Yesterday it rained most of the morning so we spent our time painting and drawing. Although James was quite happy doing this, I know he much prefers being outside and running around. When it started to brighten up after lunch I thought we would go up the hill for a nice walk, knowing there may even be puddles for James. Last week my friend showed us a longer walk and James coped well with it so I was keen to repeat it.
We didn’t get off to a great start. I got James out of the car and he immediately ran in the opposite direction, probably chasing the puddles. After a tantrum and me carrying him in the direction I wanted, he started walking and got distracted by a map. He then proceeded to stand in front of me indicating that he wanted picking up. There was no way I was going to pick him up looking at his now muddy wellies. I told him to walk which was met with constant moans, and standing in front of me in the hope I would eventually give in and pick him up. I stayed firm.
After much effort on my part to distract James with songs and looking out for things that might interest him, we got to the first wood where he could climb on logs and look for a stick to join us on our walk. He’s very into sticks at the moment and it was quite sweet watching him select the one he wanted. He would pick one up, examine it, put it down and repeat this until he found the one that satisfied his requirements. We slowly progressed with our walk, with James stopping at frequent points to prod things with his stick. In between stick prodding he was again angling to be picked up, which was ridiculous because we had hardly started the walk and he is capable of walking quite a distance. I again refused looking at the mud on his wellies, but was thinking we might have to end up doing a shorter walk if he was going to continue with his moaning.
We came to some slopey parts and James started saying “weeee” and running down them. Knowing how slippery it was with all the wet mud and leaves I decided it would be best if I held his hand in case he fell. He often falls over on this part of the hill even when it’s not been raining so I didn’t want to take any chances. We started running down the slopes together. It was lovely because he finally seemed to be enjoying himself and we were having fun together.
I want to add that these slopes aren’t even steep. In fact I’m surprised James actually dignifies them with a “weeee”. Then it happened. We were both down in the mud and I am not even entirely sure about how it happened. I can remember going from enjoying ourselves running (not even fast, running might be a bit generous) and then being flat on my front and thinking oh no as I was falling. Looking back I think James fell first because I remember thinking I need to help him up but then finding myself falling to the floor.
I put my arms out and fell on them but my whole body was flat on the floor. It was the kind of fall that my husband would watch repeatedly on YouTube and find hilarious. I turned around and saw that James was still flat in the mud crying. I got up and saw I had mud all over my hands but picked him up off the floor. He looked confused as to why I had fallen over as well. Mummy doesn’t fall over. Luckily I had some wipes in my bag so I got them out to clean my hands so I could start to clean up James. He had some mud on his face and all over his hands. Luckily he was wearing waterproof trousers so his trousers were covered, but his top had a fair amount of mud on it. I brushed off what I could and cleaned his hands and face. I looked down at me and was horrified by the amount of mud over my top, up my arms and on my jeans. I even had bits of mud in my hair. James did not look impressed. He looked at my top and cried some more. Why was Mummy so dirty? I wiped my hands and arms and brushed off the loose mud from my clothes.
I then saw two couples about to walk past us, and just thought they must think we look a right mess. I noticed I had missed some mud on James so continued to wipe him. The passers by said nothing despite it being pretty obvious we had both just fallen over, especially as James was crying and we were covered in mud. I thought they might have at least asked if we were ok, but they didn’t.
I was a bit embarrassed about the amount of mud on my clothes and contemplated walking around in a vest top so I didn’t have so much mud on me, but decided against it as after all it was only mud. I also contemplated cutting our walk short, we were both dirty and James was still crying, but instead I decided we wouldn’t let this fall ruin our walk and we would plough on and that’s what we did. We only saw two other walkers on the rest of the route and I’m not even sure they noticed we had mud on us. James soon calmed down and started to enjoy himself.
I realised I needed to go to Asda on the way home and didn’t fancy going in there with a muddy top. I keep our coats in the car so instead I just put one on and zipped it up so no one would think I had spent the afternoon in mud. I took James’ jumper off so he was in short sleeves but was more than happy, and he didn’t even moan in Asda.
Although my arms feel really bruised today, neither of us were actually hurt. The mud over our clothes probably made it look worse than it was. We were still able to enjoy ourselves and complete the walk I wanted to do. It will make me think twice about whether it’s safe for us to run together on slippery surfaces though. Even today when we walked to the park James ran down the slopes by himself, so I was at least there to look after him if he fell.