An hour (and a bit more) in a day

7.55 am. I dropped Puppy off at school and drove Lamb and Piglet to the park for our daily morning exercise. I was bleary eyed as usual from lack of sleep but the thought of my girl, my eldest, already in her first year of preschool, made me cling on firmly to the moment with my boys – before they grew up too fast and left for school all too soon as she did.

8.00 am. We sat down on a park bench to eat our cheese-on-toast and hard boiled eggs and watched a big group of ladies doing line-dancing. There is line-dancing every day on the basketball court and the blaring music, quick stepping and twirls are always a treat for us.

This time though, I almost choked, because just as I was about to swallow some bread and sip some hot coffee, this song began blasting away –

I wanna have sex on the beach

Come on and move your body

Sex on the beach!

I had to suppress my laughter because it was really hilarious to watch some of the elderly ladies dancing to this tune with a dead-pan look on their faces. Also, I didn’t want Lamb asking me what I found funny! Too many explanations too early in the day. At the end of the song though, he give a big Whoop! and a jump and yelled, “I wanna go to the BEACH!!!!!”

I tell you, I had mixed emotions right then and there about going up to the dance instructor and asking her why she chose such a raunchy number with little kids around. But I didn’t. I looked at Lamb and my heart gave a skip just thinking how sweet and innocent he was.

8.20 am. We finished our breakfast and then had a few shots at basketball, Lamb and I, while Piglet pottered about with his own wee ball. Poor Piglet, after sometime he kept wanting to sit down and kick the ball with an outstretched foot, because he doesn’t know yet how to kick a ball while standing up.

After getting tired of the basketball court, Lamb and I ran helter skelter on the grass and played some football which got us all breathless and sweaty. I had to carry Lamb while playing to make sure he wouldn’t wander about and get a ball kicked in his face.

We then watched some guys blowing away dried leaves with a nifty machine. Lamb wanted one right away.

Piglet on the other hand got scared, so the guy went away nicely and the boys started climbing. I used to worry about Lamb climbing too quickly when he was little, but he is so sure footed.

Climbing, zipping down slides and trying out the monkey bars took just a little while.

8.45 am. We went for a walk. And picked wild flowers.

When we were warmed up, we started running on the walking track. I carried Piglet and tried not to jiggle him too much. After a couple of rounds, I felt like expiring prematurely so we stopped to watch helicopters flying overhead. I am always more amazed looking at Piglet’s little finger pointing upwards than at all the different types of helicopters we have seen flying over this park.

Then I had a nice idea that we should collect different sizes of stones to see which ones would make a bigger splash when thrown into a puddle of water.

Lesson learned: Do not stand in the opposite direction when trying to take a photo of this sort of activity. DO, if you want mud spattered all over your legs and clothes!

After examining my muddy legs and being rather disappointed that the bigger stone hadn’t made as big a splash as he had thought it would, Lamb decided that poking with a stick was a more pleasant alternative.

9.10 am. We decided to head home but got distracted by a huge ant.

What a beauty!

We squatted there just watching until Piglet wanted to grab the little dude. Time to go, I said.

Lamb simply had to do some push ups before leaving. “Just a minute”, he said. I love that my little guy has so much energy, well spent!

9.25 am. We go home. I’m so glad I had this time with my little troopers! (Besides the muddy legs and clothes ….)

Linking up with Stacey of Stacey’s Mothering Moments. (She is hosting a new link up called An Hour in A Day, and I thought it would be fun to participate. There are so many things that could happen to me in an hour, I sometimes wonder what other people do in theirs!)

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Homeschooling outdoors

There is something irresistible about fresh, morning air coupled with a vast expanse of green.  Every morning, Lamb, Piglet and I head for the nearby park for our daily dose of good old fashioned medicine for body, mind and spirit.

Whether it’s rained the night before and the playground is all wet, or if it’s a blistering hot morning, it’s hard not to feel the pull of the great outdoors. Especially when you know you’ll be mostly indoors for the rest of the day. And even though there will always be something outdoorsy in the evening like swimming or tennis or long walks around the neighbourhood, the morning air trumps it all.

This is also because I am not a particular chirpy person in the early part of the day due to extended, unromantic nocturnal activities like trying to finish chores.  Night-time nursing in the wee hours is cherished, but hourly wake ups after 4.00 am can be rather ….. torturous.

So give me a gazillion breaths of crisp, clean air and I’m more or less sorted.

Recently, when my lazy bones kicked in, I began wondering what we could really  accomplish by going again to the same old, same old park.

After all, we’d played basketball, football, frisbee, ran the walking circuit, pulled monkey stunts on the exercise beams, swung on the swings, bounced on the see-saw, played hide and seek, butt-scooted on the grass (Piglet only) and zipped down the slides.

And then, over the past 2 months – call it the Gift of Childhood – Lamb taught me that we can do so much more than the regular, “normal” activities that an Old Foggy Person like me thinks can happen at a park.

We threw sticks and laughed at who could throw furthest.

We dug in the mud and looked for tadpoles.  (Okay, he dug. I sat on the swing with Piglet and ate sandwiches. I even brought my tea along a few times.)

We played “Fireman”.  (A game of make believe. Lamb loves that he gets to holler, “Fire! Fire!” at the top of his lungs and climbs up a tall pole to look for victims.  Last time we played, we got to the scene too late and hundreds died.  Utterly tragic.)

We counted in English and Malay how many balls we could shoot past the goal post.

We collected berries and leaves that had dropped from a tree and came home to assemble a collage.

We looked at birds collecting twigs and crept to see where they might be building a nest.

We sat on the swings, watching the garbage truck go past, and talked about waste disposal.  (By the way, did you know 50 animals die daily because of irresponsible human litter one way or another?)

We stopped to smell flowers, dodged bees, and plucked some wild things to surprise Puppy on her birthday.  (She was pleased!)

Being outdoors with a child and discovering newness in everything again is nothing short of marvelous.

There have been a few unpleasantries like knee scrapes, tears over squashed berries, wails about not wanting to leave, muddied shoes and clothes.

But I wouldn’t miss our daily dose of morning goodness.  No siree.  A good burst of fresh air helps puts life in perspective.

(And makes scrubbing that darn toilet a wee bit easier.)

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