tree is a favourite of Mini-Meโ€™s.  The steam train is a real novelty.  Again, keep an eye on their page for events and activities coming up over the summer.

๐Ÿ˜˜Their Teddy Bear Picnic is on this Wednesday from 12pm๐Ÿ˜˜

https://www.facebook.com/Oakfield.Park/ 

 

 

So there you go.  These are just my top 7 go-to days out and activities in and around Letterkenny, all year round. I’m sure you could all add your own to this list. 

Here’s to a fun summer and some sort of summer weather! 

You can also read this post on my Thoroughly Modern Mammy column here http://www.donegalwoman.ie/2017/07/02/my-top-7-things-to-do-with-my-minions/ 

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Or follow my Instagranny @the.s.mum 

I am So I took a week off Mum

So, as you’ll have noticed, I took a week off.  I deleted the FB app from my phone and took a long overdue trip with the love of my life, sans kiddies. 

This time last week, I was swinging off a lampost in central Park in 30ยฐ sunshine, ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡ singing “Singing in the rain” at the top of my voice and not giving a continental who heard me.  I’m going to spend the next 5 days starting sentences with “This time last week…” ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ 

We spent 5 glorious days in NYC, just me and The Him. (I’ll post properly about it during the week.)  Suffice to say, it was AMAZEBALLS and we really did have the time of our lives.๐Ÿ But today, while it CERTAINLY was NOT 30ยฐ, we were back in our FAVOURITE park in the world with our favourite little people. Central Park doesn’t hold a candle to Glenveagh with our wee buddies. ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—

Oh how we missed Mini-Me and Princess, and we are so glad to be home safe and sound to them, but taking a few days to be Mammy and Daddy again, (or rather Maria and Emmet), was invaluable. When you’re busy parents, it’s hard to find yourselves in the mayhem.  Every conversation tends to be about the kids. Every phonecall or text message revolves around them. Each thought you have has something to do with the act of parenting. Your daily interactions are mostly about or for the kids. Your entire focus in day-to-day life, is the kids… 

And so it must be,  but to have had 5 full days and nights of just being US, did our little family unit absolutely no harm at all. 

Sometimes, a Mammy and Daddy need to find each other in the midst of all the madness, may it be simply for a dinner date or a movie night, or a trip away.  Yes, we spent much of our time talking about and missing the girls, but we also had fun together, laughed together, drank beer at 2pm, ate our bodyweight, and enjoyed being tourists in a ridiculously fun place.

  We finished conversations without being interrupted 167 times. We did what WE wanted to do when it suited us, just like we used to. We were spontaneous, not thinking about anything but us, and we remembered all the things we actually like about being The Him and The Her. ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’™

So while the biggest challenge for me was to STOP referring to him as “Daddy” (and no it is NOT kinky! WTF like? ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚), we managed to have the holiday of our lives. 

 In fact the only thing that made us look forward to getting home, was the thought of getting squeezes and snuggles from the two Dollies. Their reactions were priceless when we got back. 
Mini-Me has announced that we are “never going on holidays again, ever!” and Princess seems to have doubled in size and has learned to use “Noooooooo” quite impressively.  They were spoiled rotten by Ganny and Gwanda.  Of course they were! 
I must admit that I did miss the daily craic here with you all,๐Ÿ’— but I think the week off from writing did me the world of good.   

And how is Jim I hear you ask? Poor Jim, was abandoned by The Him for the Her, for the 1st time in 3 years. Poor Jim my arse.  Jim is probably rocking in the corner waiting for Him’s Daddy back at 6am tomorrow.  
But did we miss him? Not one feckin bit! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

I am Smile for the dentist Mum

“Mammy. MAMMY. Da dentist came to school today.”
“Oh how lovely. Very good darling.”
“I gotted a noo toofbwush and EVERYFING,”
“Excellent!”
“And da dentist says we have to bwush our teef TWICE a day. After Breakfast and JUST before bed so we have fresh mouvs going to sleep…”
(Mmmmmmhmmmmm. Just what Mammy’s been saying for years.)

“Yes Sweetie. That is right!”
“We has to bwush our teef after EVERY time we eat you know. Sh-very important.”
“No sweetheart, you don’t brush them EVERY time you eat” (And considering that you, like your Mammy, have your arse sticking out of the fridge every 5 minutes, we’d have to hang your toothbrush on a necklace and stick a tube of toothpaste up your sleeve.)
“NO MAMMY. DA DENTIST SAID EVERY single TIME. And she is de BOSS of teef.”

Pulling into Granny’s, I have a feeling I’m going to want to hurt this dentist by bedtime.
Granny has a cuppa poured, digestive in her hand…

“Noooooooooo GWANNY STOOOOOOOOP!”
Granny drops the biscuit and almost scalds herself with the tea, such is the ferocity of Mini-Me’s scream. ๐Ÿ˜‚

“What is it?” gasps poor Granny.
“No BISCUITS. Biscuits are BAAAAD for your teef!”
I swear to God Ladies. There aren’t enough words to describe that panicked, innocent wee face; the fear and terror that Granny was about to eat a digestive was genuine.. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
Enter Granda.

Poor, unsuspecting Granda!

“Ooooh pour me a cuppa” he says, reaching for a biscuit…
“GRANDA NOOOOOOOOOOOO!” She scares the proverbial out of him too! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

“What what what what?”
Biscuits will make your teef fall out. You can NEVER EAT BISCUITS AGAIN.”
Now it’s Granda’s face that is priceless. ๐Ÿ˜€

And so you can imagine how the rest of the evening went…
She has brushed her teeth 5 times since 4pm.๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
And she refused to do a pee before bed, because apparently da dentist says “Brush your teeth and go STRAIGHT to bed, Mammy, so I don’t have time for a pee. Sowwy.” ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ
I’m quite unsure about how long this little fad will last…

Possibly until the first time she’s offered some chocolate! ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰
Why is it that it takes a complete stranger to get them to believe the stuff WE’VE been telling them everyday since they were born?
I wonder if we sent the school a list of things we need the minions to start doing, would they arrange a series of visitors? You know, like someone who likes to eat vegetables? Or someone who likes to go straight to sleep? Ooooooh, or a waitress? Or a cleaner? Or a laundry Lady?
What profession or job would you ask them to send in?
Let me know.

Oh! ย Mind you don’t choke on your biscuit there!
AAAAAAAAAAAND smile! ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜†
๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช๐Ÿช

I am Survived Hell and Back Mum

โ€‹I despise Peppa Pig.๐Ÿท

Yes, I said DESPISE!

No, I’m not going a bit too far.
She is a walking, talking, whining, obnoxious little lump of pork, with THE most annoying voice, who tells her Daddy he has a fat tummy, hangs up on her best friend when she is jealous and speaks to her brother George in the most patronising voice EVER! 

Peppa drives every Mummy, including Mummy Pig no doubt, to thinking about wine at 1pm.

She’s bratty and irritating and I TRY weekly (in vain) to BAN her from the tellybox in Smumble Hill.
BUT.

She and I do have ONE thing in common. ๐Ÿ˜
We both love jumping in muddy puddles.
Yesterday I completed Hell & Back Hercules in Sligo.
Hell and Back is a 10k (12k really) obstacle course through muck and mud and rivers and all sorts of shit.  (It’s on a working farm๐Ÿšœ, so I do not exaggerate here.)
It.

Was.

AMAZING!!!!๐Ÿ˜€
The start was the worst part for me.  Talk about the gates of hell…๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿ˜ˆ
We were met with AN ICE-BATH where you had to step in and duck yourself under a row of tyres to get out the other side. I am not a fan of water and I surprised myself when I did it. I’d like to say it’s because I’m so brave…in reality, I’m just far too STUBBORN for my own good. 

I jumped in, took a deep breath, closed my eyes and pinched my nose and under I went. 
I emerged gracefully, like a dolphin leaping beautifully from the sea, without even a ripple behind me and landed like a gymnast…
Yeah.

My arse.
I remember as I emerge flailing and gasping like a fish that I wear contact lenses and so I have to get my eyes wiped dry before I can open them.  I’m trying to wipe them, but the stupid gloves I’m wearing are simply sloshing more water onto my face.  I know there are others trying to get out behind me so I have to get out quick.  There’s a steward shouting “Focus FOCUS!” at me. I’m shouting back another F word which I shall not repeat right now. He tries to help me out, but the next cretur behind me tumbles me as He emerges from the hell bath and I “graciously” FALL arse first out of the big container and ONTO “Focus Fecker”.  In his defence, he catches me, slaps me on the back and kindly and encouragingly screams “GO! GO! GOOOOO!”
Good start.  

But nothing could be worse for me than that start, so off we go!
We wade through rivers, jump over ditches, clamber over round bales, sink into muck, slide down hills, climb over nets and tree logs, fall into sludge, get stuck in the mud, lose shoes…
We get slapped in the face by rogue briars, and stung on the arse by PAINTBALLS as we run through forests.

We get ELECTROCUTED as we crawl under obstacles and SCRATCHED by barbed wire if we don’t keep our bums low to the ground.
We jump, leap, crawl, run, slip, slide and fall.
It’s like The Blair Witch Project combined with The Hunger Games … with a bit of Carry On Camping thrown in for good measure. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
The sounds are memorable.

We hear screams behind us and ominous cheers ahead of us. 

There’s some swearing…

 OK. Swearing us the language in Hell and Back. There is a LOT of swearing.
But mostly, laughter.

Glorious, bellyaching, snorting and snaughling laughter.

Strangers help strangers.

 We get encouragement from people who we’ve never met before. 

We get pulled over walls and pushed up slopes and no one really gives a hoot who owns the hand that has the misfortune of pushing your arse up or over! 
I surprised MYSELF with how easy I found most of it.  I’m fitter than I give myself credit for. I am good at jumping, not bad at falling ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚and I can lift my leg higher than I thought I could! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Although the course was long and exhausting, I did it no bother. I think I even surprised the Him. ๐Ÿ‘ค
But what I wasn’t prepared for, was the comeraderie.

28 of the Rushe Fitness gang went to Hell yesterday and I must thank them for being the nicest, kindest, funniest shower of head-the-balls that I’ve ever had the pleasure to spend a day rolling in the mud with!  

Even those who finished earlier, waited at the 10ft wall to help the rest of us over, and then we all ran through the finish line together. As a team.
It’s tough.

It’s 12km of mayhem, but it’s easily the MOST FUN I’ve had in a long time.

I was 10 again, running through the farm, getting stuck in muck and “accidentally” shocked by electric fencing.

We were grown ups on an adventure.

We were splashing in muddy puddles.
And at the end, I had the nicest Pulled Pork Bap I’ve ever tasted. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿ˜ˆ
Gotta love Peppa and her muddy puddles don’t ya? ๐Ÿท
Look at how shiny and white we were at the start?


But look at how happy we look at the end! ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡

Hope you all had a lovely weekend Ladybelles. I’m off for a bath full of Epsom salts…๐Ÿ’–??๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–
#hellandback #hellandback2016 #SMum #rushefitness #muddymummy #peppapig

I am Suspicious Mum…ย 

โ€‹S-Mum is suspicious.
It seems that my perfectly dysfunctional little family unit survived quite well in my absence this weekend.  I came home to clean children and a tidy house.  I was impressed. ๐Ÿ˜…
Even more suspicious is the fact that Mini-Me has been BEAUTIFULLY behaved today. ๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒž

Like all day.

I didn’t have to scold or shout once.

And when I spoke, she actually listened…mostly. 
Seriously.  Something is not right.
Usually I automatically say things between 4 and 6 times in one breath, with the volume increasing each time. 

“Get off the baby…get off the baby…Get off the baby…Get off the baby…GET OFF THE FECKIN BABEEEEEEEEEEEY,” can happen up to 14 times a day.
Other lines I LOVE to repeat OVER & OVER ARE:

Put on your shoes please. 

Where are your socks?

Eat your dinner.

Get off the baby. (It happens a lot.)

Wash your hands please.

Where are your pjs?

Will you put down that feckin phone? (At the Him, not the girls obviously. Although I’d be as well saying it to Princess…or the Dog in fact. ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก)
I say these lines about 578 times each day and most of the time, I end up SCREAMING them before anyone even HEARS me.
But no.

  Today, Mini-Me was great.  She was quite fablis and now, she’s IN BED… NOT hiding outside the living door underneath the clothes-rack! 

She’s IN BED.

ASLEEP ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ.
My beautiful little angelic cherub is on her way to dreamland where hopefully she’ll dream of our AMAZING peaceful and non-screamingful day and her subconscious, or fairies or something, will teach her that THIS is how life SHOULD BE. 

Then, she’ll awaken from her slumber (after 8am) and continue on her streak of utter Fabulosity and perfection.

And I shall NEVER scream again.

And I will NEVER be cross again.

And I shall NEVER feel like NO ONE FRICKEN LISTENS TO ME!

And we shall all live happily ever after… until the Him comes home and looks at his phone instead of at me… ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
But tonight, I shall relish the VERRRRRRRRRY unusual feeling of a FULL DAY OF MUMMY WINS and rest my voice, because in reality, I’ll probably need it tomorrow!
What’s your “FAVOURITE” line that you LOVE to use?  You know? 

Over and over and over and over and over….๐Ÿท

I am Scheme in the Sunshine Mum

Scheming, in the Donegal dictionary, can also mean to intentionally avoid going to school.
Playing truant, mitching, scheming…take your pick.
Last Monday.ย  I schemed school.
Well, technically, Mini-Me schemed school.

But honestly Teacher, it was my idea.

I didn’t even have to open the curtains at 7am to know that the sun was splitting the rocks in that wonderful way that suggests that today was going to be a scorcher.ย  It may only be March, but the little weather-predicting farmer in me, just knew that it was going to be fantastic.

I looked at the clock.ย  I looked at the clothes I’d laid out for her the previous night.ย  I looked at the blue sky and I knew before I’d even allowed the thought to articulate in my mind, that the blue sky was the only one of the these things that mattered.

My girl was not going to school today.ย  She was going to scheme.ย  With me.
We were going on an adventure.

I let her dress herself in whatever the heck she liked.ย  She chose her favourite dress-up dress; lilac and sparkly and hideously ‘Little Miss’ Pageanty, blue leggings, her gold glittery welly-boots and a multi-coloured hand-knit cardigan that we usually keep for shopping trips.

She added the final touch…a huge pink flower headband and Peppa Pig hat..and announced “Now, I’m perfect!”
And she was indeed perfect.

image

We wrapped the Princess into her pram, sloshed on some suncream and packed a “picmic” of apple juice and Gingernut biscuits.
And off we went on our adventure.

We’re blessed to live in the absolute sticks…ย  I mean, if you’re looking for our house, you must first find the “back arse of nowhere” and take the third left.ย  We’re on top of that hill past the house with the fancy stonework.ย  If you start going down hill again, you’ve gone too far.
Sally SatNav would need three bottles of wine to find us.

It’s Heavenly.ย  We live on the family farm, a full field away from where I grew up.ย  So today, I decided it was about time I took my girls on a trip through my childhood haunts.
We wandered only a mile down the road and back, but we went so much further than that.

image

We went back to the 1980’s.
Mini-Me saw the tree in the hedgerow that Mammy used to climb with my best friend Roald Dahl, which no longer has the full covering of foliage that used to hide me from my sister and brother.ย  (A Neighbour broke my heart when I was 14 by getting too happy with the hedge cutter.ย  It was never the same and my hidden reading den was destroyed.ย  For the record, I haven’t forgiven him yet.ย  I’m looking at you Mr. Bellybutton.)

We stood in the deep mud at the gate to the potato field where we used to spend a fortnight “scheming” each Harvest. (“Slave labour” some might say, but what memories we have.ย  I swear that there is no better taste than jam and clay sandwiches with tea in a plastic flask cup.)

image

We looked at the fields where we used to tie the long grass together and run through it, playing ‘Trippies’.

We found a magic stream… a newly dug drain, but humongously exciting.ย  it required the immediate throwing in of twigs.

image

I showed her the gate the the Fairy Kingdom which lies at the border between Dad’s farm and the next.ย  The old gate has been lying in that spot, above a busy babbling stream, for over 30 years.ย  It’s rusted, ruined and utterly convincing as an enchanted gate.ย  It only opens for Fairies in the moonlight…of course.

image

We saw the enchanted tree in the middle of the neighbour’s field.ย  That’s where Pixie Hollow is…obviously.

We saw the “Jungles”; the messy, overgrown batch of whin bushes where my siblings and cousins and I had the most spectacular adventures as children.

And to top it off, as we munched our bickies and drank our juice, Mini-me realised that we were surrounded by glimmering fairies! (Midges…but hey!)
Oh the excitement.

When we returned home, she was buzzing from the fresh air and the fun.ย  I was buzzing from the nostalgia and from the realisation that while it may not be quite as safe as it was when we were children, my girls will have the same opportunities for imagination and explorations as I did.
They’ll play in fields.ย  They’ll get wellies stuck in mud.ย  They’ll have adventures in jungles of whin bushes and they’ll hide up trees with their favourite books.
And where my Mum used to sound the car horn as our signal to haul our behinds back to reality for bedtime, I’ll probably just text them to come home.ย  Because times have changed.

But what hasn’t changed is the fact that sometimes, you have to simply turn away from routine and convention and go have fun.
And you can’t measure, grade or assess how much a child can learn from simply going on a walk outside with Mum or Dad.

So for one day only, I was Scheme in the Sunshine Mum. (and it was awesome!) ๐Ÿ™‚

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