It's been a walking and learning weekend for us.
On Saturday, whilst Daddy was at work, I decided Missy and I would go for a drive to a local nature reserve. I'm no twitcher but I do like it there and it reminds me of when I was little and I loved my bird watching books, ticking off the birds as I saw them.
Earlier in the morning we'd been shopping with my Mum and bought Missy some new summer clothes. Of course, she immediately wanted to wear her new summer dress when she got home, which was fine by me. But as it was a little cool outside, I asked Missy to change into leggings and t-shirt when we went out. Well, that was that, full-on meltdown ensued. Missy got so enraged that I had to resort to holding, but in the end I had to let her go. This lasted for half an hour and Missy was screaming so much she was retching. I had to step away as I didn't want to a) over-react and b) let Missy see I was close to tears. Eventually she calmed down, changed her clothes, and within 5 minutes it was as if nothing had happened.
The rest of the afternoon was lovely in the Reserve. Missy was given a little quiz on a clipboard which made her feel very important and she carried it all around, ticking off things the quiz required us to see such as a Kingfisher, RSPB logo and Great Tit. We probably walked about a mile in total and she also collected a few things along the way; some leaves, pussy willow, feather. I learnt a few new bird names and Missy learnt lots of new stuff. Back at the main building they provide copious amounts of pens, crayons and coloured pencils and loads of picture of birds to colour in, so Missy was in her element whilst I had a cuppa.
Yesterday, following Missy's suggestion, all three of us went for a lovely walk in the countryside. This time when Daddy suggested she wear shorts and t-shirt, after having put her summer dress on, she happily went upstairs, explaining that yes it would be a good idea because she might tear the dress on trees. Wow! Had she learnt from yesterday?
The walk was absolutely fabulous. We packed a picnic and walked through the woods and across fields, spotting things on our 'list of things to spo't such as a rabbit, pine cone, tree (!), deer, buttercup and nettles to name a few things. Missy loved it, we all loved it. We ended up at a lovely local pub which has a large beer garden and a great playground for kids which Missy enjoys playing on.
An hour later, with the temperature getting much warmer, we set off for home. I really thought Missy would start to complain about tired legs - but she didn't and two miles later including a few hills through the woods and fields, we were back home. I was so impressed and proud of Missy for managing the 4 mile walk, and for enjoying herself all the way, pointing out loads of things she'd seen.
One of the things Daddy loves is walking in the Lake District and he's introduced me to some beautiful parts of the Lakes in the time we've been together. We had worried that it would be many years until we'd be able to go back, but yesterday Daddy said "this gives me hope for the Lake District". Missy does seem to love the outdoors - not always, sometimes she's not in the mood but that's like any child - but I reckon we'll be back up to the Lakes sooner than we think.