Tuesday was our Coffee and Colouring morning.
We love our tinies and their wonderful parents and like to do something good to help them through a rainy half term break.
We have laid out our toddler height tables and miniature chairs, our cut and colour activities. We have glue sticks and round ended scissors, tissue paper, split pins and paper plates. We have tuppawares full of crayola crayons and brand new felt tip pens in paper coffee cups, rolls and rolls of cellotape, blu-tac and coloured card. We have borrowed the smallest plastic slide from the toddler group store and set it up with a rug and a crate of toys. All the cakes are homemade with butter, full fat milk and dark dark chocolate. We cut the brownies in perfect triangles, lay them out on doilies, next to cupcakes with white frosting swirls, pink and purple sprinkles. There are flasks of coffee and jugs of juice. All the toddler cups have sippy lids, the milk is chilled and the mugs are big enough for a proper drink of tea.
Our first guests arrive and rows of prams are parked up by the door. There are welcomes and smiles, introductions and names exchanged. Some of these mums have done more to get out this morning than a grown professional man will do in a whole week at the office.
My own children and their friends, now grown, help at the tables, with difficult cutting out and kind words, for every little-child likes a big-child friend. When a colouring activity is complete a little exclamation of praise erupts like an applause, tiny certificates and stickers are given out and little ones run to show and tell. And all our children shine! Everyone of them from your youngest to my oldest!
Because you gave them breakfasts and wiped their runny noses, dressed them and found enough coats and shoes to make it into the car, we would like you to sit at a table free from crusts and smears of jam. We would like to help you have a cup of tea in peace and you don’t have to wash your own cup.
We made it through the supermarket tantrums, picky-eating, double-buggy days and here on the other side we know our worth. We know our worth and we know it is worth it, every terrible joy-laden, heart-wrenching scrap of it, every tissue, every baby wipe, the nights of lost sleep and the hard to maintain disciplines, the never ending star-charts and lost library books, the spilt drinks and leaking nappies, the days when the washing pile could not throw up enough socks and pants to get us through another day and we’re drying items of school uniform with a hair dryer already late for the bus. It was all worth it and it will all be worth it, the carefully prepared dinners that no one would eat, when cough followed cold and the teething tears never dried up, good intentions, failures and successes, every bad-mum moment you ever had.
This morning we would like to say a ‘thank you’ to our communities’ mums, and to the dads too.
We are thankful for all you do. You are worth it, it is worth it.
If you couldn’t make it to Coffee and Colouring yesterday, please feel free to download our happy ladybird PDF cut and colour craft to use at home. Open the link and click on the word ‘ladybird’.