Nothing clears a cafe a quickly as my three unruly kids turning up for brunch.
I’ve been installing Kids 2.0. You know, the update where they learn to do things that are actually useful.
This year, Mothers Day didn’t quite go to plan. I’d given my kids a very specific brief. I didn’t want any presents, I just wanted their presence. “It would be nice to get out and do something together”, I told them. Imagine my surprise when my Mothers Day present turned out to be a horse riding experience. I was overwhelmed. What an amazing gift. And what wonderful children I have grown. Children who have clearly spent a long time saving enough money for us to all go horse riding together. There was silence. And nervous shuffling, before Miss 9 admitted that not only were we not booked to go horse riding that day, they hadn’t saved a single penny. The thought that they might actually have to pay for the gift they were giving me clearly hadn’t entered their heads. I thanked them graciously. After all, revenge is a dish served cold. A week or so later I took them to their favourite toy shop. I told them I’d love to buy them a present …
Looking around I realised that out of the 50 or so adults there, I was the only one getting ready to launch myself head first down the side of a hill armed with nothing more than a rubber ring and a smile on my face.
Don’t worry. I’m not asking for much. No expensive gift with a price tag that is supposed to reflect the enormity of your love for me. Just let me sleep in.
Crazy as it might sound, we actually and quite intentionally planned a trip to the Hawkes Bay – one of New Zealand’s best wine producing regions – that didn’t include visiting a vineyard.
Determined to ensure no Orangutans were harmed during our birthday celebrations, I used this opportunity to see if I could find store bought party food that was both Palm Oil Free, and able to pass the ‘omg-my-mum-is-so-embarrassing’ tween test.
There’s nothing I love more than being on holiday. It doesn’t have to be a long holiday, or even a holiday to anywhere fancy. As long as I’m not at home facing the endless list of things that need to be done, then life is good. Which is why I think ‘giving the gift of an experience’ is a concept I’ve embraced. OK, maybe we’ve gone passed embracing and are now in a serious, long-term relationship. You see, last year the experiences I gave the kids for their birthdays were fun days out doing something they each loved. Miss 10 went horse-riding, Miss 8 went skiing and Mr 8 had a not-so-great day out at the Monster Slide festival. This year, I may just have taken it to a whole new level by using the idea of ‘giving presence’ as an excuse for a holiday (or two). I didn’t see anything wrong with this approach until a well-meaning friend pointed out that I might be setting the bar a bit high – creating an expectation that …
This was 2 hours of complete and utter fun, and not just for the kids.
Just do it – even if you’ve been to the Zoo a thousand times before. The night walk is a great chance to see the animals without all the crowds, and to learn more about them all from the knowledgeable team who manage this event.