Smell the Roses, Watch the Rain


This post follows on from the one I wrote last week for Ella’s Parenting Tips Carnival at Notes From Home. I’ve been guilty over the years of rushing my children from place to place at speed without stopping to smell the roses and watch the raindrops. When I make a bit more time, and it doesn’t have to be much, the rewards we reap are enormous!

I love walking to school with my Bonus Boy. It takes ten minutes, I allow at least 20.

He is curious about everything. Last week it was all the different ‘lids’ in the pavement. We had to stop and look at every one. There were drains, access lids for gas, water and cable TV, there were fire hydrants and man-sized lids which we thought led down to the sewers. He talked about the shapes, the letters and the different patterns on every one.

Towards the end of our walk a glorious sight met our eyes and we both whooped a bit! One of the covers had been lifted! There were two men looking into it! Major excitement! They were scratching their heads a bit. We had a look down too and scratched our heads.

When we returned at the end of the day there were four men, the hole was bigger and one man was leaning on his spade! There were two vans and we sounded out the letters pasted on their sides to read ‘Gas’ and ‘Water’ and we asked the men what the problem was. One of the men very kindly explained to Bonus Boy that there was a problem with one of the pipes which was leaking but that they were going to sort it out and that the gas man was there to make sure there were no explosions. Bonus Boy could hardly contain himself on the way home!

In the week running up to the Big Garden Birdwatch, we had to carry a bird identification card with us to school so we could bird spot on the way. Our best spot was a pied wagtail, which is difficult to remember when you’re five but a wagged pietail is very close and actually pretty descriptively accurate!

When it was snowy and icy we examined long icicles and watched them slowly melt when the thaw came. He broke pieces off and carried them home where they have taken up residence in my freezer and we have to take them out once a week to see if they have changed at all. (They are shrinking because the freezer freeze dries stuff and we are measuring the shrinkage)

When we walk to school in the morning and the weather is being kind we are blinded by sunshine and we cast long shadows behind us. Bonus Boy walks in my footsteps to stand on my shadow and we talk about how shadows are made and why his disappears when he walks in mine.

When it is raining we jump the puddles and he has to find the gutter with the leak to stand under it and watch the rain cascade like a waterfall over his umbrella. We’ve talked about where rain comes from and where it goes and we’ve sung many songs about Raindrops Falling on Our Heads, Pitter Patter Raindrops and Why Does it Always Rain on Me?!

It’s raining as I write this post and I promised him as we were strolling in this morning that when he comes home this afternoon we will make a rainmaker with a long tube we’ve been saving and some split peas. We’ve been looking for something special to do with it!

There are so many learning opportunities when we slow down and walk at their pace and take time to listen. Has your child astonished you with an insightful comment or told you something you had no idea they knew?

19 Comments

Filed under Children's Development, Parenting

19 responses to “Smell the Roses, Watch the Rain

  1. You make me stop and think about things so differently, thank you. What a fantastic post. Can I come and live with you?

  2. What a great post! These days hardly anyone slows down to just be with each other and when they do the benefits are endless!

    • Absolutely right! It makes my heart sing walking with him. I drove my other three (they were at a different school on the other side of town…long story) so this is new to me.πŸ˜€

  3. I think I fall in love with you a little more every post you write. I am all for smelling the roses, time flies and I can not believe Maxi will be six next month. I love learning with my children, they teach me much more than I teach them.

  4. This is a beautiful post – it tugged at my heart. Really, really lovely. Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in day to day nonsense and forget what’s really important.

  5. That’s so lovely, I’m so guilty of rushing the kids around from one activity to the next. I love the way your posts make me think about the way I do things and what I could do to make the most of my children – Thank you x x

  6. What a gorgeous post.

    We do this when we walk to nursery, I feel so sorry for all the other kids who are endlessly bundled in and out of cars. They have no opportunity to chase shadows, to chuff along the footpaths like trains, to hold their arms out wide in the wind and pretend they’re flying. It’s my absolute favourite part of the day. Makes me glad I don’t drive :0)

    • Mine too…that and the quick jump back in to bed for a cuddle we have after the big ones have left in the morning…and the bed time story…and bath time and…! I love the grabbed moments when he has time to talk and I have time to listen. I love it with all of them and I feel privilged to be able to share it with them!

  7. Lovely, lovely post. One of my favourite times of day is walking home with my littlest after the stressful school run and stopping to enjoy all the types of things you describe. Now I just need to work on making the walk TO school just as niceπŸ™‚

  8. Beautiful post Christine. It when we slow done that life can become so much more worthwhile. I blogged about our walk to school a few weeks back – http://mdplife.blogspot.com/2011/01/gallery-mother-naturess-stark-contrast.html

    Mich x

  9. What a lovely post. what lucky kids you have to have such a great mum.

  10. I love the school run tooπŸ™‚ We look at the little birds that live in the hedgerows, pick up worms and snails that are “going the wrong way” on the pavement and are in danger of being squashed, stand on shadows and make them shout! And we love drain covers etc too. There’s a very pretty one on our High St with hearts on. Not sure what it’s for.

    • Aw, I’m so glad you pick up the snails, that’s lovely! And you are shadow stompers too! Lovely! Many thanks for commenting…how do we find out what the drain cover with hearts is for? I really want to know!

  11. Karen

    My car broke down before Xmas and it reminded me of how lovely walking the school run is. Before the thought of walking the 4 of them to school and getting them there on time filled me with dread but it was actually great! I enjoyed it so much it’s now compulsory to walk home(need to drive in the mornings to get my youngest to preschool!) and we all love it.πŸ˜€

  12. Pingback: Where I am around the internet IV β€” Notes From Home

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