This week is my five year old's half-term holiday so I booked today off work in order to take two year old into nursery as usual and have a full day alone with my big girl. It is always a tough one - balancing the needs of both children, I have no idea how people do it with more than two. Of course I did have a few pangs of guilt dropping off my younger daughter, as she's obviously old enough to cotton onto what is happening around her, but I reasoned that she gets a fair amount of one-to-one time during term-time.
I had planned to take a train trip to a local town as a small-scale day out but it was rather a wet day and so we scaled down our plans. I followed her lead and we painted pictures and then made pancakes for lunch. We also did some things that you might not expect to be on a five year old girl's list of things to do when not at school; I needed to take apart a shelving unit that was blocking up the kitchen, so she unscrewed that for me, enjoying every minute. At one point I did wonder if we would get out at all - in fact we had a rather ridiculous discussion when she announced she wanted to "stay at home and tidy up". In hindsight I think she just wanted to help and to be like mummy for the day, as when I sulkily (yes, I know I'm the adult but it was my day off too!) said something along the lines off: "Well if we're staying at home I'm just going to sort out this laundry then and you can do whatever you want." (Pathetic, I know, I'm ashamed.) She then followed me and without a word started hanging wet clothes on the drying maiden. Oh, sweetheart.
Eventually we did go out for an hour or so though, to a local attraction where the queues were several feet deep. On seeing the number of people there I did wonder if I oughtn't to have listened to my wise daughter, but we had fun once we got in. And there was a face painter inside (more queues obviously) - always a winner.
It probably wasn't until about an hour later when we had picked up two year old from nursery that I really appreciated how lovely it had been to spend a day alone with my elder child. Don't get me wrong I love both my children dearly and equally, but it is still good to actually manage to have a full conversation with one of them with no interruptions. On the way back home my car started to overheat so I opened up the bonnet ready to check the radiator as soon as we pulled into the drive. Two year old announced she needed the toilet, I had frozen food in the boot of the car and my phone rang within about five seconds of opening the car doors. We got inside, both children throwing off coats and shoes in random directions as they walked in, both simultaneously asking for different items from the bag of shopping I was carrying in whilst also helping them up the steps and answering the phone and keeping an eye on the open car... Phew.
Overall a good day though.