Yesterday my sister in law, her husband and two under ten year old children came to visit us and her mother for the day. It was a sunny but windy day and I spent the morning preparing a buffet of salad items for everyone to select what they wanted from. The children were immediately hungry so we tucked into an early lunch and there seemed to be something for everyone on the table and then we had birthday cake for pudding.
While we digested our lunch, the three cousins played together in a way that I have never seen them do before: Joshua had a toy duck that repeats what it hears, and the three cousins were gathered around this duck taking it in turns to say something to it. Joshua kept repeating ‘Don’t Mess!’ which the duck duly repeated and it made the children giggle, then they would say something too. They played happily like this for a long time, which I loved to see. It was as though with this new more aware, interactive Joshua that we have at the moment, that his cousins saw him as being someone to play with for probably the first time. On previous visits, Joshua would probably have taken himself off to his den and not got as involved or just watched his cousins play together. But this time he was not on the edge, he was in the centre of the game!
My niece was desperate to meet Yogi our new puppy , so we took all 5 dogs outside and walked to Joshua’s pod where we sat down to play ball with the dogs and to cuddle Yogi. Joshua did not stay too long with us because it was cold in the wind and it was not what he usually does there, so he voted with his feet and went back indoors, while we played a bit longer. Then we piled into two cars and drove to a local walled garden for a look around, a short walk and some more tea and cake! It was sheltered in the walled garden so it was much warmer and it was lovely and peaceful in the garden, while my niece performed cartwheels after her chocolate cake. We walked slowly around the grounds and back to the car, then we drove to the beach so that our guests could see and paddle in the sea, then we enjoyed a poke of chips, before heading home.
Joshua was exhausted after his walk and so he settled in den to watch ‘Finding Nemo’ on his settee. his cousins joined him in there, sitting on the floor watching the familiar cartoon too. They made a companionable threesome, which I loved. Then around 7pm it was time to say goodbye to Yogi, which they were reluctant to do, and they went home. We had a lovely family day together and I am sure it extended my mother in law’s birthday celebrations by another day and she still has a barbeque to look forward to with her eldest daughter and all of her grown up children too, so it has certainly been well celebrated.