Things are quietening down here a little as our activities wind up for the year. We've got a few final sessions this week, and by next Monday everything will be over for the year. I'm looking forward to 6 weeks or so with much less of a schedule. Time to focus on the things we really enjoy doing without having to cut them short to be somewhere else, and time to think about what activities felt worthwhile and that we'd like to continue next year.
I think we'll try to do a lot more swimming over the next few months. We've been 3 times in the last month and everyone's skills have improved greatly. Millie was still clinging on to me a month ago, and last week swam for nearly an hour just using a noodle, I didn't hold her at all. Liam can now swim several metres without any aids and his confidence has sky-rocketed. He did his Level 1 swimming badge at Cubs a couple of weeks ago - if he had tried that even 2 weeks earlier I don't think he would have been willing to get in the pool and try. I'm hoping that if we swim a lot over the summer then I'll keep it up during the colder months next year as well - we all enjoy it so much, and its really only that we have so many other things on that it falls down the priority list, I'd love to continue to make it a priority and possibly work other things around swimming instead.
I'm hoping to get back to Melbourne Zoo soon, we haven't been for well over a year - maybe even 2 (we've been to Werribee Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary several times this year, so our membership has still been worthwhile). I offered a trip to the zoo a couple of weeks ago when we didn't have many other plans. Caitlin was keen but Liam was surprisingly reluctant. In part that was because he was sick - he had a virus for several weeks which sapped his energy, and a trip to the zoo was just too much. He's also not enjoying long car trips at the moment, so wants to save them for something worthwhile. Lemur Island will soon be opening at the zoo and he wanted to wait and go once it was available to see - lemurs are his favourite animal so this should be his ultimate zoo experience. I was quite pleased that he was able to say no and delay his trip to the zoo - it shows that he trusts that we will get to do fun things and he doesn't need to grasp at every excursion opportunity that is offered - and it also alleviated my worry that I hadn't been offering enough trip options lately - if he can say no, then he's not feeling like he wants to be going more places. Lemur Island opens on December 21 - I haven't decided yet whether we will brave the school holiday crowds and go and see it as soon as we can, or wait a bit and take advantage of being able to go on quieter days...
I think we'll also have the chance to spend more time hanging out with friends and/or at the playground. Those days tend to be the ones we enjoy the most, so it will be nice to have less time constraints on our social activities.
And once activities start up again next year, we'll be relaxed enough to be able to find a non-stressful balance between Caitlin's need for activities and groups, and everyone else's preference for non time specific activities.