How do you know you are a totally nuts mummy? When you are sitting on the stairs of your home having a picnic!
The weather may still be unreliable, but like clockwork I can always guarantee my son would have us camped out on a picnic blanket with a sandwich and carton of juice at the woods/beach/park every day.
Now admittedly I may not be helping the situation because I try to get out and about with him and his little sister as many days as possible.
And I have a knack of making a walk or a trip to the park, complete with picnic, sound as exciting as a trip to Disneyworld. If only he knew!
Recently we have also been embarking on our Chichester picnic challenge – set for me by John Lewis at Home and Waitrose where we find the best picnic spot near the city – which also seems to be reinforcing his enthusiasm! (More on that later!)
Now I’m not entirely sure what I am going to do when I get rid of my buggy because it seems to have turned into essential picnic equipment to carry the massive list of supplies I seem to need for picnics and days out these days.
Now I officially blame the weather for half of it. Sun cream, hats and swimming shorts often find themselves slung in the back of my car with wellies and rain coats. And these days I also have to take baby toys for my little girl to enjoy during tummy time on the (proper) picnic blanket which has replaced the old throw which I used to take out with us.
But I also seem to be in the habit of taking buckets and spades – essential for the beach and many parks – and outdoor toys as well as another key ingredient – the food.
Even that is getting more ambitious with sarnies, bananas, juice and crisps joined by flasks of coffee, little sausages, yogurts, cheese and other nibbles.
So needless to say when we do set up our picnic base I create almost a home-from-home environment with supplies for almost any situation.
This weekend we went to the beach where the mission of the day seemed to be to dig as many holes as possible before refilling them with sand and water – well at least it is cheap entertainment.
But my ready-for-anything approach to picnicking seems to have had a slight side effect – suddenly we have turned into a magnet for other children.
Only the other week while my little man was playing an outdoor bowling game just after our picnic in the woods, he invited another little girl, who was watching him, to play too. Three minutes later there were three little girls!
Now I’m not complaining that my son enjoys being outside on a regular basis, but it does mean he is climbing the walls when we can’t get out and about.
So when one rainy day he sweetly asked if we could have our picnic sitting on the stairs, how could I say ‘no’?
Well at least it was one day I actually had a picnic in my home-AT-home!