The evenings have really drawn in now that the clocks have gone back. With it getting dark by 4.30pm, our after-school adventures tend to be restricted to quick trips to the park.
As I was taking Thomas in his pushchair, Sophie decided she wanted to take her doll’s pram so “we can push our buggies together, Mummy!” She and Jessica used to love pushing their buggies together on trips to the park. I’m glad I was able to recreate that a little for her.
With Sophie’s pink bear Millie snuggly wrapped inside the pram, and Thomas wrapped in his blanket too, we headed off. I thought Thomas might enjoy getting out and exploring at the park, but just as we turned the corner to get there, he fell asleep.
It was lovely watching Sophie having fun putting Millie on the swings and pushing her down the slide but it made me sad too, especially when she put Millie on one side of the seesaw and sat on the other side. She and Jessica were just the right sizes to be able to balance each other out on the seesaw before Jessica died. I used to take a lot of photos of them on it; it was one of the things in the park I loved to watch them play on together. To see Sophie have to share the seesaw with her toy instead absolutely breaks my heart. She seemed happy enough and I’m glad of that, even if it feels so very wrong that it should be this way.
After Sophie had finished having fun with Millie in the playground, we went to find some leaves to make Sophie an autumn crown. This was very simple to make from a circle of cardboard, covered in sticky dots (I couldn’t find the double-sided tape!) We made the cardboard circle before we left for the park – now all we had to do was add the leaves. Sophie used horse chestnut leaves for the crown and we managed to find a few conkers to take home as well. She was very proud of the end result. It looked very effective!
Thomas was still enjoying his nap and there was just about time for a little more fun in the playground before we needed to head back home.
I’m not always so good at making time for after-school trips to the park at this time of year but it did us all good to have that time outside. Thomas had a lovely long nap and it was good to have a bit of one-to-one time with Sophie. Being able to combine it with a little nature crafting made it more fun too!