It’s one of the things I thought I’d despise but it turns out I actually love it.
I’m talking about living in an estate and having other kids around you; kids in or around the same age as yours.
Before I had children and when mine were babies I dreaded the thoughts of estate living and kids knocking on my door or coming in and out to play. However, now that it’s a reality, estate living is not half bad at all.
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s rules and my door isn’t always open. If I tell other children that there isn’t a problem either, because most of the other parents around me are on the same wavelength.
Aidan is five so this is the first year I’ve allowed him outside in the front garden on his own. He’s under strict instructions not to go out of my sight mind you! A lot of houses in our estate, including our own, don’t have walls or fences separating them. We have long driveways that are open and I thought it would be a disaster, but it works well.
Just two doors over Aidan has two friends, and when he pops to their garden I can see him from my kitchen window. Actually, the same goes to the house next to them too where there is another little boy Aidan loves to play with.
I also have no issue with any of the kids popping in to the house to play but only when it’s convenient to us. We are lucky, all the kids are polite, well mannered and they all play well together. There’s never any hassle and when it’s time to bring them home, there’s no moaning. The kids either play together in the playroom or out on the swings in the back garden if the weather is fine. With Sarah still being a bit young, she is particularly delighted when the little girl from down the road pops in to play dolls with her!
Speaking of nice weather, last Friday, when Daddy Chambers got in from work he whipped out the barbecue from the garage. Aidan, Sarah and three other kids from the estate were out playing on the swings in the garden. Daddy Chambers popped a few extra sausages on the barbecue and Aidan was delighted to have his wee friends over for a hot dog picnic as he was calling it!
On Saturday there was even more fun with the neighbours. The little boy from two doors down turned four and had his party at home. It was so refreshing not packing them in to a car and off to a play centre. I just walked them the 20 seconds it took to get over, settled them in, had a chat with the mammy of the birthday boy and then headed home.
The family two doors down are just lovely people, the house was full of kids my kids knew so I had no issues with leaving them there. And even if the kids wanted me they knew I was only 20 seconds away.
It’s the first time I ever left them at a birthday party without staying. I must admit it was great. Myself and Daddy Chambers took full advantage and sat on the sofa, drank coffee and watched rubbish on the TV. I literally can’t remember the last time I watched the television during the day.
I for see some great days of fun over the summer for the kids. I’m really going to miss it when we move to the sticks. There won’t be kids to just pop by. Aidan and Sarah won’t look out the living room window and see their friends playing and just go out and join them. Have you heard I’m struggling to keep the house clean during all the sale viewings? Maybe I shouldn’t just let the other kids in!
I will have to be organising play dates. Things will have to be all structured with dates, drop off times and collection times. There will be no friends just there on demand.
Aidan and Sarah are also really going to miss the friends they made in Newbridge and the estate living. We really will have to make the most of it this summer before we depart.