She’s Got Those Autumnal Blues

Mini's latest scar, from a see-saw accident on Tuesday (sheesh)

Mini’s latest scar on her lip, from a see-saw accident on Tuesday (sheesh)

Mini Minx has been a wee bit under the weather the past few days: she’s had a crackly chest since Sunday, and sounded downright wheezy and rattly yesterday. Although she hadn’t got a fever or any pain, I took her to the GP. She’s just fine. I almost felt a little bit guilty taking the elder 2 out of school 15 minutes early so that I could make the only appointment available that day, which clashed at home-time, and in a different town to the girls’ school, but best not to be blase when it comes to littlies and their breathing.

So, although she’s ok, because the rattle and the raspy throat remain I decided to keep Mini off gymnastics yesterday and swimming today. Hmmm, what to do all morning before nursery, then? We both agreed that baking would be a very good past-time and that gingerbread or parkin would be just spot-on. Well, it would have been if I’d not run out of cinnamon… Doh.

We nipped out to the local shop to get something in for dinner instead. Have I told you that our nearest shop is a farm shop, and that it’s usually cheaper than the closest supermarket, and the quality is streets better? How smug do you think I feel about that? It’s a greedy-guts’ paradise! Local meat, fruits, veg, herbs, chutneys and pickles, cakes and bakery things, dairy produce, etc. etc. The lady who runs it is lovely and friendly. The dog and puppy there are friendly, and I’m sort of using them to try to help Mini stop panicking around dogs (distrust is ok. A tiny bit of fear is also not too bad. But panic is bad). We’re getting there. Slowly, but surely. She’ll now let the older, calm dog sniff her so long as I’ve got my arms around her, and so long as the dog sniffs then walks away disinterested.

Anyway, on the way back home, I was thinking about asking around where the best deciduous woods were to find colourful leaves at this time of year. At that moment, I noticed a little stand of trees that were starting to turn, and had little patches of yellow, orange and brilliant red. As I looked properly, I realised the trees were the ones in our back garden… OK, so now I’m feeling *super* smug, and it gives me an idea…

This afternoon, Maxi and Midi are staying late at school because their teacher is doing a leaf-printing activity with all the juniors: it’s the start of a series of outdoor after-school activities that they’ll be running. I tell you, this school is just getting better and better in my estimation! I saw a wee sheet on the wall last week, asking about the different ways you could tell how well you were doing. (It was phrased more succinctly than that; I forget, and I’m not having an eloquent day today. Sorry). And the morning tuck shop is selling great quality fruit for 10p a piece. Seriously! I think the cash I’ll save from buying the girls’ morning fruit snacks at tuck shop every day might cover lots of the diesel used driving them to and from home!

Anyway, the trees and the elder girls’ activity gave me an idea: let’s do leaf-printing with Mini! I won’t mind the mess. Too much. Ish.

Me: “What do leaves do in the autumn?”
Mini: “Sway inna trees and go WHOOOOOOooooooOOOO and whoosh and swish and…”.
Me: “Um. Yeeeeees… Em, do they change colour?”
Mini: “Yep. Dey go green an’ blue an’ purple”.
Me: “!”

leaf 1I took her outside and showed her the little colourful patches of leaves on the sycamores outside. See? Mostly green, then lots of yellow, and a bit of orange and a splash of red. Right? Right! We marched about with Foster Cat, collecting some different shaped leaves, then in to the dining room to get squidgy.

Mini had a great time mixing colours and handling the paint. She preferred to use the leaves as paintbrushes than to actually print with them, but hey-ho. I think she had a good time! Especially because I use her fleece top as an apron: covers more of her, keeps her warm and washes up easier than most aprons. Bonus!

leaf 2When she was finished, I decided to wrap up our activity ‘properly’. “Wow, what a beautiful colourful picture you’ve made! It’s of autumn leaves, isn’t it? What did we use to make it? (leaves) Yes, that’s right, real autumn leaves. And what colours do leaves go in autumn? (green and blue and purple) …. Oh I give up!” So we hit the biscuits instead 🙂

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