Saturday, 4 January 2014

New Year, new adventures

I love New Year’s Resolutions. Time was (before children) when I would spend all of New Year’s Eve curled up with a little notebook crafting my list of things to change, things to achieve, things to give up. There’s just something about turning over a new leaf that appeals to me (I’m someone that makes End-of-Holiday Resolutions, for goodness’ sake). Usually, I’d end up with quite a few resolutions – about 16 on average. Most of which I’d forgotten by 4th January.

For me, New Year wouldn’t be New Year without my resolutions. This year’s list is a little shorter than in past years – just the 14 items. It contains the usual stuff (“Give up sugar” – no, really, I have to. This time last year I had a new baby, and the hungry-making combination of breastfeeding and sleep deprivation meant that in 2013 I ate virtually nothing but biscuits and chocolate).

But there are a couple that I really hope will stick. One is “Get out every day with the children”. To be truthful, we usually do set foot outside the door. Whether the trips we take are enriching is another matter. Sure, I get my errands done – shopping, posting a letter – but what do they get out of it? Fresh air. Sight of a cat, maybe. On a good day, we might bump into someone we know, pop into the playpark or get to the Botanics. We’ve been known to stretch to a play café or a soft play. We go to local toddler groups. We visited the zoo once in 2013 (not enough to justify my membership in that particular year, alas). We do the National Museum of Scotland from time to time. But I usually save proper outings for the weekend − when I have backup. I fear we’ve hit a rut.

So, “Get out every day” really means “Get out every day to somewhere interesting and different”. At the moment I’m busy editing all the entries for the new edition of Edinburgh for Under Fives which is out in May, and there’s something about reading other people’s accounts of going somewhere with their children that encourages you to do the same. The libraries section has reminded me what brilliant facilities we have in the city – all for free (“Be frugal” resolution – tick!). So maybe I’ll pop to the new library building at Drumbrae, which sounds amazing. The swimming section has made me think that it might be nice to go with the baby to a pool one morning while my daughter’s in nursery – perhaps the refurbished Ainslie Park, or Glenogle (“Be healthy” resolution – tick!). On the strength of a couple of the reviews that have come in we’ve taken the children to playparks we hadn’t visited before – to Haugh Park to see the Shetland Ponies, to Musselburgh Links Playground to try its fancy equipment. They had such a nice time we took a few snaps (“Take more pictures of the children” resolution – tick!).

All these plans on the strength of a few reviews. That’s what the book’s about, I suppose. And I am quite suggestible, but that’s not so terrible. Ah – except the next section I’m tackling is Eat & Drink. This could mean an awful lot of coffee and cake! What was that resolution about sugar? I seem to have forgotten …
Until next time 

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