I promised you a nice fluffy blog to cuddle up to last week, and as a man of my word, here you are.
Once your little monsters are able to run around unaided, and up to the age of five, the minimum recommended amount of physical play is three hours a day. Yes you heard me right, three hours a day. Cringe not my couch potato counterparts, it’s not like I’m telling you to run a fr*ck*n’ marathon, or go down to the gym to work on that six-pack. (Although, you could use it.) 😉
You will however, need to get up off the old Gluteus Maximus and exert yourselves a little. A slow walk, or playing at the park, will suffice, and guess what, you can even break it down into smaller chunks, an hour here, and an hour there. Hell, even kicking a ball around the back yard for half an hour is preferable to letting them sit in front of the goggle box all day, eating to the point where they turn purple and balloon like Violet Beauregard.
I know, it doesn’t sound very fluffy so far, but my point is that kids need exercise in order to develop, both physically and mentally, so that’s what we as parents do.
We also have a couple of dogs in the family, and they need the exercise as well. Okay I suppose, your humble narrator could use a little exercise as well. So every morning we don our waterproof onesies and wellies, and off we trot, out into the wilderness in search of puddy muddles.
This particular day began, with JB chasing his shadow, back and forth, and exclaiming, ‘Look daddy! It’s MY shadow!’ giggling all the while for the best part of ten minutes. This is the first time I’ve seen him interact with his shadow and I just had to get a picture, but after several blurred attempts, I finally took his hand to capture this rather nice father and son moment. This was then replaced by kicking the autumnal leaves about the place, in between bouts of independence/dependency, as he is accustomed to do at the moment.
Then we found them!
Major puddy muddles. This little guy loves jumping around in puddles, even more than a certain animated porcine character with a penchant for capsicum.
At first he always tentatively approaches them. I’m not sure what’s going on in that skull of his, if he’s worried the puddle might jump out of the way, swallow him whole, or worse, not splash. Either way, he is always nervous of that initial step, but once it’s been made, oh boy, there’s no stopping him! He will throw a wobbly at the mention of moving on from his watery fun, unless of course you happen to mention there is a bigger, more muddy puddle lying in wait around the next bend, and even then, there is a distinct huff about the whole, “sucking the fun out of my life dad,” feel about it. Swiftly followed by a, “this it taking an eternity to get to the next puddle! I’m going back to stomp in the last one!” Just remember, plan a walk that is half as long as you want to be out, trust me on that one!
However much fun splashing around in puddles is, it pales into insignificance with what happened next. I really wish I had a picture, but I was too busy LMGMO (Laughing My Gluteus Maximus Off!) We came to a style, one of those two step affairs with a little gate that opens to allow your dogs access to the other side. The astute amongst you will already know what I am about to say. Yes that’s right, he decided the best route was to go through the doggy gate. You can bet your house, I am going to go there again and get some video of it. Worry ye not my faithful readers, I will share 😃
Getting you and your child into a physical routine is so easy to do. We have breakfast at 8am, a snack at 10. Lunch is at midday, another snack at 3pm, and dinner at 5. In between these meals we play and have fun. Mixing up what we do from day to day. I usually start off lightly, with blocks or trains, or colouring, and build it up physically toward lunchtime. After lunch we start slowly and build up to running around like headless chickens till dinner. Then we wind down, toward books before bedtime at 8pm. As I say, we’re not talking about exerting ourselves to the point of exhaustion, just walking back and forth the living room playing with cars at the light end of the scale, to out walking the dogs, and playing in the park at the other. This not only sets them up to be a more active child, they will also go on to be a more active adult. It also makes for a happier, more emotionally assured child, (and parent,) and makes a stronger familial bond. A ‘win, win’ for everyone.
Before I go, a big thanks to Bill Greenhead for the use of the ‘pepperspray pig’ cartoon. I’ve been following ‘World of Cow’ for a while now, and it’s damn awesome, so please go give him some love over at twitter. Check out all the merchandise on his website, for some great Xmas gift ideas, and if you can help by either donating a couple of shekels, or by simply sharing, Bill has a kickstarter project to finish this awesome Xmas music video
Till next week,
Be dobby, smeck grimly, and skvat jeezny by the sharries droogs!