After a week of wintry weather, autumn seems to have returned for a short while. It was a lovely day to be outside and we enjoyed an afternoon walk to the park. I must admit I don't always feel like the 20 minute walk there, but the fresh air, sun and playing is a good time to clear my mind, and I mostly come home feeling happier and more energetic. That means that during the 20 minute walk home I often feel more bouncy and I find it more fun. It is also a good time to chat to Duncan and find out what is going on in our heads. It really is a special time together as a family and Grace really enjoys the clambering, sliding, swinging and merry-go-round.
There is a new doll in town, and Toy Town is not big enough for the three of them. Monkey has been a firm favourite, but Andrew made a comeback over the last week….that was until a new doll arrived. And she did not just arrive on her own – she came with a bath.
She might look friendly, but she will hose you down with her shower and spray soap in your eyes. Watch out toys, Tracy is here, and she is the number one doll in Toy Town.
Sometimes things don’t go according to plan…
I had a fairly boring day planned – wake up, breakfast, take family out for coffee, work rest of day – but plans changed. We ended up going for coffee at a funky restaurant in town, taking a walk in the Green Point Park, and then taking lunch to a friend and visiting with her all afternoon. It was important and special time for me, time to detach from my desk and connect with my family and friends.
In the past I have often become frustrated when things have not gone according to the plan I have laid out in my mind for a day or space of time, but I have been working on being less attached to my future plans and more flexible and in sync with what is happening in a particular moment. I am also listening to the audiobook “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” and one of the things he says is that you can be efficient with things and effective with people, but not efficient with people. So I am trying to make sure I am flexible in all my interactions.
I have really been enjoying watching Grace have free play time with other children. It makes my heart glad to see her playing and interacting with other children, and exploring the world with them. She has recently started playing with other children, rather than playing next to them. She got to have some good play time with Isabel while visiting at Mel – swinging, climbing up the jungle gym, lots of sliding and looking at the fish. I want to give her more of that kind of play time. Something which we have failed to do while in Cape Town is to create community. We have amazing friends, but we don’t have a group of people (in a similar life phase to us) with whom our lives naturally intersect. There are many reasons for that, but that failure has an impact on Grace and her access to the type of play time I want for her. We will have to do something about that…
Isabel taking Grace for a walk around the farm
As I have mentioned previously I am really enjoying seeing and being a part of Grace’s imaginary play development. I think the reason I get so much joy is because I have fond memories from my childhood engaging in imaginary play, from teaching my dolls to swim to having tea parties. I even had an imaginary friend for a time.
While playing in her room today Grace decided that Andrew (the doll) was a little under dressed for our cold wintry weather and so we chose some new clothes for him. I think if Grace had her way he would have been clothed in a dress, but I explained that boys generally don’t wear dresses and, since he was still a newborn baby, that a babygrow was probably better suited and would definitely keep him warmer. She agreed and we dressed him together, choosing a little beanie to complete the outfit.
Here are some photos from our play session – it started with her dancing with Andrew, followed by taking him for a ride on the bike. He then fell off the bike and landed with a “goof” so Grace followed suit. Andrew then got undressed and after some new clothes was ready to face the cold.
Today was another wintry, indoor day, so Grace and I set about making a tent using the dining room table and hosted a little tea party for some dolls, a monkey, a pink panther, and a Spice (that would be Spice the cat). Spice is very privileged to be invited to hide in the cupboard each morning and was specifically requested for the tent/ tea party.
Here are some photos from our little adventure:
Spice enjoying the tea party
Easter was a cold and wet day, so we dressed for extra warmth