On June 26th, I did something I have wanted to do for a long time.
Something that required planning and preparation to the extremes of OCD.
But I was determined to accomplish it ..... alone.
I took all three boys out for the day on my own.
The weather wasn't great, but we had heard through moors-daddy that nearby at Lydford Gorge (National Trust) they were holding the first "Safety on Dartmoor Day".
All the emergency services would be there, ambulance, police, fire brigade and Dartmoor Rescue.
I knew we had to go.
We have not been to Lydford Gorge with the boys before, so it would be new to them.
I had to take moors-daddy's car as mine had died and was in the garage.
easier said than done.
Three children squeezed into the back. Beanie not on a booster (not ideal) but we had no other choice if we were going.
Double buggy wedged in the boot!
When we first arrived the buggy remained in the boot and the boys and I went for a walk. We didn't go far, as the gorge walk is steep and slippery and as usual these days the rain was falling. It is not the best place to take an unsteady toddler, but it was dark and the old railway line was flat. We managed to walk to the bird hide and back, by which time Worm had had enough.
We looked briefly at the police car and Dartmoor Rescue van before getting into the car and heading around to the main area, a couple of miles down the road.
Here there were lots of different emergency vehicles that you could climb on and explore.
My boys were initially shy and wouldn't talk to anyone or go near the vehicles. But after time they plucked up the courage.
Monkey, especially is obsessed by fire engines, and was just so thrilled to be up so close to them.
We wandered around for a while before finding a spot out of the rain, to eat our picnic.
We ate our lunch and then went to find the play park.
It was a lovely play park, not that big, so I could keep an eye on all three and they spent ages there.
Creating their own games, chasing each other around.
All three went down the slide, Worm first because he had his all in one waterproofs on, closely followed by the other two, each getting themselves soaked.
They continued to play in the park, running around a small maze made from wooden stumps.
Sitting down together in their own world of imaginative play.
Worm followed the bigger two everywhere, quiet in his thoughts, so serious.
Every now and then the sirens of a nearby vehicle would be switched on, making him jump. (They were so loud) but he didn't care.
After playing for over an hour, we headed back to the vehicles. Beanie had more confidence this time and starting exploring the vehicles. He got in the ambulance and had his heart rate and blood pressure measured. He climbed in the fire engine.
Monkey still wouldn't venture inside.
But was more than happy having his photo taken in front of the fire engine!
We were there for just over four hours. I had managed a day out with them all on my own and now know that I am more than capable of doing it. They were all fantastically well behaved and all were shattered by the end of it.
Knowing I can do it has meant that I am now planning more things to do over the summer, whilst moors-daddy is at work and I am alone with them.
And part of me can't wait!
(The only trouble I had was getting the double buggy back in the boot - but my car is mended so that won't be a problem again!!)