Honest Motherhood: Summer Adventures

You know you’re having a great Summer when someone declares they need a “rest day” after one too many days out. We’ve had some gorgeous adventures and some very necessary down time.
Here is the highlight reel of our Summer so far: 

1.) My cousins coming to stay: They bring all the joy. Everything is extra fun with them around.

2.) The Aldershot Lido: Nothing fancy, does what it says on the tin. Maia had a blast splashing around with us all. Leo – not so much. Joel made every effort to encourage our boy to relax into the water. No such luck. He wasn’t having it. In the end he had a long afternoon nap on a towel while the rest of us took turns watching him. After a short while my cousin Rachel managed to persuade me to venture up to the slides. 
“How fast are they exactly?” I asked the lifeguard tentatively. 
“They’re pretty fast…” she said, amused. 
Indeed, one minute my cousin was there right by me in plain sight, next she’s being launched into a pool of water 50 feet below. 
“NOPE not for me..” I announced. I opted for the blue side. Designed, most likely, for mothers and babies.
“Do I have to go to the back of the line?” I queried. 
“No just stand with me, the blue side will be ready in a minute.”
So there I stood, like a lemon, waiting in humiliation as one by one a gaggle of eight year olds flew down the fast slides. The blue side was painfully slow and I spent most of it in hysterical laughter waving at my people whilst trying not to cry of embarrassment. 

3.) Beale Park: Always a winner. Otters, zebras, and a pair of mating tortoises who seemed to go on forever. We stood and watched as passers-by laughed and commented:
“Are they STILL at it?!”
“EY UP!”
“The sound though..those noises!!” 

4.) NT Live Prima Facie: An incredible performance by Jodie Comer, I’d highly recommend this if you get the chance. 

5.) The Raver Tots Festival in Reading: When Joel first mentioned this particular festival, aimed at children, I politely declined. Loud base-heavy music, long queues to expensive food and a bunch of rides? No no. Surely we could think of a better way to spend our Sunday. 
Apparently I couldn’t because two months later I’m sat sticking sparkly gems to my face in festival-prep mode. After an hour of queuing in the car just to make it into the carpark, I was certain I’d made the right choice. 
“It’s so popular!” 
Then we made it inside and all I could think every ten seconds for those four hours was: 
“WHERE IS LEO?”
Candy floss was bought, more glitter applied, rides ridden. Maia and I fought over the steering wheel in a bumper car whilst Joel watched Leo on the inflatables. We raved inside the rave tent in short bursts as neither of the children were particularly keen.

6.) The cinema: This may seem mundane but the last time I went to the cinema was January 2020, so I was way overdue. Joel and I hadn’t been since early 2019, we spent £35 on food then left thirty minutes in citing “boredom” as our reason. I recall loathing the part where we couldn’t talk for two hours. This time round, we managed just fine. Where the Crawdads Sing is not a film one can talk through, even us. 

7.) Taking Leo for his first haircut and passport photos: Both went surprisingly smoothly.

8.) A trip to London: I met a friend for brunch then spent a while in Foyles browsing plays and reading other women’s memoirs on Motherhood. (If I am not doing the actual mothering I am reading or writing about it apparently.) Then there’s the play I’m going to see next week entitled Oh Mother, all about, you guessed it: Motherhood. Can’t keep away. 

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