Thursday photo #326

With the children having been off school for so long, it is ridiculous that I haven’t adapted a bit better. When I look at things logically, I realise that the girls really need to run off some energy during the early part of each day. Not necessarily first thing, but by lunchtime at least. There have been a couple of days this week when that hasn’t happened and everything seems so much more fraught.

Yellow head of a large sunflower in bloom against the backdrop of blue sky
Head of a large sunflower

Just add water

I often hear it said that when children are struggling, just add water. It works in most situations here. When my girls are winding each other up, arguing or generally not giving me a moment’s peace, water usually does the trick. Usually we’d swim at least a few times each week during school holidays. Half an hour to an hour in the pool in the morning always makes for a more pleasant day.

With this year being rather different, it has only been over the past couple of weeks that I’ve taken them to swim in the river. I’m not sure why that was really. Possibly because I was worried about taking them on my own while my husband was at work. But having been once, I realised that it wasn’t too difficult at all. So, we’re making it a regular thing. I’ve found somewhere local where we don’t need a paddle board or life jackets for the girls because they can stand if they need to. So, that will be our regular haunt.

Two girls in swimming costumes standing in a river with a willow tree behind
Two children standing in a river

At the weekend, we met some friends at another river spot where the girls can’t stand up. Because they’re still so little, I put little inflatable buoyancy aids on them. We also took the paddle board so they could alternate between swimming and paddle boarding. Lia swam virtually the whole way at a pace that was quite staggeringly fast. Libby paddled most of it. And as for Bubbles, she wasn’t going to miss out either. She swam a bit, paddle boarded a bit, walked a bit and leapt onto somebody else’s paddle board. We were rather relieved she chose someone we were with. It could have been rather embarrassing if she’d jumped onto a stranger’s board. All the time, she was chattering away in a staffy squawk that we rarely hear from her. I think she was a bit worried about us all swimming and felt somewhat responsible.

Family dog walks

Over the past few weeks, we have got into the habit of going for dog walks with my sisters and their dogs. It’s quite unusual for me to walk with anybody because I tend to just take Bubbles out for a run. But it has been lovely to turn dog walks into a family affair. Sometimes we grab a drink at a local coffee shop or pub. Often though, we just explore the local area.

I know things are starting to go back to normal now but dog walks and river dips are two things I want to hang on to. They can be done at no cost at all and are a great way to connect with family. I hope these are new found habits that will stick.

A river beach with children sitting on it having a picnic. Trees surround the water.
Picnic on the river beach

Thursday photo #236

The girls are heavily into colouring their hair at the moment. They only use hair chalk so it washes off as soon as they wash their hair but in the meantime, they have been sporting some very interesting rainbow looks.

Two girls in yellow and orange dresses with rainbow hair
Rainbow hair

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  1. The swimming and paddle boarding sounds brilliant. It must be lovely to go dog walking with your sisters too. My younger kids always take themselves out for a walk in the morning, but my eldest often doesn’t leave the house until the evening and he’s like a caged animal by then!

    1. Yes my eldest is exactly the same if we haven’t got her out and about to do something! I was wondering yesterday whether I ought to get into the habit of taking her out for a quick run before school when she goes back, she seems to concentrate so much better when she’s done something active.

  2. Hi Nat, do hold on to those river dips and everyone gains from catching up on a dog walk. Dogs can be more embarrassing than children! We had a moment during the winter when I lost Zola on one of our morning walks in the hills, it’s not like her to stray far. I couldn’t believe it when I spotted her sat happily in the back on an olive pickers car she’d jumped in through the window. Luckily no one saw, but it could have been an embarrassing moment!… Love the rainbow hair your girls are sporting. Fun, creative and harmless.


  3. Ooh will have to arrange a river meet next time – get the boys out!

    Well done to Lia – looks like you’ve got a couple of fishes on your hands. Is swimming club back on this week?