Is there anything better than muddy puddles?
If you look through my instagram it quickly becomes apparent Ottilie spends a lot of time in muddy puddles….
I was very fortunate when growing up that we lived on a farm. Not a big working farm, but close enough. Before my parents were talked (by two very persistent girls) into getting ponies, our acres were loaned to farmers and their cows.
I always envisaged my children’s upbringings to be the same. So when I bought my first house which is in the centre of a town, closer to a Starbucks than a park, it wasn’t quite what I had in mind for the rustic countryside upbringing.
This is all well and good when they are in their first year. During this time they really aren’t that aware of their surroundings. Being within metres of my favourites shops and a Starbucks was great for the first few months of motherhood. However having a garden with no grass often makes me feel like I have failed at providing Ottilie with what she should have.
Note previous post about our house selling…. one of our key reasons for the move.
Our place of muddy puddles, endless chores and tractors
However, we are very lucky to have my mum just a couple of miles down the road. She lives on a lovely little ‘farm’ with our 3 ponies, a dog and plenty of muddy puddles.
This is Ottilies idea of a holiday home. When we pull into the big stone driveway that leads to ‘Omas’ house you can hear Ottilies excitement and feel it through the excited leg kicking (battering) to the seat in front of her.
My mum has Ottilie 2 days a week while I am at work, these are Ottilies favourite days by far. On these days she is a true farm hand. Sweeping, making horse food and of course testing the muddle puddles. This is the life I want her to have, one where days are spent outside getting mucky and finding independence in little jobs to help.
We have been staying here frequently while we go through the stressful process of house selling. While staying here regularly Ottilie has grown into a real independent little girl. She knows her jobs and does them like clockwork every afternoon.
Don’t be mistaken for thinking I am actually putting Ottilie to work at the ripe old age of 15 months. In fact her ‘helping’ is often quite the opposite of being helpful.
Gone are the days of needing Mama ….
It is all part of the fun and since she has been spending a lot of her hours outside, she has changed dramatically. Gone is the demand for constant carrying and attention (not a complaint, I happen to love being needed by her). Instead we have a wonderfully content toddler who uses all her energy up outside. She has a new appetite the size of a growing teenager and a love for her cot and sleep at the end of the day.
While sitting at work and missing her like mad Its eased hugely by knowing she is in her little heaven. Splashing in muddle puddles and feeding her pony Cocoa little treats while helping to prepare his stable and food.
There are of course days where the weather is grim and the wind is howling. These days are fine to stay inside, get a bit of cabin fever or venture out to the local overcrowded, too loud soft play.
Now to find a way to buy a farm – so we can turn 2 days of heaven a week into 7 and get 1 step closer to the simple life.