One and I went to Liverpool on the train this afternoon. It was a bit of an impulse trip, planned only yesterday and on condition that we were both feeling up to it. We were. Hurrah!
I seem to have got out of the habit of taking the kids out and about. Their dad does a lot of that sort of stuff when they are staying with him, and for a long time I didn’t have the money or the mental resources to somehow bring myself to plan trips. Unemployment and depression are a bugger. I’m feeling better now and have a teeny weeny bit more disposable income, but seem to be finding it really difficult to get past that mental block which has stopped me taking the children anywhere more interesting or further afield than the local park.
Just taking one child is a good way back in, I’m finding. This afternoon was an absolute pleasure. We more or less ran to the station in order to catch the 11.57, which turned out to be firstly hugely delayed once we got there, and then simply cancelled by the time we’d bought the tickets! Ended up sitting on the platform for 40 minutes catching our breath…
Once in Liverpool we found Pizza Hut and indulged in their weekday buffet lunch. Again, far more affordable for only two of us than it would have been with four. Eldest daughter is tremendous company and we laughed our way through the meal, which was delicious and filling!
We headed to the Walker Art Gallery by mutual consent and had a good time looking at the pictures (and making up silly captions for some of them); particularly enjoying the special exhibitions and more modern art. Having been starting to draw during this past week, mostly through the marvellous medium of Zentangle, I looked at the pictures with a slightly different eye than previously. Bought myself a cheap sketchbook in the shop and have already started using it. Not sure what has set off this sudden craze for drawing, but I’m loving it. I feel like I’m moving in new directions with my creativity for the first time in years, and it’s really exciting. Is it an allegory for my life moving in new directions, due to starting work this year? Who knows? I’ll just go with the flow!
On the train journey home there was a lady with her almost 2 year old daughter in our bit of the carriage. They were delightful. The little girl was so enthusiastic about absolutely everything, and so very, very, TWO. A TWOness I remember well from my own children back in the day. The mum was very hands on, playing with her, chatting to her, interacting with the rest of us too; it really brightened up our journey.
It gave me pause for thought about how things have changed for us since One was that age (at which point I had a teeny baby Two as well!) I had almost forgotten what it was like to spend my days with such a small person; the total full on hands on parenting that has to be done; the exhausting, relentless, delightful chatter; the handing over of the bunch of keys, the remote control, the empty crackly bag, whatever will divert and amuse the child for the next one and a half minutes before the next excitement needs to be produced.
My youngest is almost nine now, and the oldest is getting on for fifteen. It’s a very different experience these days. Travelling today with One was just the same as it would be travelling with another adult. The pleasure of her company was totally equal to the delight the lady in our carriage was showing in her own daughter, but it was expressed in a totally different way. I could read my Kindle all the way to Liverpool and all the way back. I didn’t have to cope with a pushchair, a changing bag, several snacks to be brought out at predetermined times (though we did have to use the lift in the art gallery due to One’s dodgy ankle and she was lamenting the lack of a wheelchair to push her around in!)
My friend Serendipturas posted on a similar theme to this the other day and I feel as though I’m copying – but it really was the small child and her mum on the train, as I was travelling with my much bigger child, that sparked off this reminiscence – maybe N’s post was in the back of my mind already.
I loved being a mum to littlies. I love being a mum to these much larger people now too. It’s a very different experience. I’m not needed any less, but I’m needed in a different way and there are times when I can actually do my own thing (like reading a trashy chick-lit novel on my Kindle instead of providing constant exciting entertainment on the train!).
It’s been a good day. Fun, with excellent company (love that eldest daughter of mine and our identical warped sense of humour!). Exciting with the different view this sudden drawing bug has given me. And thought provoking about the way my life as a mother has gradually changed in the past fourteen years.
Still not sure I’m feeling ready to take all three of them on an expedition at the same time yet, but this was a good start. 🙂