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an otterspool afternoon

After some failed plans to meet up with Zsofi, we went ahead and went to Otterspool yesterday to enjoy the warm afternoon. We started off at the playground, where Ares was interested in the structures, but didn’t want to play on anything in particular (“Do you want to go on the slide?” [headshake] “Do you want to go on the swing?” [headshake]). He seemed to just wander around the way toddlers do, trying out everything a little bit before moving on to the next thing and later returning. Raspberry played a bit but was more interested in the immature pine branches she found. She thought they looked like little dolls and tried to sell them for one pence, but no one really paid any attention to her, so she got quickly disheartened. She wanted me to pay actual money for it, but I didn’t have any change on me and honestly, I didn’t really want them in the first place.

Lucas finally fixed the wonky wheel of Raspberry’s scooter, so she brought it out for the first time in more than a year. She’d initially wanted to scoot down the promenade, but decided she wanted to go into the woods instead, as we did the promenade the last time we were at Otterspool. On our way to the woods, we discovered that they’d built a skatepark. How perfect was it that Raspberry had her scooter? And she’s always wanted to try out a skatepark. Needless to say, we didn’t make it to the woods.

Raspberry scooted among a couple of other little kids and a handful of adult skateboarders, delighting in the fact that she was going faster than she does on the sidewalk. She fell numerous times, sometimes picking herself up and carrying on, but mostly crying. I explained to her how it takes lots of practise and falling in order to become more proficient at scooting. An older skateboarder with yellow teeth commented how he was surprised she didn’t have pads on. I said that this was the first time she’s doing this in ages, and that we’d get some if she does it more. Her knees took the brunt of the falls and she cleaned them with wet tissue, rubbed some grass on it, and was good to go. Ares seemed to enjoy watching the action, while stuffing himself full of rice cakes. He kept wanting to walk on the skating surface, but he did wander off to chase a seagull at one point (no luck).

Near the end, Raspberry collided with a skateboarder, who landed on top of her. I didn’t see what actually happened, beyond them lying in a heap. She landed on her left elbow and was convinced that it was fractured (in recent weeks, she’s been learning all about the different kinds of fractures, as she’s really been wanting to climb trees and is convinced that she’ll fall and break something). Her elbow was touch-sensitive and she couldn’t bend it. She said it hurt so much that she couldn’t even cry (this is a kid who cries and says it hurts if you poke her). It wasn’t red or swollen, and it didn’t look much different from her other arm, so I was pretty sure it wasn’t broken. I tried to distract her by asking about all the different fractures and which one it might be, and said we’d see how it was when we got home and decide if we needed to go see the doctor. Despite being mostly certain her arm wasn’t fractured, I still had visions of her needing to be x-rayed and put in a cast, because my mind works in weird ways. As we walked, her left arm hung limply while she used her other hand to walk her scooter, but she wasn’t upset, like I thought she might be. While we were exiting Liverpool Central, she saw a table giving away free strawberries and drinks and as she reached out to take a cup, I noticed at that her hurt arm was bent. She said thereafter that it didn’t hurt as much anymore. Hooray to no fractures! As a reminder of her afternoon, she has scratched and bruised shins and a patchy, red scrape on her elbow that she’s rather proud of. I think she would’ve actually been excited to have broken a bone, but I’m guessing she’s glad to not have done so. I know I am.

the fifth print fair

A little over a week ago, Raspberry and I had a table at the Inprint Festival and it was our fifth print fair. The last print fair we did was in July 2014, so it’s been quite a while. Since then, Raspberry has repeatedly asked if we could do another, to which I always replied that she had to make new work. For her, the new work came in many spluttering spurts and there was practically nothing new for me, so the thought of doing another print fair was something on the back burner. Not to mention, having a baby around complicates things too.

Anyhow, with Ares at sixteen months now, I thought we could take another shot at doing a print fair. I knew about it for a good two months, but as is always the case, the bulk of the work I did for it came in the two weeks leading up to the actual day. Ha, talk about procrastination! The day itself was tremendously successful. I’d had my doubts, given the location of our table at the venue, but I’m glad my concerns were unfounded. We were consistently busy through the afternoon, and at one point we actually had people lining up to pay. That’s practically unheard of!

For the first time, Raspberry was doing custom, on-the-spot drawings for £1 and they proved to be quite popular. She initially offered cat drawings, but they evolved into customized drawings, including one of a peacock with a blackish body because it’d forgotten to wear an apron and had spilled paint on itself. She had some people specifically seek her out and she sold out of a couple of her prints, including some she’s had since the very first print fair we did back in March 2013. To say she had a successful day would be an understatement.

This was the first print fair where I had new work in eons. I’ve been attempting to move away from making maps so this was the first time I debuted some illustrations in the form of two prints and a zine (my very first one ever!). I was nervous about doing so, as I’ve never actually publicly shown any of my drawings before, not since I last drew more voraciously in junior high. But people seemed to like them, and that’s motivated me to keep working at it. This was also the first time I sold more than just one of my sets of photos and that was certainly encouraging. I even met a guy who works for the Open Eye Gallery, who said they’d like to showcase artists’ work in their shop and floated the idea of maybe having my images there. Not that I’ve heard from him, but that’d be amazing! I also met a girl who actually sends snail mail and she bought four of my envelopes. Snail mail enthusiasts are few and far between, so I was excited to have met her. As usual, I did have the maps for sale, but I tested out the idea of having people make me an offer for them instead of having a set price. It didn’t work out, but the maps only very occasionally sell at the print fairs, so I’m not torn out about it. While I didn’t have as successful a day as Raspberry did, I did quite well and have absolutely no complaints. Coming off the high of the day, I know I definitely want to keep on working on my illustrations and see where that takes me. That said, I’m excited to do another fair (not that there are plans as yet to do so, but I’m excited at the potential for it!).

(Oh, and on the way home, we saw a rabbit beside the hospital, which I think is quite a perfect way to end the day!)

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mid-week beach day

We made an impromptu trip to New Brighton, where Raspberry and Ares played in the sand, dug through the treasure chest (and discovered dinosaurs, now named Limousine and Desk), climbed on rocks, and eschewed ice-cream. And near the end of it, Ares started actively seeking out sand to eat because he was exhausted and he seems to get a massive oral fixation when he’s tired. We also found a 1972 copy of Enid Blyton’s The Children of Cherry Tree Farm at Literally, originally presented to one Craig Dixon by Mereside Methodist Church in 1974 for his regular attendance. It all made for a pretty decent day.

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not sleeping as the sun sets

scenes from a sunny day

Also known as the first day we’ve spent out this week.
Or the day we spent all afternoon at FACT sculpting with salt dough.
Or the afternoon we met some very cool people who were also making salt dough sculptures.
Or the time I said “fuck it” to our unimportant errands because hanging out with people we’d just met was way more fun.
Or the first time Raspberry had played with dough in probably a year or more.
Or the first time Ares played with dough and wasn’t as interested in its tactile properties as I’d expected.
Or the first time [surprise, surprise] Ares ate salt dough and as usual, refused to open his mouth for me to extricate it, and went back for more.
Or the time Ares ate coloured salt dough and promptly puked up milk, and more milk, and even more milk, and of course, it was the one time I didn’t bring his burp cloth.
Or the time Raspberry made a giant minion head out of salt dough, even though she’s only ever seen the minions in their banana song video.
Or the time Raspberry made a little pot for one of the very nice people she met, who gave her the duck she’d made.
Or the day Ares didn’t nap until 4:20pm, slept for barely 50 minutes, woke up as we were walking down the street, and immediately pointed out a big truck, because that’s obviously very important to him.
Or the day we hurried post-haste from FACT to Lime Street station to meet Lucas, zipping into shops to buy rice noodles and straw mushrooms along the way for our pad thai dinner.
Or the day we had a really nice, laid-back afternoon in a really nice space.

selling maps

I started sewing maps onto paper about four years ago. I’m not sure what spurred it but I remember itching for something new and artistic to work on and from that yearning, my embroidered map series was born.

In the past year or so, I’ve felt the maps becoming more of a burden, not that I’ve consistently been making them. The fun has long gone and sewing them became a chore. It’s said that if you no longer love what you do, then it’s time to stop, isn’t it? I think I’ve long been ready to move on, to try my hand at something different like screenprinting or letterpress or illustration, all areas I’ve been eager to dip my feet in for a long time.

I’m slated to do a print fair at the end of the month and I’ve been attempting some new work, but I think I’m going to try to sell the maps beforehand and see where that takes me. I somehow feel like if I don’t have them, it’ll be psychologically easier to move on to the next project(s).

That said, if anyone’s interested in any of the maps, they can be seen here, and here’s a breakdown of the prices with free worldwide shipping:

European borders (8.5″ x 11″) – US$15
South American borders (8.5″ x 5.5″) – US$10
South American borders (5.5″ x 4.25″) – US$5

And for the UK mainland:

European borders (8.5″ x 11″) – £10
South American borders (8.5″ x 5.5″) – £6
South American borders (5.5″ x 4.25″) – £3

Anyone who’s interested can leave a comment or email me at ohhellodawn@gmail.com. It’ll be nice to see the maps going to good homes!

april 21, 2013 – may 2, 2015

I hate the way periods sneak up on you, when you’re just carrying on with life and then suddenly, you have to change out of your favourite comfy underwear because dammit, it came. That was me yesterday, although I actually waited until the end of the day because I wasn’t actually sure it had returned.

I was certain that I had many more months to go before having to deal with it again. After all, following Raspberry’s birth, my period didn’t return until she was almost two (I must admit that until I re-read that post last night, I’d always thought she was two-and-a-half, almost three when my period came back. What it really was was that I was sans period for that long, pregnancy included). Instead, I lasted all of fifteen months plus pregnancy.

I was in denial most of the day, since I was only spotting. The thought that perhaps the mild streaks of red might be symptomatic of some greater condition rather than merely being menstrual blood did cross my mind and I wildly extrapolated to having to call the doctor to figure it out. By the evening however, I was resigned to the fact that [sigh] it was just my period. A call to the doctor would just be ridiculous. “Nooooooooooo!” I howled to no one in particular, and grudgingly excavated a cloth pad out of the depths of my underwear drawer. I have a brand new menstrual cup to christen but I waited until today to use it as I’m a cup virgin.

Lucas suggests that maybe it’s because Ares doesn’t nurse as often as Raspberry did. Who knows? The body works in mysterious ways. I suppose having my period again means my hormones are perhaps back to normal though? It does explain the rather sudden, pleasantly unexpected return of my libido in recent weeks. Putting two and two together in hindsight, it makes sense and had I known better, I would’ve anticipated the imminent arrival of my period. If I was really good, I might’ve even pinpointed it down to the day (ha!), but I’m not. Unlike some, I’m not one to celebrate my menstruation as I find it more of an annoyance than anything, but I suppose I’m glad for the return of certain normal aspects. Welcome back, shedding uterus. You weren’t missed.

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trapped

farm animals

three gallery days

Tuesday at the Walker Art Gallery

I was determined to see the Martin Parr exhibition so it was off to the Walker we went (he’s one of my favourite photographers and I’m lucky to have seen his work exhibited twice prior). Usually when we go to the Walker, it’s for a learning session or we just head to Big Art and the kids have their fun there while I spend a mind-numbing hour or longer making sure Ares doesn’t eat paper scraps. On this day however, I declared that we were actually going to see art before going to Big Art. Seeing that the exhibition was essentially that of street photography, I was in heaven, and the images didn’t disappoint. It also gave me a bit of a kick in the ass to do more street photography (unfortunately, I do practically nil these days). Because there was quite the myriad of images, I didn’t get a chance to properly see them all. Ares, who wanted to be carried around rather than crawl, was enthusiastically seeking out pictures of dogs or other animals in the images and signing every time he saw them. Raspberry initially viewed the images with me but soon got bored and draped herself over the furniture (she later left a comment on the wall about what she thought about the exhibition). Faced with the prospect of half-absent-mindedly hurrying through the rest of the images with antsy children underfoot, I decided instead to return another day, perhaps sans little people, with any luck. It’s the kind of exhibition I want to return to, and those tend to be hard to come by.

Wednesday at Tate Liverpool

Amid blustering winds, we trekked to the docks because dammit, I couldn’t face being inside all day. There wasn’t really anything particular I wanted to see there; I just needed a day out. We did see some new art, an exhibition of György Kepes’s work, which reminded me a lot of Moholy-Nagy and some of the Russian art from the early 20th century. I had a brief discussion with the gallery attendant about it, as I attempted to dredge up my limited knowledge of art history and mistakenly referenced futurism. He was nice though, and showed and explained photograms to Raspberry while I sat on a nearby bench to nurse Ares, attempting to eavesdrop on the explanation. Like the previous day, I wanted to see actual art instead of spending all our time at the Art Dock (the family room that’s the Tate’s equivalent to Big Art). It turned out to not be the best idea, as it was all art we’ve seen before and it merely resulted in restlessness and bouncing from one thing to another with barely any engagement. Granted, I wasn’t exactly into it either, having seen it previously and not being all that interested in it to begin with. Raspberry and Ares preferred to look out the window and at one point, were chided for having their feet on the windowsill (or really, I was, for allowing it).

So it was off to the Art Dock, where we spent way too long among the same stale pom-pom display that’s been there for over two months. The Art Dock usually has interactive, well-thought-out activities, so I’ve been disappointed by the pom-pom display that has little to offer, beyond some foam for my baby to chew into tiny, chokable pieces and my kid to fashion pipe-cleaners into hammers. I expressed my thoughts on two comment cards, slipped into their donation box because there was no where else to submit it to. Ares spent way too long tinkering on the computer keyboard and it was almost a Heculean task to extricate him from it. Every time I tried, I was met with high-pitched, ear-piercing shrieks of displeasure. I think he was tired, as transitioning to other tasks was hard for him all day. Faced with the unadmirable job of having to change his diaper, I let him type some more while I settled on the couch with a book about Louise Bourgeois and her work about the maternal. If I had to wait, at least I could read something interesting while doing so. As I skimmed the book, I realized I really should’ve read up on her work prior to giving birth so I might’ve made some pregnancy or birth-related art. Oh well. I’m going to look up more of her work anyway. We finally left the Tate after some tears and a water break. I usually like being there, but feeling scattered and like I barely saw anything good, I was just happy to leave this time.

Thursday at FACT

Raspberry decided she wanted to go to FACT today and I’d promised her weeks ago that we could go back and see the Group Therapy exhibition again. She really wanted to take on the maze again, so that was first up. When we first saw the exhibition weeks ago, all four of us tried out the maze, which is meant to simulate the experience of psychosis, and it was jarring, to say the least. Being in there once is more than enough for me. Meanwhile, Raspberry did it twice today, both on her own (the first time, she needed a little help but when I proved useless, I exited the maze and she took it on on her own. I was more effective being a sideline cheerleader and assisting her by pointing out the path on the ground). I was quite impressed she managed it by herself. She most wanted to see a display of safety pins embedded within the maze and was thoroughly excited when she encountered it. While she meandered her way through, Ares busied himself trying on oversized headphones and attempting to tap on a frozen iPad. I couldn’t tear him away from it.

In the other gallery space, we headed for Raspberry’s favourite exhibit, which involves a projected, almost psychedelic image that changes based on your heart rate. Even Ares wanted to get in on it too, and he insisted I place the pulse monitor on his ear and laid down too, albeit, not on the right side most of the time. I love how he’s so much into imitating others now. Raspberry made her requisite chalk pastel drawings in response to her experience in the exhibit and did one for Ares too. As usual, there was chalk dust everywhere. We ended off in the foyer, which is where we usually start, spend way too much time there, and have little time to actually see the exhibits. I’m in love with the way the space is designed and with all the bright colours that shockingly, don’t clash. I’ll be sad to see it go when the exhibition closes. Anyway, our time in the foyer was limited this time, on account that it was getting late and we still had groceries to get. We were there long enough for Raspberry to read The Dark and to slip into the all-padded room. We’ll probably hit up the exhibition again before it closes in a few weeks. It’s a decent exhibition and we all seem to enjoy it.

viral

While blue skies and bright sunshine drifted day in and day out past our living room window, we were cooped up inside for most of last week, bemoaning the fact that Raspberry had been inflicted with an unknown malicious virus that rendered her terribly incapacitated. We had an suspicion that she might’ve picked it up in Manchester over the weekend, but it was impossible to tell. It was the first time she’d ever been that sick, sleeping for hours on end, so it was more than a little frightening. What I thought would be a twenty-four hour malaise ended up stretching to almost a week. When it showed no signs of abating, Lucas took a day off to help out and we called the doctor, who agreed to see her at an emergency after-hours appointment. Languidly and clad in her pajamas, she made the walk to the clinic, described all her symptoms to the doctor with Lucas barely saying a word, and was diagnosed with a virus that had made feverish, her inner ear swollen, gave her a headache and stomachache, made her throat wickedly sore, made her puke once the day before, and diminished her appetite to stomaching little more than some apple, clementine, toast and (this is unheard of) lots of water.

Having Lucas around even for a day proved to be a godsend, as I was able to take a stir-crazy Ares away from the four walls of our apartment for a few hours (we ended up going to the library). Lucas was able to attend to Raspberry a lot more than I could with Ares (the first day she was sick, every time I went into the bedroom to check on her, she kept freaking out that Ares was going to climb onto her bed even when he wasn’t). All the sleeping Raspberry was doing enabled me to have one-on-one time with Ares, a rarity most, if not, all days. I attempted to teach him to make marks on paper but failed miserably as he couldn’t seem to get the hang of which end of the pencil would have to make contact with the paper. Regardless, it gave me time to draw and while he napped, I got the chance to write, something that I’ve let fall to the wayside lately. Despite the napping (only once a day, unfortunately), I think being at home made Ares restless and manic and bed-time was more than a challenge for him. By eight o’clock most of those days, I was exasperated and ready to pull a Homer Simpson-style neck-wringing.

Mid-week, it appeared as if it wasn’t going to be a protracted illness, as for the first time in over two days, Raspberry emerged from her bed to read and was laughing at my dorkiness. However by the afternoon, she was back in bed. When it seemed like Raspberry was doing much better, we went out briefly to the library on Thursday and she seemed all right there, reading her new Naughtiest Girl book, but the trip home proved tough for her. She was determined to see the giant ants at The Lowry in Manchester before the exhibition closed on the weekend, so we headed there on Friday. While she enjoyed it, being sick was still taking a toll on her and she slept both ways on the train and the tram. Despite still feeling cruddy, she was similarly determined to make it to the launch of Cass Art, a new art supply store in town. Contrary to the weather forecast, it drizzled cold rain and that exacerbated her misery. Upon returning home, she crashed on the couch for the rest of the afternoon. She seemed much better upon awaking and our dinner hour was spent drawing rabbits over slurping sweet potato soup.

After almost a week of her roller-coastering illness, Raspberry was finally all better on Sunday, just in time to enjoy a cold, sunny day at a craft fair where she planted some cress seeds in a pot she decorated with a face, and for us to enjoy some not-very-chocolatey hot chocolate. Lucas arrived home from a weekend of refereeing in Kettering to an excited, generally well, but tired kid.

I did miss Raspberry’s presence after even the first two days of her illness, but I will admit that I very quickly got used to the extra time I had to myself, so much so that this week, I’ve had to remind myself that I have two active kids and that I can’t just sit down and post-process images and write for an hour. Ah well. I may not be glad for that or for the typical whininess that comes with Raspberry, but I’m glad she’s healthy again.

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notes from two beach days at new brighton

– Ares’ first time in the sand. He was so taken by the experience that every time he saw me approaching him with arms outstretched, he’d crawl backward or crawl away as quickly as a baby possibly can through soft sand. He even tried to do a headstand in the sand, something he’d only started doing a few days prior. He kept looking at his sand-caked hands and after I taught him how to brush the sand off his hands, he started doing it himself. No first trip to the beach is complete without the requisite sand-eating and naturally, Ares was no exception, much to my chagrin (you can see him eating sand in one of the above pictures).

– Homemade ice-cream: Ferrero Rocher-flavoured ice-cream beats Turkish Delight-flavoured ice-cream hands-down. There is just something too up-in-the-clouds, artificial about the latter. It must be the pink.

– One of my favourite second-hand bookstores is Literally, in New Brighton. The owner is delightful and charms kids with puppets and sea-faring tales. She also gives them paper boats made from map pages. I’ve found a number of vintage kids’ books there, including an old copy of Dick Bruna’s The Apple (with thankfully non-rhyming verse!), an old edition of Pippi Goes Abroad (yes, Pippi, of Longstocking fame), and a vintage copy of Enid Blyton’s The Naughtiest Girl Again. I’m a sucker for old books. And the best part is, I paid only 25p each for them. Score!

– The second time we went was on a sunny but extremely gusty day. The beach was busy, as unlike the first time, it was Easter break, and the windiness didn’t deter many people from dressing skimpily or in bathing suits. I’m certain they’re insane… or just English. Meanwhile, I’d stupidly under-dressed both Ares and Raspberry and they were both cold. Because of this, Ares didn’t play in the sand for very long, preferring to huddle up against me in the baby carrier. The wind was so strong that I watched as the sand just blew into my bag without any other help. I had to keep emptying my messenger bag for fear the sand would get into my cameras.

– Raspberry lost her fourth tooth (the bottom right incisor) while having her rocky road ice-cream. She accidentally swallowed the tooth, thinking it was a nut, and was in tears. I felt awful for her, as I know she treasures every tooth she loses. I half-jokingly suggested we could make her puke up her ice-cream or search her poop for it. She wisely declined both suggestions. When we got home, she drew and cut out a replacement tooth for her collection.

– We went back to Literally, in search of more vintage Naughtiest Girl books but came up empty-handed. I did, however, find a Little Golden Book (Funny Bunny). Those are hard to find in the UK. We have a collection of Little Golden Books but most of them stayed in Canada, so it’s nice to occasionally come across them here.

sunny otterspool

On a warm, sunny day in early March, Carrie and I met up at Otterspool for what turned out to be a lovely afternoon. We started off at the playground but progressed to a pleasantly long walk along the promenade toward the Britannia Inn, where Carrie so graciously treated us to hot chocolate. Tom and Becky had their bike and scooter respectively; Raspberry tried out Tom’s bike once, with Carrie holding onto her but she wasn’t confident enough to try again. It was an almost three-and-a-half mile walk there and back and Carrie encouragingly gave the kids targets to reach to keep them moving. As they ran and whizzed down the prom, the kids gleefully played a game of emergency, which involved collapsing and playing possum while the others ran over in mock [laughing] panic to save them. Near the end of our walk, Raspberry pointed out that no one had complained about the distance we walked, which was impressive when you’re talking about little kids. We thought there’d be more time for them to play on the exercise machines but as one might expect, things with kids take much longer (even when they don’t complain) so we had to nix that. Despite a moment of disappointment at not being able to hang out with our friends for longer, Raspberry still very much enjoyed her afternoon, as did Carrie and I, as we couldn’t stop raving about it, because really, it was that nice a day.

one day shy of fifteen months

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the day without the squirrels

After hearing about the sand dunes and the red squirrels at Formby, I wanted to make it out to there last summer but for unknown reasons, didn’t. So two weeks ago, when Lucy suggested a trip out to Formby to see the squirrels, I jumped at the chance to go so together with her and Carrie and our collective brood of seven little humans, we hopped a train out to the squirrel reserve.

The funny thing is that at the reserve, I saw all of one squirrel. Granted, I didn’t look very hard (if at all) and most of our time was spent watching the kids dig in the sand and climbing trees in the picnic area, but having never been before, I truly expected squirrels to be running rampant, to be inhabiting every tree hollow, to be perched in every branch (okay, every other branch). But alas, they must all have been on vacation or scared off by the Easter break crowd. Urban squirrels are common back home. When we lived in Ottawa, the squirrels would scamper along the window sill outside, much to our cat’s frustration. Perhaps we currently live in too urbanized an area for there to be squirrels. Beyond the odd sighting in a park on the outskirts, I can quite safely say I’ve seen nary a squirrel in the almost two-and-a-half years I’ve been here. I do miss them a little.

It was more or less a decent day, hanging out with Carrie and Lucy in the sunshine and watching the kids run free. Because we were there with the intention of walking and seeing the squirrels, none of us were prepared for sand play. The kids borrowed buckets and shovels from some others who did have the foresight to bring beach equipment. Beginning with Evie, the girls wanted to be mermaids with sand tails. I was surprised Raspberry did too, as she typically doesn’t care for mermaids. Ares had a ball crawling around and digging in the sand and of course, eating it (well, it was on a stick that he decided to chew). When the sand got boring, he discovered a log to straddle. I felt bad taking him away from that as we were leaving.

Unlike Ares, Raspberry was on edge, and cried repeatedly from the moment we arrived, about various travesties like being startled by a door shutting in her face or a broken stick or accidentally poking herself in the leg or being unable to come down from a ledge two inches above the ground. By the end of our time in Formby, I’d had it and was infinitesimally close to losing my mind. I’m almost certain there was no less than ten instances when she cried or howled. It wasn’t until later that evening when I was unpacking my backpack and finding most of her uneaten pizza, that I realized that her episodes were probably due to hunger (we’d all eaten on the train ride there and I’d thought she’d eaten more than she actually did). Talking it over with Lucas later, we were acutely reminded of the mismatch between her age, her intelligence, and her emotional regulation. We established that the next time something like this happens again, I need to be firm and we’ll be leaving whatever place we’re at, in an effort to remove the triggers. Thus far, nothing on this scale has yet occurred (thankfully!) so we haven’t had to put this into practise yet. Fingers crossed that we won’t ever have to, but I think it’s a pipe dream.

Anyway, obviously we’ll have to go back to the reserve to properly seek some squirrels out. Note to self: it’ll be during term time and it’ll be with a well-rested, properly-fed child.

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