Today was one of those mornings where…baby is having a growth spurt (grumpy and feeding constantly), toddler is vying for attention even more than usual and mummy feels rubbish. I am pretty sure I am coming down with something…which is not good because there is no time to be ill when you are a mummy! I cast my mind back to those glorious sick days I had pre children; cosied up in bed all day, actually properly recovering before going back to work. No folks the show must go on…and it did, just about.
After a bath to soothe my aching limbs – with the toddler kindly throwing in various bath toys, before taking to washing “mummies back”, “mummies booboos” and “mummies knees”; and the baby watching from her bouncy chair on the bathroom floor; I decided that the best thing to do was not to mooch around the house with my two tiny people – we needed to get out.
When you need to ‘get out’ with a toddler and baby in tow and you feel a bit tired, every option of what to do seems dreadful. There is always the risk of a the toddler having a meltdown, running off or suddenly announcing they need a wee wee. There is also a risk of the baby crying until they are red in the face whilst you run after said toddler; and the baby’s nappy exploding whilst you are sorting toddler out on the potty. This is difficult at the best of times, but when you are feeling extra tired and you are in a public space, which you need to be in to ‘get out’; it’s more than a challenge.
But – ! I have discovered a marvellous solution for entertaining my toddler with minimum stress on me…in fact I actually love it too! It’s called Toddler Sense.
My friend and neighbour set up Toddler Sense in our area last year and it has proved to be a great success. Toddler Sense is a follow on from the well known Baby Sensory classes. The activities are designed to keep toddlers busy, active, and stimulated by offering them a magical, multi-adventure experience. Sounds great doesn’t it? It is pretty awesome. I love the music for a start…Cyndi Lauper Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun is particularly uplifting at 10am on a rainy Monday morning, especially when combined with glittery lights, balloons and bubbles. This week the theme was pets (the last week I attended was rock ‘n’ roll).
During the first half of the session, ‘Exploratory Play Time’ – which is like soft play but without the boisterous chaos and with less runny noses – my daughter crawled through tunnels where various cuddly rabbits were hidden; bounced on a bouncy castle strewn with stuffed dogs; and climbed on soft foam constructions scattered with toy cats, lambs and mice. I loved this half of the session because it let her burn off energy whilst I took the opportunity to catch my breath for the first time that day: it was relaxing for us both. Baby was meanwhile parked safely on one side of the village hall, fast asleep, within my sight. After all the exploring, the children were encouraged to tidy up and then ushered into a circle for Mat Time, which involved singing and playing with rhythm sticks. Baby woke up then, but it was easy for me just to have her cradled in my arms whilst the tot sat on my knee, banging her wooden sticks together happily to “B-I-N-G-O and Bingo was his name oh”. Then the toddlers were given a pet each to groom and feed to the tune of How Much is this Doggy in the Window; and finally they all took their pets for a walk around the hall. It was very sweet indeed.
By the time the Say Goodbye song was sang, both the toddler and I were feeling very uplifted and the baby was sleeping again. We got back into the car glad for the trip out and happy that we had discovered this brilliant class.
They both cried with hunger all the way home so my head was aching again by the time we got in. But we did it – we ‘got out’ and it was really, really fun! Thank you Toddler Sense!