Last Sunday morning we had a split: Jake wanted to go to soft-play, Ellie wanted to go to the beach.
It was meant to be a cloudy morning & a sunnier afternoon, & the Mummy was feeling a bit poorly, so we decided that I would take them to soft-play in the morning & that all 4 of us would go to the beach after lunch.
When we got to the soft-play place we were the only ones there. Soon though we were joined by an older – nearly 7-year-old – girl. She quickly made friends with Jake & Ellie & played beautifully with them. She was Mummy & Jake was Daddy & Ellie was Baby, sort of thing! They were so good together that I exchanged details with her parents with a view to maybe meeting up again.
I actually got to read 22 – yes 22! – pages of my book, beating the previous record by a factor of 11!
Around lunchtime we were joined by a big party group. One of the boys there attached himself to Jake, to the extent that he would rather have stayed & played with him than go into the party when it started! I was delighted as so often it’s Ellie who makes friends, often with a little group of girls, & Jake sometimes seems a bit left out.
They were enjoying themselves so much that we stayed much later than planned. By the time we got home we decided it was too late to go to the beach.
After dinner we did some really good play together, then Ellie suddenly seemed to remember that she wanted to go the beach!
We thought it was too late, & told her so. I was also quite tired.
“I WANT TO GO TO THE BEACH!” was all we got for some time, a real tantrum. I presume she felt misled.
I had tried to explain to her at the time that staying on at the soft-play meant not going to the beach: I assumed she understood, or that she’d forgotten or just changed her mind. As children do!
I’m afraid we gave in! We had been there after dinner before, and she seemed genuinely upset so I agreed to take them for a little while, wrapped up as the winds can get cold there.
When we got there I realised it was a brilliant thing to do, and that Ellie was right. I told her so: she seemed pleased…
It was a beautiful evening, warm & still, & loads of people where there having fun: playing in the sand & rock-pools, surfing, swimming.
It really was beautiful: the big sun low in the sky, the vast expanse of sand leading out to the active surf; people of all ages, shapes & sizes at all points in between. I tried to call the Mummy so she could join us but sadly didn’t have network coverage.
We built a castle!
When it was time to go Ellie seemed to be so reluctant to leave that she walked backwards all the way up the causeway! Although actually I think she was worried that the rapidly encroaching tide would engulf their castle & that the naughty ‘monster / pirate / ghost / wizard / witch’ (I forget which) would get their buried treasure!
And who could blame her if she didn’t want to go?
So, Ellie: you were right, & for once I’m glad I gave in to your tantrum. Just don’t get used to it, OK?
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