Well, the fun of being off full time finished a few months ago now (late Jun 2015), and despite being badgered to conclude this blog, I never did. But now I think that was the right decision – as I am going to start it up again. Although I should let you know my thoughts on Parental Leave.
In order to balance work, childcare costs and making the most of the fun years ahead with a rapidly developing and growing up little boy (Junior is not a baby anymore!) Mum and I are alternating Friday's off work. This means Junior gets 4 days a week at nursery, which he loves, and we get a day a fortnight on our own with him.
This started a couple of months ago as Mum used her leave to spend a last few weeks off with him before returning to work properly. I think we learnt quite a lot about how we didn't quite get the leave right, which I'll cover in another post. And we've been out and about on our days so far, as well as keeping in touch with NCT friends and Dads and Littluns in Wimbledon Park.
The two highlights so far have been the Science Museum, which I tweeted about, and last Friday the World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge, as we both enjoyed our day at the #murderball so much.
I have mixed feelings about the Science Museum. Personally, as someone with an astrophysics degree, and who is passionate about science, I just don't feel it does the subject justice. Many of the exhibits are a bit fusty, and definitely quite dusty – and even the more modern sections just don't really seem to bring science to life, they're just a bit gadgety. However, taking Junior gave me a bit more of an appreciation of what it does well, as the exploratory areas (there are 3) were brilliant for him, especially the water tank downstairs in the Sensorium, where I literally had to drag him away or he'd have ben there for the rest of his life! But still, how they can make an exhibit of planes so not interesting to a small boy whose first words were “car” and “tractor” slightly depresses me. He did love the very random tractor dioramas though, and the dimly lit space section sent him to sleep allowing me to go round the small but interesting exhibit about Churchill's wartime scientists.
The World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge is a new competition, I think the first in the world, to give wheelchair rugby a platform outside of the Paralympics. And it was brilliant. Hosting it in the Copper Box in the former Olympic Park was a great idea – having experienced “the box that rocks” for the handball in the Olympics, even with the 2-300 people there for the session of the wheelchair rugby we went to it had atmosphere. First of all we watched NZ vs RSA, the highlight being the wheelchair Haka – awesome mostly because of the way they integrated banging on their wheels into it. Then GB vs France, always a classic – and GB didn't disappoint with a close-fought but deserved win.
During the action, Junior was initially enjoying watching so he could clap when someone scored (lots of goals so he got to do this plenty) but then he discovered all the grannies and the steps there were, and he was off. He barely stopped – in this photo I think he's just getting his breath back before climbing up the steps again. And again! Thanks to the lady with the Help for Heroes teddy bear who kept him amused for a bit.
The day just reinforced my view that wheelchair rugby is a whole load of fun, that the guys (and gals) who play this properly are incrdible athletes (special shout to the South African with one arm (no other limbs) but had a hand like a crane grab), playing a sport that is an spectacle. Can't wait for next year!