It has been a week (and then some) of feeling caught in a vicious cycle. A cycle of physical pain being so high that I am unable to leave the flat, even to trudge the 1/3 mile to my GP surgery, swiftly followed by anxiety thereby ensuring my enforced captivity. It is a battle that I felt I was fast losing and made for a mostly miserable half term, the weather once again reflecting my mood.
Then hope. Sunday saw a glimpse of summer as the clouds vanished, the sun shone with birdsong and laughter filling the air. For the second time in as many days Harry and the husband packed up a picnic to head to a local park, this time with me in tow, making the 3/4 of a mile a 40 minute walk that they usually do in 15 minutes although not before a stand-off between Harry and me over tidying up; it was 1.15 pm before we even managed to leave the flat.
Having dosed myself up (thank you Tramadol) I found the walk there OK; thankfully the husband and Harry seemed to just be happy that I had decided to join them and did not seem to notice my rather slow pace.
By the time we arrived and found where we wanted to picnic, it was approaching 2 pm and definitely time to eat before we let Harry loose to play.
We went to a lovely estate called Blaise Castle, which Harry adores and has a couple of playgrounds, lots of open space, beautiful walking and cycling trails and, over the half term, a giant inflatable slide and bouncy castle. Of course, being just four years old, Harry wanted to spend his time on the inflatable things (that one of the girls from his nursery was there had absolutely no bearing on his choice to just spend most of the afternoon in the bouncy castle and not the slide, none whatsoever... *whistles*).
As we had secured our spot by the entrance to the inflatables, there was little for the husband and I to do other than relax together. We didn't have anything in particular to talk about but it was nice to chat and just be in each other's company with only the occasional interruption from Harry when he came back for a drink or yet another strawberry and no demands on us.
When the inflatable slide had been there on previous visits, Harry spent most of his time on that. On Sunday, most of his time was spent on the bouncy castle with his friend from nursery who was unwilling to try the slide (and to be fair, it must look rather daunting to most small children!). Much to his delight, he did manage to persuade her to have a go and we could clearly see his face of glee when he followed.
Of course no trip to the park in the sun is complete without an ice-cream and naturally Harry had to have the same as his friend from nursery.
After well and truly making use of the wristband for the inflatable slide and bouncy castle (£5 all day or £3 for ten minutes) Harry finally decided it was time to play in the playgrounds.
It was an afternoon of fun and it was lovely seeing Harry play with a couple of friends. Every day after nursery he insists he does not play with any one so it is reassuring to know that simply is not true, to see for my own eyes how well he interacts with other children. Whether that need for reassurance is my own insecurities, that I have no friends here myself (still!) or a normal parent worry is anyone's guess!
It was almost 6 pm before we got home and I was shattered. I was still tired and sore the following day but it was most definitely worth it to spend some quality time as a family, enjoying the sun. A perfect way to end a half term that I'd had little input on.
What did you get up to over half term? And was the weather any nicer with you?