CAUTION: Enter at your own risk!

(Today’s Author is Charlotte from MWM South Hams)

In our house, I think we all felt a bit like caged animals at times this winter especially when the snow arrived…twice. They were probably my most difficult days and from the Facebook highlight reel it looked like everyone else was having so much fun! Where did I go wrong?! It took a good half an hour to get both children wrapped up to go out and then when we finally made it they were both miserable within minutes. They usually love being outside but it was all a bit too slippery and cold. We did manage a few deceptive ‘we can enjoy the snow too’ photos but the reality was that we were all climbing the walls inside and the alternative was just as bad.

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Enjoying the snow…?

Add to that the fact that we couldn’t drive anywhere, everything was closed and no one could visit and we quickly learned the true meaning of cabin fever! We couldn’t wait for warmer weather and now it is here we are making the most of it and thoroughly enjoying the garden, walks in the country and making the most of the beautiful area we live in (except the beach…I’m still not brave enough to take two toddlers to the beach alone, it never ends well, sand, sun cream and risk of drowning make quite the cocktail of parental discomfort).

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Enjoying the sun!

I recently read an article in BBC Wildlife magazine saying that parents shouldn’t be afraid to let their children play outside and be closer to nature, complete with dirt and everything that goes with it and I totally agree (but maybe only when it’s above freezing and still not at the beach when I’m outnumbered). It said that a lot of parents seem to be afraid of allowing their children to be closer to nature because of the risks. It’s not nature, it’s indoors that I’m afraid of.

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When we bought our house, we loved its charming cottage character with a log burner, stone walls and hearth and lots of places for trinkets. Now, 5 years and two children later, the trinkets have gone (either broken or to a safe place), the fire has a huge guard surrounding it, the sofas are places that the children use to torment me by jumping off them in the hour after tea before my husband gets home, bookshelves are climbing frames and the toy chest is a ladder to the window sill. Last week, my son climbed on the sofa and got his leg stuck in the fire guard. After several minutes of trying to free it I was just on the verge of wondering which emergency service deals with this type of incident when it came free, a little bruised but otherwise intact.

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This followed an incident the previous evening where my daughter had a near miss with the TV, luckily, she too was unharmed but my nerves were in tatters. Last year my husband, who enjoys surfing, snowboarding, cycling, swimming and running broke his hand. He wasn’t doing any of those things, he slipped on a storybook while he was putting our son to bed. I don’t need any persuasion, I’ll take my chances with the great outdoors (unless it’s too cold or we’re at the beach or at tea time, nowhere is safe at tea time).

Charlotte x x x

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