Playdate – 22nd August 2019

Today Bella has a playdate. It doesn’t happen often so it’s nice that she has one today. With our friend Tony’s little girl. Tony has been trying to set up a photoshoot with me so we had decided to kill two birds with one stone.

Our morning started with a trip to Daly’s work. Daly had left his sunglasses in the car and he will end up getting migraines being in the sun without his sunglasses. So we had to head over to his work. We parked in the car park which isn’t too far from Daly’s hunt but a bit of a mission with a 2 year old who doesn’t really want to walk and gets distracted every 5 seconds. Not much I could do about that though.

We eventually made it to the hut and Bella ran in to say hello to her Dad. She had a little cuddle and got to see what daddy was upto. I gave Daly with glasses and we chatted briefly but he quickly had to get back to work and we had to go find Tony.

We took a very slow walk back to the car. And when I say slow I mean extremely slow. Bella kept stopping and wanting to be picked up. Sadly because of her weight on my chest when I pick her up I can’t carry her for long so it means I make her walk. Not that she’s heavy but I have a messed up rib cage.

Once Bella realised she wasn’t going to be picked up and carried, walking became even slower. There are posts all along the outskirts of the car park to separate the car park from the pavement. Bella kept ducking behind these posts to hide. This continued until we made it to the main part of the car park. At this point she refused to walk any further. She just curled up and pretended to cry on her knees.

Eventually she decided to join me at the car. However she didn’t want to get in the car. Instead she wanted to play on the grass that was round the edge of the car park. Me being the softy I am let her. While she was playing she decided to check out the plants that were growing amongst the grass. She came across these little white flowers that she wanted to pick for me.

Once she had fulfilled her need to play in the grass she made it into the car. We were off to go pick up Tony and his little girl for their play date. Bella loved having his little girl with us, she loves babies. She happily chatted away with her as we made our way back home.

We had decided to try out a new soft play area in town at the leisure centre. They used to have one inside the actual leisure centre but they’ve now turned their event venue into a soft play and rock climbing facility. So we were off to try it out.

To make life easier we parked at the house and then walked into town with the kids. It was nice just taking a leisurely walk into town. It was a pretty day and rarely do Tony and I get to be in full parent mode together. Not worrying about if you’re entertaining a friend and making sure you are engaging and not talking too much about your kids. Instead we could be boring parents, doting parents who talked about nursery and feeding and bedtimes and no worrying it was boring.

We made it to the soft play and found a table to park the prams at before heading into the preschool area first. I had brought my camera with me as I’d said earlier Tony had been trying to arrange a daddy daughter shoot. We figured as we had both kids and we were doing something fun I could try to do the shoot there and then. I’m very much a lifestyle, in the moment photographer. I feel awkward posing people, I love to just capture people doing their thing and trying to capture the true emotion not just posed perfect photos.

Sadly the lighting wasn’t great. So I’m not too happy with the photos I captured on the day but I shouldn’t worry too much because Tony loved them. It’s such an honour to see one of my photos being used as his profile picture. Especially with my watermark across it. I mean it’s free advertising for me. I mean I want to do more shoots. I love doing it and it’s a little bit of pocket money. I don’t charge stupid amounts and it’s fun to see what we can come up with. And the best thing is capturing memories for other people. That’s what it’s always about. I’ve always tried to capture my life on film, just so I have that record for the future. That was such a huge thing for me when mum was first diagnosed and then when we found out it was terminal. I wanted to have those physical reminders of the memories we made together. I’ve had times where I’ve regretted missing out of capturing the moments with my camera but I’ve never regretted taking the photos. I’ve learnt my balance between taking photos and being present.

Anyways, we explored the soft play and all the sensory lights they had in the preschool area. Me snapping away trying to get the photo just right while Tony just enjoyed himself with his little girl. Bella on the other hand was off. As soon as she entered the soft play she had no fear and was running around making friends and playing. It was lovely. I’m so happy she’s developing that confidence and independence, it also meant I could work uninterrupted.

Bella’s favourite part of the soft play seemed to be the slides. They seemed great fun. She’d slide down and then run off, back around to do it all over again. Sadly there was no ball pit at this soft play so we’ll have to go to a different one to get our plastic ball fix.

After a lot of running around and sliding it was time for a snack break. We went and sat down at the table so Tony could feed his daughter who was ready for a snooze and I could give Bella some snacks.

Bella happily sat and ate her mini cheddars next to Tony. She really does like spending time with him. He’s just another one of her little playmates. Tony’s daughter enjoyed a bottle and then both girls shared a packet of magic stars with Tony. This was extremely exciting for Bella. She kept picking up each star and telling me it was chocolate.

Once they’d had their snack Tony continued to sit with his daughter who was fighting sleep and Bella and I went back into the soft play for a little while more. Bella decided to go play with the lights this time. They have a wall with various coloured lights and a range of buttons underneath that you can press that change what pattern the lights make. We spent some time playing with lights and then moved on to the light tube. Bella had fun spinning around this and giving the tube a hug.

We even tried a bit of building with the giant building blocks. Bella found it funny stacking them all up and then having them fall on top of her. She managed to build her tower so high that it was the same height as her.

We decided to call it a day at the soft play. Tony’s little girl was tired and Bella needed to go home and have some lunch so we started the long walk home.

When we got home, we all went inside and my first job was to hunt for some appropriate toys for the girls to play with. I found a box of toys in the play room which was ideal. It had stacking cups, a piggy money box with coins to post, a dinosaur with various buttons and some other toys that didn’t have small parts. Bella really likes her little dolls and their houses but sadly the items were just too small for Tony’s daughter. I also doubt Bella would be happy sharing them.

The girls played for a little bit while I sorted some lunch out for Bella. When lunch was ready, Bella sat down nicely to eat her lunch and Tony popped his daughter in her pram so she could have a bottle and take a nap.

I noticed that once the baby was in the pram Bella became a lot more relaxed and more talkative. I’ve come to the conclusion Bella likes babies as long as their contained or asleep. Oh well. While the baby went to sleep and Bella played nicely by herself, Tony and I enjoyed a cup of tea. I suddenly felt like a proper grown up with another grown up parent friend. I mean normally when friends come round they have a Pepsi or a Vimto so to make a friend a tea seemed weird. But it was nice just to chill with tired kids and a cup of tea.

Soon it was time to take Tony and his daughter home. I wanted to get them home in the hopes I could get back home before Daly so I could do dinner. It didn’t work out though. I got home about 2 minutes after Daly. It didn’t matter though.

We ate dinner as a family in the garden with visitors in the shape of Joe and Jess. They were all going to darts but first Daly had to pick up a TV stand for us. We said goodbye to Daly as he headed off to go pick up our new TV stand and then we said goodbye to Joe and Jess as they headed off to darts.

Once the house was back to Bella and I, I popped on a film for Bella. My Netflix had been on the TV, Bella had spotted the Emoji movie and decided she wanted to watch that. She settled herself down on the floor to watch the film.

And that’s how our evening was spent. It’s been a lovely day. We managed to go out and enjoy the weather and spend time with good friends.

Night all and let’s see what adventures tomorrow holds for us.

Love CiCi x

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