It's been over a week since my last blog but what a week it's been! I'm feeling slightly exhausted from all the travelling and activities we've been doing, not to mention the traumatic events surrounding our beloved dog Remy.
It all started on the evening of Wednesday 11th January, when I drove the children down to my Dad's in Selsey on the South coast. We had spent the day playing at Arrabella's house, (she is a new friend who we have met through home ed.) We all had a super time where I had had the pleasure of sitting around the table with Jenson watching him converse quite happily with Arrabella's Mum. It was great to see him talking confidently to grown ups. The day before he had been playing with a pair of three year olds. It did however leave us short on time to pack and load the car when we got back home. Simon kindly offered to drive us down to help as I'm not the best driver at night but due to problems at work he couldn't. By the time we discovered this however the car was loaded. The pair of them had taken great care in helping each other do this task and would occasionally shout, "Look Mummy, team work!" as they lugged out great big bags together. They were excited beyond belief. There was no backing out. Either I drive or be driven mad by the kids screaming.
Despite my grave concerns that I couldn't do it, turns out I could. Jenson's kind words of encouragement helped: "If you do it Mummy I will give you a special treat!" When we got there he told me that my driving had been very good and that he was very proud of me. He also said something very interesting: "I told you you could do it and you didn't think you could." It was a good lesson for us all to learn - even if you think you can't do something just give it a go. You might surprise yourself.
Thursday was a new day and a rainy one too! I was pessimistic about Jenson's mood after a long journey the night before. However, one of Grandad's stonking cooked breakfasts soon sorted us all out a treat! Jenson showed his appreciation by doing all of the washing up, a trend that continued for most of the time we were down there with Wren helping to clear and set the table for meal times, mainly because she could climb through the serving hatch!!
Rain doesn't deter us from doing anything so we set off to RSPB nature reserve Pagham Harbour for a walk and some bird watching. First we stopped off at the egg farm, which is basically a massive chicken farm where you can buy cheap but delicious eggs! It was in their little charity shop that Jenson took a fancy to some of the ladies jewellery proclaiming that he, "wanted to dress like a girl."
We eventually made it to Pagham Harbour and got our bearings in the visitor centre. Two very helpful volunteers showed Jenson and Wren how to use the binoculars and telescope. The children were lucky enough to spot a male and female pair of pheasants.
We then went on our very wet walk. By this point Jenson was starting to feel the effect of a late night and stomped on ahead in a bit of a bad mood!
He was fading fast until he stumbled across a plant called Burdock. In Summer the bees love to feed on its flowers but in Winter all that is left are the hooked burs that catch on fur and clothing therefore helping to disperse seeds. However, if it was not for sticking to the fur of a Swiss engineers dog in 1941, we would not have velcro today! Jenson perked up no end once he found out how much fun it was to stick the seed heads all over me, particularly in the places below!!
Our walk continued and we did a big circular loop. On our travels Wren spotted a heron, Jenson collected a teasel and correctly identified public footpath signs. We also timed it well as when we got back to the visitor centre they were topping up the bird feeders and so the children helped.
Once back at Grandad's they warmed up with hot chocalate and biscuits!
The afternoon was spent doing craft and writing thank you letters for his Christmas pressies. Once the letters were done Jenson wanted to make a flip book.
We covered some maths by measuring out the size we wanted the book to be and then Jenson cut the pages out and I helped him to fasten them together using a stapler.
Next I asked Jenson what he would like his flip book to be about. We went on the internet and got a few ideas together. We eventually decided on a tree and the changes it goes through each season. Jenson made a super effort with this project. He stuck at it from start to finish, despite Wren's some what unhelpful input at times. Sticky jam fingers from his toast didn't add anything to the presentation of the book either, but it's all part of the fun as they say!
The day wasn't finished yet. Jenson by this point was feeling pretty tired so I left him doing a jigsaw with Grandad whilst Wren and I walked to the shops to buy some craft. We had a super time together as I watched her take great delight in jumping in every puddle, which in some instances were quite deep!
As well as craft we also found some great bargains in the charity shops! The name on the box had caught my eye initially - BRIO - this construction toy has been a real hit with Jenson. It cost just £2 but has given him hours of entertainment. Being a charity shop purchase you can never be certain if all the pieces are there. In this case they weren't. He was upset and frustrated at first because there were things in the manual that he wanted to make but couldn't because he didn't have all the components. Once I had helped him to realise that he didn't need to copy what someone else had already made and that actually, he could probably make something far more imaginative using his own ideas, he spent the rest of the evening sat in Grandad's conservatory hammering away and only came in when it was time to go to bed!