Unexpected fun

There’s a place called Happy Valley near the beachfront in PE. I hadn’t been there for years. There’s a little stream and alongside it is a tarred path and lovely gardens. In amongst the plants next to the stream are different characters/scenes from kiddies stuff like Nemo, Jungle Book, Nursery rhymes, fairy tales, etc. A few weeks back our running club ran up through Happy Valley and I was reminded of the place. Being a valley it’s very sheltered from the wind and there are lovely grass lawns where one can have a picnic. There’s actually even a whole walking trail. On Sunday we took the girls there – Zoe on her bike and Ava in the stroller. We also stupidly took the dogs but they weren’t allowed so Chris had to wait with them at the entrance to the valley where the grass lawns are. Both girls were so excited and totally enchanted. There were so many birds around and it was so peaceful as well. We could have stayed longer and explored further if it wasn’t for the darn dogs. We will definitely be going again soon. It gets lit up at night, so we’ll have to do it in the evening as well sometime.

This afternoon we went to SAMREC which is a penguin rehab centre at Cape Receife. It is very close to us actually and took about 5 minutes to drive there. It is run by volunteers mostly and there’s all sorts of awesome stuff on display – monkeys, birds, seals, penguins, shark jaws, seal teeth, snakes, you name it, it’s there. Stuffed, but very nicely done and the kids (I went with a friend and her 2) absolutely loved it. They were busy feeding all the penguins so we saw that and saw all the baby ones and very sick animals as well as the place where they clean and treat the sick/dirty animals. They also do guided walks as the centre is in a nature reserve, so next time we’ll try and go on one of those. There is a coffee shop but we decided not to subject the other patrons (who were on the older side) to our 4 hooligans so we came back to our house for tea.

Both these places are within 5 minutes of our house and so awesome, always good to discover and re-discover fun places to go.

One thing I’ve been meaning to mention was what happened when we went to fetch Chris at the airport when he came back from Joburg. His plane was delayed a bit so there was a bit of charging around the terminal building (very grateful PE has such a small airport) on the part of Ava and Zoe. Anyway, there was a lady waiting with us and once Chris arrived he fetched the girls and they went with him to collect his bags. While I was waiting for the three of them I saw the lady meeting her 2 young children. They had flown as unaccompanied minors and she gave them such huge hugs and just started crying when she hugged them. They looked about 5 and 8, maybe a bit older. I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps she was a single mom (she had no wedding ring) and that the children had been visiting their dad. Now obviously I’m just speculating and even if that isn’t the case, there are still many families out there where the parents are divorced and don’t live in the same place anymore. I almost started crying myself. Imagine if I had to share my time with my kids. I miss them when they’re away for a night or a few hours, it would break my heart if I couldn’t be with them all the time. My cousins grew up on a farm and had to go to boarding school from Grade 1 (weekly boarders in junior school and then termly boarders in high school). I never thought much of it when I was growing up. We had boarders at our school and again I didn’t really give them a second thought, it almost seemed like they had so much fun. I definitely didn’t ever think of how it must be for their parents, with their children spending most of their time away from home. Now that I have my own children, boarding school seems unthinkable. How on earth do these parents manage? I’m probably not the best one to speak as I couldn’t even bear to leave my kids to go back to work, even for a few hours a week. I read something a while back and thought it was pretty good,

“For every problem, there is a solution. If there is no solution then it isn’t a problem, it’s a fact and you need to learn to live with it.” I presume one just has to adopt that sort of attitude. I’m already nervous about how I’m going to cope with “empty-nest syndrome”. Maybe that’s why some people have lots of kids, invariably there’ll always be one hanging around at home.

Now for something completely unrelated. I’ve never been a good sleeper and in fact since having kids I’ve actually slept better than I ever remember sleeping. I struggle to switch off my brain and as a child and later as an adult, would lie awake for hours and hours.

Usually after their bath and story I give Ava her milk while Chris does prayers with Zoe and tucks her in. Chris leaves Zoe about 2 or 3 minutes before I put Ava in her cot. I then go straight to Zoe’s room to kiss her goodnight. I cannot tell you how many nights she’s already asleep. Fast asleep in under 2 minutes, truly phenomenal. Thank goodness she takes after her dad in the sleep department. He can sleep anywhere, on a table (I kid you not), on the floor of an operating theatre (while waiting for the next patient to be brought in for an op), I could go on and on!!!! Although I’ve slept a 100 times better since the girls arrived the very worst times were when they were newborn and woke every 3 hours for a feed. By the time I’d finished breastfeeding, changing their nappy and settling them back to sleep it was just over 2 hours till the next feed and then some nights I’d still lie awake, unable to fall asleep, getting more and more anxious that my sleep time was quickly slipping away and the more anxious I got, the more difficult it was to fall asleep. Fortunately, those nights were few and far between and are now a very distant memeory, never to be repeated.


3 Responses to “Unexpected fun”

  1. mayflowerladybugs Says:

    Haha! i can just picture him lying there napping on the operating table! i must say that when you do your obstetrics rotation, you definitely learn to sleep through anything!!

  2. coachmarcia Says:

    I am like Zoe – D is still talking some nights and I’m out!

    Thanks for the lovely reminders of things to do in PE. I’ll have to start my list because I said to my sister, “I need to find things to do with them every day” I can’t be cooped up with two crazies without V ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think I’ll be okay away from mine IF I’m busy and having a good time. I just don’t know, though.

  3. samcy Says:

    As a kid we used to come visit my Gran in PE for Christmas – I have VERY fond memories of Happy Valley. Glad you guys got to experience it and will do so again ๐Ÿ™‚ (sans hounds)


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