An adventure, of the epic variety, is some great journey that a person takes, within which they overcome hurdles, defeat those who stand in their way, and stay focused despite distractions. It is usually long, and there is usually a goal or prize at the end.
Yesterday, Ava and I went on one such adventure.
It was 2.45pm; Ava was refreshed from her nap and had just restored her energy supplies with her beaker and clementine. We packed our bags... Mine, a satchel which hung over the end of her buggy. Hers, her ladybird 'Käfer' bag with reins.
The goal? To reach the post office and post four letters.
The challenge? Ava was going to walk.
This might sound like a small feat to all you seasoned adventurers, but for my 17 month old daughter, this was a journey of epic proportions... But she was up for it. With a smile and a look in her eye that clearly couldn't quite believe Mama had 'let her loose', we set off, armed with further supplies of water and clementine which sat in pride of place in her empty buggy.
The hurdles were many: cries of 'windig!' (Windy!) as the wind took her breath away and caused that little face to screw up all tight, trees that could not be resisted and had to be touched, road signs, bollards and lamp-posts that had to be thoroughly investigated, dogs walking in the opposite direction, away from us, were particularly distressing... But we kept going, stopping every ten metres or so to reenergise ourselves with a piece of clementine and a sip of water.
The highlight, of course, was the crossing of the main road where a little person delightedly pressed the button and waited patiently, holding Mama's hand, for the green man to tell us it was safe to go. At last, we reached our destination, and Ava posted the letters with an enthusiasm that belied the perilous journey she had just survived. She had a look of utter satisfaction and pride on that little face of hers. The usual 5 minute walk had taken us a mere 45 minutes!
The reward (as much for Mama as baby!) was a stop in a little cafe where Mama had a much needed cup of tea, and Ava a small piece of toasted baguette with butter. It was divine!
The return journey was similarly perilous, with only a short tantrum 30 metres from home from a little girl who was too tired to walk anymore, but also didn't want to get into her buggy. There was crying, stomping of feet, sitting stubbornly down on the muddy pavement, and cries of 'bitte, Mama' as she held her arms up to be carried, but to no avail. (This is where it is good that mama is just as stubborn as Ava...!) Eventually, the little girl was persuaded with the promise of an episode of Caillou when we got home if she would sit in her buggy without a fuss. No more fuss was made and we made it home - windswept and tired, but alive and invigorated by the journey.
We had survived and live to tell the tale.