A Rare Occurrence
On Saturday afternoon Nina went to the baby shower of one of our good friends. This meant she had some well deserved and long overdue time away from looking after the kids. More importantly she got a break from looking after me!
When I’m left being solely responsible for Jack and Lucy I often feel anxious. I hate myself for feeling that way but it’s true. I don’t like taking them places on my own and child’s playgrounds and soft play areas are a real no no for my anxiety. More often than not I’ll find an excuse for just staying at home and playing with them. Maybe it’s raining, looks like it might rain, rained last Wednesday – those sort of excuses. This time though, I was genuinely looking forward to spending some quality time with my children – it was a great feeling.
A Trip to the Akamba Jungle
After dropping Nina to the baby shower Jack, Lucy and I took a trip to the jungle – sort of. We went to Akamba Heritage Centre which is a garden centre and cafe/restaurant full of African charm and exotic metal sculptures. The kids absolutely loved it. The car park is full of huge metal sculptures, giraffes, elephants, crocodiles – you name it, they’ve got it. Even with all these sights Jack was still drawn to a pile of broken up tarmac in the corner of the car park. He proceeded to climb up it and crawl down on his behind covering himself in black dust.
Inside there are even more metal sculptures hiding among the vast array of plants, flowers, trees and shrubs that are for sale. Many of the sculptures are also for sale. As you can imagine they don’t come cheap. I checked the price tag on a particularly lazy but impressive looking hippo. It was £790 – I suggested a piece of cake in the cafe instead. The kids were really well behaved. They excitedly ran from sculpture to sculpture, hiding among the plants and jumping out from behind the rhinos. I was really enjoying spending time with them without worrying about every little thing under the sun. A circuit around the animals outside and the attention turned to food. Probably more from me than anybody to be fair.
The food on offer is amazing but all the kids wanted was a gingerbread man and a fruitshoot. I had a cup of tea and a slice of Jaffa cake- cake. It was bloody amazing.
Space Age McDonalds
After Akamba the plan was to go to the park and then pick Nina up. However as we were driving down the dual carriageway the kids saw the McDonalds and I had to do a handbrake turn when they changed the plan at the last second. At the risk of sounding like an old man, when did McDonalds turn in to digital hubs?! This one had a touchscreen console to order food (absolutely perfect for an anxiety suffrerer who doesn’t like interaction). Tapped a few screens and the food was delivered to the table. Not just any table though. It was only a table with a computer game projected on it too above! Whilst writing this I feel like I’m the only person not to know about these things…… Anyway Jack and Lucy had a lot of fun and it kept them entertained long enough for me top eat my chicken select meal.
All in all we had a lovely few hours. It made me feel guilty about the lack of time I spend with Jack and Lucy doing fun things. In the future I’m going to try and take them out more often. Nina rarely gets time to herself at the weekend because she’s always the one looking after me by taking the kids out to give me space. As I have become more aware of my condition I’ve also became more aware of how it impacts on others, particularly Nina.
This photo doesn’t necessarily have a natural place in the article but it’s too cute to leave out!