In this, the Christmas month, I decided that I’d hold off on decorating my house until the cubs were here and could join in.
I decided to start a tradition, based on memories from my childhood; we were going to walk to the shops to get the tree and other decorations.
I’ve recently become concerned about their health and fitness, so this seemed like the perfect solution; it was about a 2 mile round trip.
Winter has come to Blighty. It is bitterly cold and there has been intermittent snow but I’m a great believer in there being no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. I told them to get dressed for the walk.
As if by magic, my daughter turned up in the flimsiest of cagoules.
Darling, you’ll need your thick coat. And your hat. And your gloves.
He duly puts his boots on, then his thick, down jacket and gloves before I have to take it all of him again as he’d done a poo.
She’s adamant that this tiny coat will be enough, ‘as she likes the cold anyway’; I tell her to look up ‘hypothermia’, whilst I get her brother dressed.
Finally attired how I would like them to be, we head out.
Although it wasn’t obvious at first.
The vista was lovely. Some snow remained and frost had crept in. It was truly a winter wonderland.
What I hadn’t factored in to this new tradition, was just how slow my son walked. Or how interested in nature he was.
The route was tree lined and almost every fallen leaf clearly needed inspecting.
Every sycamore seed needed testing for airworthiness.
The whole expedition was brought to a halt by two squirrels fighting in a tree. Well, they weren’t fighting, but that’s the story the cubs got. What is it with animals we come across?
After a while, my son’s attention turns to his own well-being.
“My neck isn’t feeling well”
A quick once over and he seems fine; we push on. His sister is less talkative. I ask if she’s ok.
She turns to face me, her nose a fetching shade of red.
“I’m glad you made me wear this coat daddy. I think I have hypothermia”
You don’t. We’re nearly there.
“How are we getting the tree back? How are we getting back?”
We’re going to walk.
She thinks for a while.
“This is like a terrible version of a good day.”
I think I’ll rethink that tradition.
Ps – distance covered = 200 metres.