We’ve had a top weekend, it’s been busy and they’re going to continue to be on the run up to the festive period, but it’s been brilliant and hilarious. Toddler P and I have been on full form, we’ve spent a lot of time with various friends of ours, laughing and having fun playing. We’ve put up the Christmas Tree (well I did post bedtime so she couldn’t spoil my bauble placement OCD) and got totally into the December spirit.

It all started with a usual morning at dancing, the hobby horses came out and little P galloped round as I laughed to myself about the week when my friend that runs the dance filmed me jumping round on it like a lunatic. It was fun, I join in the play at dancing all the time! In fact we laughed the other day after class about me dressing up and playing with the new props I buy for at work, my students love the props box and I’m forever sneaking new items in there, but of course I have to try them out in the staff room first (yes I ran in to the IT manager’s office the other week in my superwoman cape and eye mask). The joke we had after dancing class was that I enjoyed playing dress up before toddler P and as much as we laughed I agreed and why not, it’s fun and if you can’t laugh at yourself then who can you laugh at?

We then went to meet out mummies group chat friends for the next of the series 2nd birthday parties. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love this girls and their toddlers. We’re all on the same page and have each other’s back, and we all dive into the ball pool and whizz down the slide as fast as the kids do. We like to play and we like to get stuck in. Why? Because it’s fun for us as well as the kids. It’s extra fun now too because we’ve such a bond with each other’s kids as well as our own and as grown ups. The fact is, you’re never too old to enjoy sliding down a slide or jumping in the ball pool, or more importantly you’re never too old to laugh.

We also spent an afternoon with our best ones, the kids played, me and her drank coffee whilst I took the piss out of her hangover and she reminded me to lighten up, have a laugh and stop putting some much pressure on myself to do and have everything all at once. She reminded me that I’m important too and that maybe recently I’ve focused too much on being the best mum, my career and holding my shit together that I’d forgotten about having fun. I’d forgotten about being more than L the teacher, L the curriculum leader, L the mum, L the good friend, I’d forgotten about just being L.

The best part of the day was when we came home though, toddler P asked for “musget on the radiator” which translates and music on the radio. I donned a cheesy Glee playlist and as I cooked dinner, cleaned the kitchen and got the Christmas decs out, we had a kitchen party. We’ve not had one for a couple of weeks, or at least not a proper one. And we danced and laughed, I swung her round and she giggled, we both did. In fact she belly laughed that much she literally peed herself (oops!). It was fun. The pinnacle moment though was when my mum called in briefly to drop some things off, the first thing little P said was, “I dance wiv mummy and she swung me abound” and it hit me. She loves having fun, but she loves having fun even more with me. And so do I.

As adults we don’t play enough. Andy Cole and Gavin Ottes mention it in their book Shine, they refer to a decades old game of hide seek that’s crossed the Atlantic Ocean and playing in cardboard boxes. In short, they tell us that as adults we don’t allow ourselves time or the chance to have fun. The first thing toddler P does when there’s a cardboard box around is climb in it, it becomes a car, boat, rocket or just a box to hide in before I recycle or rip it up to use as kindling on the fire. She uses her imagination and sees the fun in something simple. I need to do the same. I need to stop being so serious. The best bits about this weekend were the laughs. I’ve seriously laughed a lot. At the expense of my friends hangover, at toddler P and her friends squealing with laughter, at myself jumping around like a lunatic, at the tv as I sipped gin decorating the tree. I’ve had fun.

So I’ve made a bit of a pledge to myself not to be as serious as I have been. Since leaving my husband a lot of my conversations with friends have been around the antics of my divorce etc which is important to a point but it’s become a bit much. I don’t want to socialise to talk about those things, it’s done now and I want to socialise to laugh and have fun. I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault, my friends have been amazing and all rallied round to be that supportive ear, but we’ve fallen into a trap of making that a big topic of our conversations and interactions when actually I want to laugh and I’m sure they do too, I want to joke about with them, laugh at how my daughter clouts me just as an excuse to say sorry, kiss me and show her kind hands 🙄. I want to do more of what I’m good at with my friends, like being funny and sarcastic (my colleague laughed the other day and reminded me how funny I can be) like fooling around and being silly. Like arguing over who was the better Strictly Performance and whether or not Game of Thrones is worth watching (I’m still not convinced of this one….).

Expect now if I invite you round or arrange a coffee, night out or play date, it’s to have fun because we don’t play enough and I have this weekend and it’s been brilliant.

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