I always like to think I listen to my children, but sometimes I know I am distracted, or busy, or just (if I’m honest) not in the mood. But I do try hard to listen, and so this afternoon when M came and snuggled up on my lap for a cuddle and told me she didn’t want to go to Beavers I was surprised (she adores Beavers) but I listened and I questioned her.
She had some “excuses” Drama made me tired. It was really good though. I had a great day. I think I’m tired. Can we go down the beach?
Today has been a wonderful day weather-wise and we had seen some village children headed down to the beach. If I hadn’t been listening to M properly I might have thought “oh well she just fancies running about the beach instead of an early tea and off in the car to build a den in the woods” but I was paying proper attention. By that, I mean not just hearing her words but everything M was doing. She had come to me, and curled up on top of me, which is what she does when she is nearing her limit of “enough”. She also told me she was tired, twice. M doesn’t get tired, well not that we or she ever notices, and she needs melatonin nightly to switch off. I mean, I know she is only wee and her body must get tired but she was telling me something wasn’t “right”.
So, I listened. We had a lovely cuddle and I texted the Beaver leader to tell him we weren’t coming. I did a couple of important chores and then took M and B down the beach. By the time we got there it was almost deserted, which was ideal. No other children to make socialising a necessity, and don’t get me wrong, M loves to chat with her friends, but today I don’t think she would have coped.
We paddled, we dug, we wondered about the tiny sea creatures B found in the moat he filled from the sea, and M ran back and forth from bucket to dry sand to rock to water unhampered and happy for over an hour. Over and over again she filled the bucket with powdery dry sand, then ran up and down filling it in stages with dribbles of sea water, then mixing it with her hands and moulding it, before tipping it all out and starting again. In between times she would run like a sprinter down the sand and straight into the sea, each time splashing her shorts higher than the time before. Cold water has always been a sensory tool for M. She got filthy, and soaking wet, and it was exactly what she needed. I am so glad I took the time to really listen.