It all started with a request to read Maisy Goes Camping.
“Can I have a tent like Maisy mummy? Puhleeeeeeeease!”
A handful of bamboo canes, three old tablecloths and some wooden clothes pegs later and you have the makings of a pretty good tent.
Now I’ll admit the air did turn a little blue while I was making this. When you’re only 5′ 4″ and have short arms it’s nigh on impossible to hold both ends of a 6′ bamboo cane and tie it onto yet another cane with a ball of twine, the other end of which is in the grip of a fast-running preschooler. And of course she’s like a parrot, so if you were in the vicinity of Fleet on Wednesday and overheard a three year old yelling “Stay upright you sod!” I can only apologise.
No tablecloth tent is complete without bunting, ribbon and a smattering of Peppa Pig and Paddington stickers. The only bunting we had was a cardboard Happy Birthday one left over from Bubs’ 3rd birthday; I really must make some proper bunting one of these days.
But you know what, it didn’t matter that the bunting was made out of cardboard and that I had to replace the picnic blanket three times because Bubs kept knocking her drink over (I wised up eventually and gave her a no-spill mug). What mattered was that, instead of automatically saying no, I decided to take half an hour out of a busy morning to make something that put a smile on this little face.
And once it was made I kinda didn’t want to leave. So I read stories, we played peek-a-boo, ate chocolate Teddy Grahams by the handful and I listened to Bubs tell me all about her three imaginary brothers Agger, Dugger and Keith.
Which is why I am still knee-deep in washing and our dinner that night was ‘summat and chips’. But look at that face! It was all totally worth it.