With no nursery, no errands to run, no plans to see friends, and Zebra-girl out to tea this evening, Dinosaur-boy and I had a rare uninterrupted nine hours stretching ahead of us today.
In the morning we staged elaborate dinosaur fights and contemplated whether it was acceptable to introduce plastic frogs into the game...then we practised cycling up and down the drive on Dinosaur's new pedal bike....a little later we set up a giant train track that stretched from one bedroom into another. At lunch we ate cherries together and wondered how to spend the afternoon....then literary inspiration struck and the hours suddenly passed very quickly.
My children have both loved an old book from my own childhood, called Acorns and Stew by Ruth Orbach, in which a little girl called Lenore builds houses for the ducks in her local park so that they needn't emigrate for the winter time....the colours are basic and bold and the story told in rhyme... however, with no ducks about and an almost summery feel to our day, it prompted us instead to go for a walk and see if we could find snails to house.
First we made a house from an old Amazon box and Dinosaur-boy decorated it with pictures of swirly shells and their owners, then we found a bucket and went snail hunting in the hedges and walls up and down our road.
We found many, but we both fell for the liveliest one that, once housed, ventured around his new home and waggled its antennae at us, while the others hid in their shells.
Dinosaur-boy carried their house carefully to the bottom of the garden, so that the snails might have a grassy garden around them, should they venture beyond their new front door...
We had our doubts about the safety of the loft room, but have since seen evidence that our design hasn't been the cause of snails hurtling to their death...they are clever things.