It may not be immediately obvious from this photo, but this is from Jake & Ellie’s first horse-riding session!
We have been taking them to dance (ballet & tap), gym & music classes. They went over the age limit for Monkey Music, they seemed a bit bored with the gym classes as they didn’t seem challenging enough, & although Ellie enjoyed the dancing Jake seemed less keen.
So when they turned 5 we decided that they were old enough to decide what they wanted to do, rather than what we thought they should do.
Jake chose Tae-Kwon-Do! I’m not sure how we found out about it, but there’s a great session at our local YMCA, & they’re both loving it. (There’s a funny story about that: ask me later…)
Ellie was mad to do horse-riding. So we did.
It was great! Sadly my ‘phone’s battery ran out just before they got on their horses, so I couldn’t get any more photos.
It took a long time to get going, which is OK as you’re dealing with animals & you have to get the health & safety right. Then they all lined up in the field on their magnificent ponies, our 2 first-timers especially looking very pleased with themselves.
We thought they’d just plod around the field, but they took to the streets! They all rode around country lanes for nearly an hour, & even broke into a trot!
Jake & Ellie both loved it; they were so happy when they came back!
We’re definitely planning to it again; the main problem of course is that it’s not cheap. Great fun though 🙂
We were at soft-play. Jake & Ellie were having fun, but had been up & down the night before with coughs & so had a bit less energy than usual. This, as it did today, often results in their being a bit more clingy, & wanting to sit or play with me more than usual.
I’d got roped in to going down the slide with them, 1 one each knee: they thought this was a great wheeze!
We were heading up around for our 3rd go; I was in front, then Jake, who plonked himself on my right leg.
When she arrived Ellie wasn’t having it!
For the first 2 years of your lives we all lived together in our big house in the Midlands. The “big old house”, with the big old garden.
You don’t remember it. I do.
I remember how I was your full-time, stay-at-home Daddy. For your first year with Mummy, and for your second year by myself when Mummy went back to work, with reduced hours.
I remember it all so well. You don’t.
In December we took Jake & Ellie to the cinema for the first time: we saw Disney’s ‘Frozen’ & they both absolutely loved it!
I was impressed as well. Although it’s a children’s film I thought everything about it was top quality: the voice acting, the animation & visuals, the characterisation, the dialogue, its humour were all outstanding. I also particularly liked the way it dealt with quite heavy themes in a way that was palatable even to 3-year-olds.
Then of course there’s the music. It was excellent – in a Disney context of course – & unsurprisingly the musical is already being planned & is heading to Broadway, then presumably here as well.
Music plays a major part in my life & it has in Jake & Ellie’s too. I love to play music for & enjoy it with them, & have a collection on my ‘phone of 100s of songs that they like. I knew they’d love the music from ‘Frozen’ so I bought the soundtrack album for them.
I wasn’t wrong!
We listened to it for the first time in the car on the way back from ‘Monkey Music’ last week: they were ecstatic, especially Ellie! When ‘Let It Go’ came on they were singing along with utter abandon at the tops of their voices, heads raised, gesticulating wildly, arms waving about as if in a manic West End musical!
At home we played the songs in order; instead of the usual TV or tablet games – which sadly has become the norm in the new house while our unpacking has been delayed – they just sat listening on the sofa. While listening they were talking together & with me about the songs, remembering what happened in the film when a particular song was sung, talking about the characters & the story, enjoying the pictures in the sleeve notes & trying to read the song titles & lyrics there.
The power of Music!
It was wonderful
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A lot of it is a blur, but I still remember the moment.
My wife had survived what was a very difficult delivery & was still in recovery.
I was alone with my newborn twins, besotted.
Jake was sleeping, Ellie was crying.
Then she reached out & wrapped her tiny little fingers around my finger & stopped crying, held on as if she would never let go & went back to sleep.