The work/life balance is a pain in the rear the vast majority of the time, so we picked the 3rd Saturday of every month to do something together, just the four of us, a designated ‘Family Day’. To help decide what we would do we used lollipop sticks numbered 1-12 in a jar. The numbers correspond to an activity we can do together, so it had to be age appropriate for a teen and a pre-schooler. We picked a couple and we asked the kids to pick a couple. This, so far, has made the ordeal of making a decision after a long week much easier!
Although we are together most weekends, the work life balance means Saturdays are the only days we have to get things done. The food shop, the cars washed, some essential DIY, all the stuff you can’t get done before bedtime during the week basically! Hence the birth of the Family Day.
At the beginning of this month we let Cal (the smallest) pick a stick, and he was deliriously excited about it. He managed to pull the stick for Evesham Light Railway. He is train mad, I mean utterly fanatical about them. Cal loves all things Thomas, often referring to everything in full Sodor terminology. This can be somewhat embarrassing when he declares full volume ‘look at those chuffers!’ whenever he sees anything remotely resembling a train!
When the day came we bundled everyone into the car. The intention was to nip to the local lake to feed the ducks, head over to Evesham and then jump on the train. However our carefully laid plans were scuppered ever so slightly when we arrived at the lake to find a fun run of a hundred or so ready to start. Cue a swift exit before the klaxon was sounded and Cal was sent in to sound overload!
All was not lost though. Unbeknown to us a fair had set up on the fields behind the station. The waft of sickly sweet doughnuts and hot dogs filled the air. Obviously it would have been rude not to go view the wares, besides there was a half hour wait for the next train.
I am not a huge fan of fairs if I am honest, the rides make me feel uneasy, and the kids aren’t keen either. However I do enjoy walking around them; the noise lights and smells always remind me of holidays to Great Yarmouth as a child. We wandered over to the doughnut van and ordered some cinnamon sugar ones just as Cal declared his desperate need for a wee! Typical as the loos were the other side of the field. Mr J to the rescue as he scurried off while me and Ells waited for the fresh doughnuts to tumble into the sugar bowl.
We waited for the boys to return then all diving into the grease mottled paper bag to consume the still warm treats before racing back to the small station to catch the next train. Cal sat in wonderment, chirruping about the tracks, steam, chuffers and whistles. He sat there with an intense look upon his face, as though studying and taking in every minute detail so he wouldn’t forget. At the midway station he told the conductor how the switch needed to be done on the track so we could return on the right rail. He wasn’t taking no for an answer either! The conductor satiated him by saying he could come back and have the job in a few years’ time.
Ells, although the teen and far too cool for tiny trains, was perfectly happy too. She had brought her camera with her and was testing it out with action shots, macros and various other random pictures. She’s artsy and wanted to use them in her photography GCSE coursework. Life always feels a little easier when the teen is as happy as the pre-schooler!
To finish off the day out we took the kids to one of my favourite places, a little tea room in a nearby town. Loose leaf tea, bacon baguettes and apple juice in a little milk bottle for Cal. I know Mr J and I were especially pleased to be sat down a minute with a decent cup of tea.
So that was our family day out. Nothing earth moving, but a day full of simple fun. The kids both went to bed with smiles on their faces, so that makes it a total success in my books.
Looking forward to seeing what April’s Family Day brings now.