Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!! Splittin' 'eadache, foul mood, broken washing machine, unhelpful customer services people, seven spillages of juice in one day. These are not things that should have me crying over the washing up in the kitchen - quite obviously I am suffering from extreme knackeredness at the moment!
SNAP OUT OF IT, LINDA!
:O) Better :O)
'So, what shall we do today boys?' I asked, as I watched the boys tearing up bits of tinfoil and wrapping up random toys for no reason at all.
'Can we just make things all day?' asked Thomas, as he unrolled another huge length of foil.
'We could do - but wouldn't you like to get outside in the fresh air and sunshine?' I prompted. And then the marvellous idea came to me, as they do very occasionally. 'I know what we can do, as it's such a nice day.' All three stopped what they were doing and turned to face me as one - it was quite unnerving actually! 'We can go to the beach, collect lots of shells and pebbles and sand, and come back and make a picture with what we've found.'
As one, Thomas, James and Matthew leapt to their feet and jumped up and down and shouted 'the beach, the beach, the beach!!!' I took that as a yes.
We parked up by the lifeboat station, and stepped out onto tiny golden dunes that edged the car park. The beach was picture perfect today, with it's pretty little stretches of pale sand, and it's newly clean and crystal clear water. It was such a bright and sunshiney day that we could see as much of the Lake District as I've ever seen from Morecambe. I breathed in very deeply, and smiled, and felt instantly refreshed and awake. The boys charged onto the beach and dived into the sand, instantly covering themselves from head to toe, and making me regret not bringing towels. I got to work collecting, while the boys went wild. I soon had a bag filled with beachcombed goodies, and so settled myself down to watch my wee ones having a ball.
Thomas was dancing all over the beach, and behaving exactly as I'd wanted him to behave. Part of the reason for coming here was so that he could just go crazy and flip out and run and jump and shout at the top of his voice. He was in his element, skipping and dancing all over the sand, backwards and forwards, never, ever stopping for a breath, preferring to sing rather than talk. I laughed to myself as I thought about the fact that he would still be bouncing off the walls once we got home, despite burning off all of this energy now. As I watched he settle down a little, and went over to chase the tide with Matthew.
Matthew was getting as close to the water as he dared. He was mesmerised by it, by the way that it came towards him and then moved away. I kept hearing his hysterical little laugh as the tips of his toes almost got wet. He never looked as though he wanted to leap headlong into the sea, just seemed content to watch and be thrilled by it.
James was rolling. He lay in the sand, with a wide grin on his delighted face, and rolled, and rolled and rolled. Then he started to collect things for the picture. He found some beautiful shells, and perfectly flat and round stones, and once he'd decided to help he was completely focused on his mission. Some of the pieces of seaweed he brought to me were rather large, but on the whole he seemed to have quite the eye for pieces that would be perfect for our collage. After quite a while he decided that it was time to be buried, and asked me to cover his legs in sand.
'Cover me right up, right up to my shoes, please Mummy,' he said, very politely, and grinned in his cheeky way. As soon as I started to pile the sand up Thomas and Matthew were right by my side, chucking it about and fighting to be the first to completely bury James! It was very funny. And of course, as soon as one was buried, another had to be buried too. The sand was not very workable, being very dry today, but we managed it in the end. Thomas was a little overzealous when he came to his own burying, and dived in headfirst, covering his sticky hair gel in sand. Oh dear. We buried him right up to his neck. It was incredibly satisfying as it meant that he was still and quiet for a few minutes.
But all too soon, it was time to go back home. Back at the homestead, out came the bottles of paint and glue, the paintbrushes and water, the aprons, and giant piece of paper. It was chaotic, but fun. I'd resigned myself to having lots of mess to clean up today, so I let them get completely covered in paint and glue. I drew an outline of a beach scene for them, and they were amazingly calm and focused and neat and created the most amazing picture I have actually ever seen in my life.
It was a good day today.