So yesterday school was closed for the strike, giving the kids and me a bonus day off. At their request we’d planned for a loom-band-and-lego-fest, and the playroom floor had even been cleared of the usual clutter all ready to go.
This all changed when my little girl came twirling up to be in her new (to her) teeshirt. ‘Look Mum! It says Beach Break! That’s what we should do today – go to the beach! Let’s all go to Barry Island for the day!’
Naturally my first thought was ‘The beach? On my own with the three of them? That’s bound to be a disaster’. Followed by ‘Beach? That means I’ll have to drive. And I’m still being a wimp about that. No way, Jose’.
So I mumbled something about we’d go to the beach another time, when I’d had a chance to get things organised. Only to be met with the rejoinder ‘MUM! What do we need to organise! It’s the BEACH! And the sun is shining! And we have a day off! And we’ll be really good, promise!’
So that’s how we came to be at the bus stop, with an enormous Clas Ohlson bag filled with a blanket, towels, swimmers, sun cream, balls, hats, drinks, buckets, spades and fishing nets. There’s something about kids on a trip to the beach that seems to make everyone smile – even the bus driver didn’t grumble when he had to stop the bus and wrestle one of our fishing nets out of the door mechanism because it had slipped out of the luggage space. Whoops!
That set the tone for the day really. The kids were brilliant on the bus and the train to Barry Island (I’d forgotten that this is part of the adventure for them) and we all had such a lovely day together. It was a proper beach day, with rock pooling, football, digging to Australia, Crazy Golf (more like Crazy Hockey the way we played, but still!), a fish and chip lunch and of course an ice cream at Marco’s.
We all had such a wonderful day together, and I learnt a couple of lessons – firstly that though I haven’t really noticed it happening, everything is easier! Even last year I wouldn’t have taken the three of them to a crowded beach on my own – I just wouldn’t have felt that I could manage them all safely. And secondly, that everything does not have to be organised to the nth degree – sometimes the best days are completely random and *twitches slightly* not planned at all!