One of the great things about living so close to Berry Head is that we can explore different parts of it every time we wander up. Yesterday, instead of heading straight for the path that offers the most spectacular views over the bay, we followed Arthur’s lead as he meandered deeper into the woods.
He loved feeling the different textures of mud, sticks and stones under his feet, and managed the more challenging terrain surprisingly well. It did take us a little longer than usual as he had to stop every time he came across something which might do as a little seat and test it out. It’s become a familiar routine whenever we pass a step or a ledge or a rock he might be able to sit on – the pointing, the calling out ‘chair’, and then carefully manoeuvring himself backwards until he’s sat down with a look of satisfaction on his face.
When we finally made it up to the headland, Arthur led us into the visitor’s centre where they have a box of artefacts from the surrounding countryside conveniently placed at toddler height for little hands to investigate.
I’ve shown him this box several times over the past year. At first he wasn’t interested, then he only really wanted to find out what everything tasted like, but now he’s beginning to be more curious about all the different shapes and textures of the objects he finds. He giggled as I tickled him with a pheasant’s feather, and turned shells and stones over in his hands.
He began to try to label what he found, calling the starfish a ‘star’ quite aptly, and then deciding the scallop shell was a ‘moon’. It’s fascinating the connections he’s starting to make between colours and shapes – I really need to start to note them down to help me come up with more interesting metaphors in my writing!
When he decided he’d done enough investigating for one day he was off again, toddling across the open space outside the visitor centre, waving at strangers and barking at dogs. He made a beeline for a bench, clearly deciding that another little sit down was just what he needed. Not surprising really after all his hard work!