A beautiful sunny day, as it is when I am writing this, makes you want to go and have a walk somewhere nice. However, not today since I am tired after taking part into the setup of the NCT Nearly New Sale on Saturday morning and then going to the Finnish School in the afternoon. I also decided to pop in to Sainsbury’s to buy cheaper petrol and some toddler essentials since they had advertised a campaign and I drove by it anyway.
Unlike today I was more energetic one Monday not long ago and headed to take some photographs of the Kirby Muxloe castle. The castle itself is closed during the winter but one can enter the precinct and walk around the moat and marvel this castle that never was to be after its commissioner was on the receiving side of Richard III’s wrath. I took Number One Son with me and was secretly hoping that he would find the ruins exciting. Sadly, this kind of reality only exists in the heads of passionate parents and not in the real world. It is clear that the knight days of my son lay somewhere in the years to come. Perhaps when he will be seven...
Apart from trying to snap passable photos of the castle across the full moat I had to keep eye on Number One Son who was visibly exited of all mallards, Canadian geese and other water birds swimming in the moat. He went scarily near the bank of the moat and, as the little boys do, didn’t want to hear any warnings or take no for an answer. He had to be guided farther away from the water and by doing so I made his interest in going around the castle vanish. He happily bounced back the same way we came and managed to bother Mr and Mrs Mallard on the way. The only part of the castle that made him existing was the modern wooden bridge built to take the visitors inside the now closed entrance. This was more because he enjoys running round, hearing the sound of his tapping feet and viewing birds in the water than due to any deeper interest in wooden or castle structures.
At the moment mallards (kwack kwack!!) share the same enthusiastic response as the airplanes in the sky (airplain!!), daffodils on our way to the nursery (flour!!) and our car that shares its colour and name with Lightning McQueen (Vrom Vrom!!). The physical signs of joy – the lightening of his face, the happy giggle and the energetic jumps up and down – show that these simple things are more important for young children than any structured ‘learning experiences’. The castles can wait while the quacks rule!