Whenever we play board games, ones that need a dice, we often end up playing a second game hunt the dice. I can hear myself saying it now don't throw the dice gently roll it, which of course they don't do because they have no idea what I am talking about. I could repeat this request until I am blue in the face but it won't make a jot of difference, if they haven't a clue what I mean. Getting them to watch how I do it is the most obvious way to demonstrate what I mean but it takes me ages to think of doing that, meanwhile we continue to play hunt the dice as well as the game in hand. Sometimes the solution to a problem is the most obvious one but it doesn't mean we work this out more easily.
This past week we have been madly busy. We have, in the main, enjoyed all that we were doing but it would have been better for us if it hadn't all come at the same time. It is hard sometimes to say no to things but actually for your own sanity it would be better. We did have a free day in the middle of family coming to stay, travelling away to a funeral and assessing a d of e expedition, but when some friends called to ask if we were around as it was half term and they were looking for things to do and people to meet up with I somehow found myself saying why not come and stay the night. Really? Have I gone completely mad. It seems I have. Somehow I couldn't say no.
What being busy like this means is that our rhythm and routines fall apart. We are not people who at 10am every morning have a snack or do maths every day at 11 or read a book together at 12. Our routine and rhythm flows differently to that, if it is Monday we will be baking, Tuesday creating, Wednesday maths, Friday science interspersed with this are outside walks, a chapter from a story, visits with friends, joining up with home ed groups, a singing group, and lots of playing and reading. It has been difficult to fit this in with everything else that has been going on and I really noticed the impact this had on the children. When life is simple and moving along at a gentle pace, when you have had a day of doing one particular thing they know what will happen on the next, they are calm and happy. When each day is different, perhaps challenging, when they don't really understand what is coming next the calm and happy children disappear replaced with two children who cannot get on with each other and who cannot settle to any kind of play. Add into the mix a tired mama and coughs and colds it gets well.......you can imagine!
So this week we returned to the comfort of our rhythm. We baked and joined our singing group. Then we were due to join friends as usual with the addition of celebrating Bonfire Night and sharing food together but we got up that morning and said no, all of us craving some quiet time at home to recharge and restore our health. By the end of the day my eldest who had been suffering with a nasty cough for a few days was so much better and the cough has stayed away. We created as usual, making puppets together and putting on shows for each other, we enjoyed each others company. It can be really hard to say no even when it is for the best but I do need to do this more often to maintain our gentle pace of life.