I get really bad cabin fever. So do my girls. On an average day, after a few hours pottering around and playing at home, at least one of us will start to get tetchy. A bit gnarky. There might be tears. Tantrums are a possibility. And it’s contagious. Before long we’re all grumbling around and getting snappy. It’s not pretty. We need to get out.
We do more than our fair share of day trips. My National Trust card is one of the most used cards in my wallet and we more than sporadically dip our toes into the crazy world of kiddy attractions and themed events. But not everyday can be a day trip. Firstly, with a baby and toddler in tow they take military precise organisation to pull off (not my strong point) and require a bottomless pit of money (not currently at my disposal). Some days just need to be average. So here are the ordinary little things we do to while away an unashamedly normal day.
We live so conveniently close to a lovely little park and play area that Poppy thinks it’s an extension of our garden. We spend A LOT of time there.
When a trip to the park doesn’t fit in with Milly’s very unpredictable feeding or napping plans, the garden is our saviour. Yes our little patch of green space, and in particular Poppy’s playhouse (a.k.a. The Shop), have been sanity savers on days when getting “out out” is proving to be nigh impossible.
Rainy days propel cabin fever into a whole new level of insanity. There’s just only so much craft and baking you can do. And what I really need after we’ve covered ourselves (and the house) in flour, eggs, glue and felt tip is a huge serving of a very potent, caffeine-packed beverage. (A second shower and a maid would also be highly desirable but less achievable!)
Take a quick peek in my wallet nowadays and you can tell I’m a parent. Gone are the array of store cards that used to fund my crippling pre-parenthood shopping habit and in their place are a multitude of coffee shop loyalty cards. Poppy, Milly and I are regulars at the coffee establishments of Bridgnorth. We make a beeline for a sofa seat, get out a sticker book, grab some drinks and maybe share a cake. Yes, we could do all of this at home but there’s always the looming pressure to put some washing on, tidy up the toys or even worse, the risk of a Justin Fletcher overdose care of ‘Beebies’. Eek.
I’m not a fan of traditional baby groups but I happily dabble with some carefully selected classes. Not only do they provide the girls with lots of fun, social stimulation and learning opportunities, they also offer up some everyday structure during a very average week. There are so many classes out there (and far too many that are unbearably twee – yuk) but through trial and error I can highly recommend baby massage, Jo Jingles, Baby Sensory and Water Babies. Both of the girls (and myself and Mr J) have got a lot from these classes.
And if all else fails, we bring in the cavalry…