There is nothing I love more than spending time with the children, even more so when we can get outside. Throughout the warmer months we live at the beach, the park, or in the garden, just enjoying the outdoors, playing game’s and using our imaginations. It never ceases to amaze me just how creative the children can be, and together they can play for hours.
With Eva starting school and Megan at pre-school, I worried how Harry would cope at home each day with only me for company. So used to playing with his sisters, and going along with their demands, I wondered how we would pass our days.
And yet the thing with a two year old is that their imaginations know no limits. Even during the ordinary moments, sat in the shopping trolley at the supermarket, he can be driving a racing car, bombing along the aisles, sounding his imaginary horn, throwing his head back and laughing as we race around the corners.
Walks in the park become a safari trek in the jungle, hunting for lions and tigers, hiding in make shift dens from make believe grizzly bears, screaming at the top of his voice, “Watch out!! It’s behind you!”.
Splashing around the paddling pool in the garden becomes a deep sea dive, thrashing away from sharks, diving for treasure, singing with imaginary mermaids. And for me, those are my favourite moments.
So when I heard about the Cow & Gate Extraordinary moments campaign, encouraging parents to turn every day moments into extraordinary ones, it was definitely something that we wanted to take part in. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.
This last week the weather has been utterly miserable, grey and raining from morning ’til night, and it has put a real dampener on our adventures. We have been unable to do our usual trips to the park, down the woods or even just play in the garden, and after far too many days sat on the couch, watching television, we were beginning to get cabin fever.
“Who wants to go to the moon?” I asked Harry, hiding a special ‘spaceman’s helmet’ behind my back. As he dragged his eyes away from the television, and spotted the silver glint of the helmet, his eyes lit up, “Me!”.
And as he placed the colander on his head, I brought in our alien adventure supplies, tin foil ‘meterorites’ and gold glitter ‘stars’. “Zoom zoom zoom, we’re going to the moon!” Harry sang, as he sat down in his imaginary rocket and patted the floor beside him, “You can come too”.
And with the grey skies behind us, and the sound of the rain just a distant patter, we counted down to rocket launch, “Five, four, three, two, one…..BLAST OFF!!!” and shot into space. “Aliens are coming!” Harry shouted, as we ducked and dived in our rocket, blasting the aliens with our special (cardboard tube) laser guns, “Got them! Harry saved you!” he told me, throwing his arms around me, his little face so sincere.
By the time we landed back down to earth we had met six legged aliens, three eyed monsters, dodged meteorites, eaten space food and floated through space. And it was perfect, just Harry and I, enjoying our own extraordinary moment.
And thanks to the Cow & Gate story book video maker, we were able to download a video of our space adventure to watch later that night at bedtime.
As I read aloud the story, Harry watching in amazement as he flew through space, and by the time we had read it, twice over, my tired little space explorer was closing his eyes. “Night night Harry,” I told him as I planted a kiss on his head. “Harry is a spaceman!” he mumbled, falling asleep, no doubt dreaming of our cosmic adventure.
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