Canal and blue sky with child and dog on towpath

Routine can be tedious but sometimes circumstances conspire to kick routine down the road. A recent Saturday was one of those, I couldn’t grocery shop as usual, my husband was working and one of my girls was busy elsewhere so it was just my youngest and I. My thoughts were some kind of memorable outing or adventure, hers were a duvet on the sofa with occasional forays into the kitchen for snacks. I can’t say compromise was reached, I pulled parental rank and suggested a walk to see her Dad at work- a blast of fresh air and a leg stretch for us both

The thing with walking as a pair, just the two of us (plus the dog obviously) is hitting a physical rhythm where we stay in step and a vocal rhythm where, largely, she talks and I listen- with appropriate responses as necessary. There is an intensity, like being in a bubble that neither can escape, however that rhythm soon establishes. I lose any frustration at walking at a slower pace, she loses frustration at the lack of wider audience. As the walk progresses our bubble stretches and rebounds as she runs ahead making discoveries and returns to me to share them. There is a brief breaking of the bubble as we wave to my husband who is at work alongside the canal. We feed ducks, find snowdrops and play Pooh sticks.

ducks on canal
Snowdrop flowers
Child holding sticks

A canal boat glides past breaking the mirror like surface of the water, we break our bubble again as we wave and call greetings to the people aboard.

I could carry on but it’s obvious we are reaching a watershed in my walking partner’s tolerance, we regularly push through however today that marked the point to turn around. I magic a handful of sweets from my bag which fuels the return trip, back past Dad, another game of Pooh sticks, more duck feeding and a hill, the walk back uphill to home

Canal Boat on Canal
Mum and daughter in winter clothes

Just hanging out together like that, no organised activity, no pressure meant I could just enjoy my littlest’s company and she’s pretty awesome!