We recently headed to the zoo for the other half’s birthday. Now you may be wondering why we would choose such a location – after all, we live our lives in the midst of a chimp’s tea party with our two little monkeys!
Keeping your children entertained is a full time occupation and one that often means a certain degree of sacrifice. So when there’s a chance handed to you to do something different or go on a trip for a special occasion, the first thought is often ‘what would the children like to do?’
My other half is a whizz at finding new places to go and planning trips on a regular basis. Rarely a weekend goes by without some form of excursion being added to our schedule taking us off to another child friendly domain. I actually have no idea how she does it.
Typically, she tries to get me involved by asking me what I’d like to do which is typically met with bewilderment, as I have not the foggiest idea, nor have I ever claimed to. Add to this the pressure of keeping two little people from spontaneously combusting due to boredom and the sheer magnitude of the situation leaves me mute every time.
You spend every waking minute accounting for every hour that they’re awake. Whilst every moment is precious, I am guilty on occasion of counting down the minutes till naptime, bedtime and any other time where you can take a swift parental break. After all, the ongoing pursuit of saving them from harm and forms of peril is an exhausting one!
I suspect nurseries get away with charging exorbitant fees because they know this and, armed with this knowledge, have multiple people on hand to cope with your little darling. The multitude of staff also enables them to support each other in the hope that they can attend the inevitable counselling needed to work in childcare and remain at least in the same postal code as sanity.
The other day my other half turned to me and pointed out that despite all of our efforts, the kids probably won’t remember many of the places we’ve been and the things we’ve done with them. In reality, she’s probably right – they won’t remember a bit of it. They are too young to fully appreciate how lucky they are to have a mum who thinks about their happiness at every turn and a dad who’ll enable her by going along with it!
But whilst it’ll not stick with them, it’ll remain with us forever – or at least until senility kicks in. It’s about making memories – ones that we can regale them with as they get older and tell them about whilst travelling to the location of our next trip out. These tales will fill time whilst they are procrastinating before bath time or bedtime. Embarrass them in front of their friends, boyfriends or girlfriends.
They may even be stories we tell their kids; our grandkids. And then create new memories with them doing the same kinds of things.
So based on this, I think you can easily argue it’s money and time well spent, even if they don’t necessarily remember any of it themselves. So how much IS enough? The simple answer is that the question is redundant. It’s simply too important to us as parents and as a family – it’s our history, and I love having the opportunity of writing it with them.