I am, by nature, an almost absurdly optimistic person. Locked out of the house? Oooo! An opportunity to do some weeding in the front garden. Handbag stolen in the tube? Ah well, it was time to declutter, this is EXACTLY what I needed in order to become a ruthlessly efficient and organised winner.
But since I started this project, since we swore off paid-for activities for the kid, we’ve had about seven days of sunshine. Seven, out of one hundred and seventy six.
One hundred and sixty nine days in which we couldn’t just open the back door and let him run free all afternoon. One hundred and sixty nine days during which it was mostly too cold, or too wet, too windy or just too closely resembling the North Pole for my dreamy imaginings of wild and happy children, running freerange and naked in nature to seem much more than a bitter irony in the bitterer cold.
Oh there have been brilliant moments, don’t get me wrong. But this is not the happy post for those happy moments. This is the post in which I throw my own tantrum, hammer my fists on the keyboard and wail: “WHYYYYYYYYYY????? WHY DID I DECIDE TO DO THIS IN THE COLDEST, MOST MISERABLE YEAR ON RECORD?”
Because do you know what mostly happens when you ask kids to entertain themselves, for free, indoors? THIS, all over your walls and floor: