Langley Park is one of our favourite places to visit. Usually, we just visit the Temple Gardens and the play area but this time I decided to try and walk down to the arboretum with the girls. The arboretum is around half a mile from the car park which I thought would be a reasonable walk with Jessica, especially as she had coped so well with doing the Stick Man trail recently.
It was sunny and cold, but the girls were well wrapped up. With the play area being visible from the car park, I thought there would be objections to me steering them in a different direction, but they were happy to try a different path for a change.
And for a while, it was perfect. The sun was shining, there were trees to hide behind, bridges to run across, muddy puddles to splash in and sticks to pick up. We were having fun outside together, enjoying a walk in the fresh air.
We were nearly at the arboretum when Jessica asked if we could turn back. She’s pretty good at self-limiting when it comes to exercise and I should have really listened to her. But we were so nearly at the arboretum that I slowed the pace, and encouraged her on.
I could see she was tired by the time we reached the arboretum. Sophie was running ahead, keen to explore everything but Jessica was starting to struggle and needing to stop for a few minutes here and there. We paused for a while at the Japanese bridge to let her catch her breath and regain a little energy.
The walk back might have only been half a mile but it felt like several! I hadn’t brought the buggy or the toddler carrier with me and every few minutes we would have to stop as Jessica was getting breathless. “I need to find my breath, Mummy,” she kept telling me. I knew I’d pushed her a little too far and was kicking myself for not listening earlier.
It’s funny though how the sight of a playground can sometimes give that little boost of energy again! It certainly helped Jessica through the last part of the walk and she managed to find enough energy for a few minutes of play and was much happier for it.
Overall, it was a lovely walk, but it reminded me of the importance of listening to Jessica and making sure that I let her dictate the pace and length of our walks. I think I’ll also make sure I have the toddler carrier with me next time too!