This week gardener, writer and mother of five Debbie Webber looks forward to some family friendly entertainment at last ....
If you have children with a large age gap finding activities you can all do is a little tricky. There's ten years between my oldest and youngest and there's not an awful lot a teenager and a pre-schooler both enjoy.
There's swimming (which I admit to not enjoying too much with children) and bike rides (which would be possible if everyone had not grown so much they are too small for their bikes and one hadn't "lost" his).
And then there's the cinema.........The older children love going but it's not so much of a treat for them. Or rather it is but you wouldn't know. Not so with the younger two. They have only been twice and are suitably impressed.
I can't remember what age we started taking the other three but I do remember not having to pay for the nine-year-old because she was then under two. She was so good I didn't have any qualms about taking her.
Again, not so the little ones.
Rather bravely, I thought, I took four of them to the cinema last year. I left the youngest at home with Daddy but was a bit worried about how the then three-year-old would behave.
It was so traumatic that I vowed I wouldn't be repeating it again for a long time. She was so naughty and distracting the people in front actually moved. Obviously I should have taken her out but fearing a tantrum of epic proportions we stuck it out.
I still shudder thinking about it. But this summer holidays, feeling suitably emboldened, I took all five of them on my own to watch Ice Age 3.
It was a success! Everyone behaved, the youngest perched on booster seats with everyone munching on sweets and me nursing a cup of coffee. But it could have been a one off.
Watching the trailer for Up I promised them we'd see it when it came out so, again feeling slightly anxious, all seven of us braved the packed cinema with Granddad in tow.
Not only was it one of the best family movies I've ever seen, all the children were well behaved meaning we now have another activity we can add to our list.
So we've read the book (again) and we're making a date with Fantastic Mr Fox next week. I can't wait!
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