There was no camp today. It was time to get my kids out of the house. This is easier said than done, because the pull of “the screen” in my household is addictive, and my kids are happy addicts. The screen can be TV, Video games, Nintendo DS and computer games. This is probably, subconsciously, why I came up with Ms. Bits N’ Bobs. It is a way to keep TV in check. They can watch a little and then hopefully, on their own initiative, they will head off and make up some stories on their own. In my dreams…okay it does happen sometimes.
“Why are we doing this?” my 11 year old moans. “What is the point of all of this?” He continues. These are not rhetorical questions. He wants answers. I have got to believe the answer lies in the doing of it. We head into beautiful Palos Verdes, an area just south of Los Angeles, with the most beautiful horse trails around.
We borrow Rosie, an exceptionally exuberant half pit-bull, half lab mix and after remembering to bring water for the dog (not ourselves of course) we set off on our hike.
For about five minutes, all goes well. The kids are entertained. The dog is running free. Then…”how much further?” “Can we stop for the dog to do tricks for us now?” “I’m tired. Can I drink some of the dog water?” We get stopped by another dog and walker. This lady warns us that the laws of dogs running free are very strict in this area. They must be on a leash or we will get ticketed. Okay, now I have visions of police hiding in the bushes waiting to pounce on my five year old. My sweet angel is now asking to be carried. “But I have somefin’ in my shoe, mum”.
I’m determined for a full mile hike. So I just set off running with the dog, who is walloping me off my feet at about 50 miles per hour. Happily the kids follow and as I can’t hear their complaints, I’m in a world of joy.
On the way back we discover a swing. Not a fancy swing, but one of those home made swings, a wooden circle attached to the longest blue rope ever, the kind you find in those old movies where they swing across a gully in the middle of nowhere.
They swing, they push each other higher and higher. Dash and Olivia push Tallulah. She’s your sister, you take her…he pushes. No she’s your little sister, you take her.” They laugh and laugh. I am the tree protector along with Rosie the dog, in case they are pushed for a header into the tree trunk (by mistake of course, by an older sibling).
Of course, I was so busy having fun, that I totally forgot to take photos. So you will have to imagine it all.
Even my 11 year old said he had fun.
The moral of the story… when all the bits and bobs have failed, just go out for a walk. Adventure lies everywhere.