If World Book Day had been today we would have written our story about The Grinch, such was Jenson's mood.

I was woken by much banging, thumping and door slamming. This continued for some time until I shoved a plate of pancakes under his nose. He walloped them down and his mood improved ten fold.

We had a very lazy morning that consisted of TV and craft. We eventually made it down to the beach at 12 noon for a few hours.

Just getting these two into the car can be a challenge in itself. Jenson had found a small piece of slate and I stopped him short of flinging it over our wall and into the adjacent pub car park. However, as I turned my back on him to lock the front door I heard a loud bang. Said piece of slate had been thrown over the wall despite everything I had said and had hit the roof of someone's car.  Much shouting ensued after which I told him that this afternoon's swim at the pool was off. He looked pretty beaten by this comment. 

We did eventually make it to Combesgate beach and had a good time. There was a stiff breeze so we enjoyed lots of kite flying.

There was also that promise of another sand story that Jenson hadn't forgotten about. Today's tale was about Stickman, and in particular the verse about poor old Stickman being chased by the dog! Jenson recited it brilliantly:

One day he woke early
and went for a jog
Stickman, oh Stickman, beware of the dog.
A stick barks the dog. An excellent stick.
It’s the right kind of stick for my favourite trick.
I’ll drop it and fetch it and drop it and then
I’ll fetch it and drop it and fetch it again.
A notice says dogs must be kept on the lead.
As last the game’s over
And Stickman is freed.

— Jenson

Inevitably the subject of going for a swim at the pool came up again but I stood my ground. This seemed to stir something inside Jenson. As I drew a massive miow for Wren in the sand, complete with a baby in its tummy, Jenson packed up the beach bag and buckets and walked off.

When I finally caught up with him he refused to let me help carry anything. I got the distinct impression he was trying to make amends and when I asked him if this was the case he just nodded his head. His efforts were hindered further when Wren found a large piece of slate that she wanted to use as a computer. I was quick to tell her to put it down but Jenson piped up and again, without speaking, offered the bag towards her, gesturing her to put it in.

His solitary march continued all the way across the beach, up the steps, (there are hundreds) and all the way to the car, where he refused to let me help him put the bags in the boot. When we got back to the house he he said sorry for throwing the stone at the car and said he had done it to be cheeky. He genuinely meant it and I really appreciated the apology but more so the fact he had managed to acknowledge that he had done the wrong thing. 

After his big effort to carry all the bags for me and his big apology, we made it to the swimming pool for that swim. The water was freezing so after an hour I didn't need any excuse to get out. The kids weren't so keen though so I started to walk off leaving them protesting. Jenson followed eventually as did Wren, but not before she caught her foot in the steps and fell head first into the water. Luckily there was a life guard standing close by to haul her back out. I think we all learnt a valuable lesson: Children, listen to Mummy when she tells you to come and Mummy, don't walk off from the kids while they are still near the water, no matter how fed up you are with them.