It always seems like an effort to get out for a walk at home. It’s a lot easier if I have to get out and go for a purposeful trip out. Mary from Over 40 and a mum to one and I had arranged to meet up with our boys at Stowe Gardens. Luckily the day was dry and mild although foggy. So the usual reflective lake wasn’t showing its true beauty.
Monkey and N have only met fleetingly once a few years ago, so it was going to be interesting to see how they got on. For once N didn’t moan about going out – I just mentioned that he’d met Monkey before at a Tractor Ted show – and he was happy. N did refuse to wear his wellies (new trainers are his current footwear of choice at all times) so it meant he was a bit limited given how muddy it was. But he did get stuck in when needed.
What’s great about going to regular haunts with other people is that you get to see new places. N always wants to go the same way, so with him and Monkey having to share decisions, we both got to explore more without complaints. What was noticeable in the year age difference is how Monkey was all abotu more serious ‘play’ in running the walk as a tour guide. While N just wanted to be a train with us as his passengers.
The snowdrops at Stowe were great. There are a couple of areas you get pointed towards to see them. There were a few people out with cameras, but generally for a half term, it was pretty quiet. Obviously people weren’t keen to get out of bed too early that day.
As well as snowdrops, the cyclamen were out, the geese and swans were happy on the lake, and N was intent on telling everyone what the sheep were waiting for (the farmer, pick up and food).
The boys had decided against doing the goodies, baddies and superheroes trails. It appeared they’re similar in wanting to do their own thing. Instead we circled the lakes and spotted the cascades from the opposite direction.
New to us was the Chinese House. Unfortunately it was covered for winter, but we were able to walk around it, see more waterfalls, walk a bridge, see more snowdrops in the Lamport garden, and do some muddy log climbing. I think it was great for N having someone else to go and explore with. Usually I have to encourage him to climb trees and build dens He loves doing it, but almost wants the ok to do it first. But nothing was stopping him at Stowe.
Then it was the long walk back up the drive. N did ask to catch the shuttle buggy back. It has to be the novelty factor because he’s never THAT tired. It was satisfying knowing that we’d already done our walk and were heading back for lunch as other people were just emerging and turning up for their walk.
Monkey had surprised us by asking if N could go back to theirs to play. So it was a ‘quick’ lunch (it’s never that quick at National Trust, in particular Stowe. It always takes longer to be served than to actually eat the food) then back cross country to Monkey’s house.
With two only children, it’s always interesting to see how they’ll get on. N is happy with Lego and tractors so Monkey’s toys were a hit. The hard thing is knowing when each of them want to move on, because it’s never at the same time. But they did fine. There were no big arguments and they got on with things without needing us to be involved all the time. That’s my one bug bear when the nephew comes over. He always wants to involve me when they don’t really need me. Yawn.
There were some comedy moments when N and Monkey turned up wearing dinosaur and kangaroo costumes. Given that neither of them usually do dressing up, it was lovely to see them get on so well.
Then it was time to drag N away to head back for tea. All in all it was a lovely day and now we know the boys get on well, we might be able to try and pop in some more catch ups in future.
Do you worry about how your children will get on with your friends’ children? Have you been out to check out the winter/spring flowers?