I finally have a moment to sit down and write out all the indoor parts of this past Friday, the last full day of our holiday in Doolin As you guys already know, The Mister and I took several hours for just the two of us to drive around the country side. But before that, and after that, we had the challenge of entertaining a high-energy toddler indoors on a rainy day.
We had a lazy start to the day, not having any specific activity or visit planned. The morning started off with a song and dance routine, and let me just tell you how it fills my heart with great relief to know that, should my son fail at all else, he will at least be able to have a career as a go-go or a pole dancer.
After breakfast Hawkeye and I ended up under a fleece blanket reading books. This is very special to me, first of all because I love reading. Reading was an incredibly important part of my childhood and aside from the obvious educational benefits of early reading, I want to pass on to my son my love of books and stories and all of the journeys of the imagination that books make possible. I am thankful that in this endeavour I have the full support of my husband, who similarly grew up as a bookworm.
The snuggles on this day though were even more special than usual, because while I often curl up with a fleece blanket if I’m cold, Hawkeye never joins me. He hates being covered in any way and while we do get to cuddle a lot, I have not to date been able to enjoy those warm moments of being curled up under a blanket together, appreciating the rain outside by being all cozy, warm, and dry inside. On this day, however, for whatever reason Hawkeye decided he wanted to join me under the blanket and I couldn’t get enough of the experience.
Although we had a lazy start, it was not without trouble because the toddler woke up like a cranky bear. Everything we did or suggested was a potential minefield of tantrum triggers. When the blanket cuddling proved to be a big hit, and we decided it was time for us to make an exit, we took all the books and the blanket over the the house where my sister-in-law and her mother (Nana) would entertain Hawkeye for the afternoon.
As you also already know, we had a great time on our little drive and I am very grateful for the help we got from The Mister’s family in allowing us the time to get away by ourselves. Over the course of the week we had a number of opportunities to enjoy some peace or go out in the evenings after the toddler’s bed time. Hawkeye loved going across the driveway to Nana’s house where he was spoiled with ice cream, got to play with Nana’s iPad, rearranged all the pots and pans, and “made tea”. He was particularly enamoured with setting out some pans and a tea pot on the coffee table and then filling some of them (often the tea pot, of all things) with potatoes from a large bag in Nana’s kitchen. On our first day in Doolin, in fact, we got a report that Hawkeye not only “made tea” and “cooked dinner” but that he actually nibbled on a raw potato. It looked like a rodent had gotten to it. (Photo of the potato was taken several days after the taste test, which is why it looks dry). I really can’t complain. We have close friends whose toddler decided that coal looked tasty to try.
On this particular day there was some playing with pots and pans and the iPad, but what really entertained Hawkeye was Nana’s and SIL’s sweet revenge. They stuffed Hawkeye full of beans, and then introduced him to the art of building blanket forts. I think you can see where I’m going with this.
It was a cranky sort of day for Hawkeye despite all the fun, and he was easily upset and brought to tears so when we got home we indulged in his games quite a bit to keep him distracted. When he asked for us to build another “blanket tunnel” (his name for a fort) we built one out of the various couch cushions. He insisted on having a “door” that was closed, and then he insisted on opening the “window” (the blanket roof), usually by the expedient method of just standing up and lifting the blanket with his head. He also insisted that Mommy get inside the fort.
It was a tight squeeze, let me tell you. My knees didn’t appreciate it, my bad ankle didn’t appreciate it. Also, my lungs didn’t appreciate it. It was, in fact, a bit like torture, or those drills law enforcement recruits go through where they get to experience what it’s like to inhale tear gas. It did, however, produce one of my favourite videos of all time.
So there you have it, folks. Blanket forts and beans don’t mix, but they sure do provide a lot of entertainment.