If an ant crawls up your nose will it come out of your ear?
PUBLISHED: 10:43 29 June 2018 | UPDATED: 12:22 29 June 2018
We may live in the countryside but how can I persuade my children they love nature?
Blissfully lying on our backs in a meadow of flowers looking at clouds and counting butterflies as they flutter past.
Making daisy chains, whistling with a blade of grass, checking if we really do like butter with a buttercup, making footsteps in the early morning dew, listening to birds and the wind in the trees...
This was how I imagined our 30 Days Wild, joining the Wildlife Trust’s nationwide campaign to get everyone embracing nature every day in June. The Norfolk and Suffolk Wildlife Trusts had events such as pond dipping and nature centre sleepovers and a massive list of suggestions of ways to enjoy nature such as walking along the seashore.
It sounded fun, backed with research showing that relaxing in nature was good for you so I thought, as nature is just outside the back door, we’d join in.
It didn’t start well. I sent off online for a Wild Pack of stickers and stuff, but guess I missed ticking a box somewhere as nothing arrived.
Keola, who thinks grass is either a crash mat or a springboard, was sure I was joking when I suggest lying on our tummies and smelling the grass as a slightly wild-in-nature thing to do.
She clearly thinks I’ve had too much sun. But she’s an obliging soul, so has a good sniff, says it smells horrible and doesn’t find it funny when I ask if an ant has run up her nose.
There’s a bit of fuss – I guess I shouldn’t have said it might come out of her ear – and that’s enough nature for her.
Thalia, normally happy to loll about on the grass teaching snails, which mostly involves a lot of poking, decides she’s scared of grass. I’m not that patient about it.
I don’t help the being-at-one-with-nature when I start weeding and get surrounded by far too many bees, which I hadn’t noticed had set up camp in the old scarecrow. They are very, very cross, and very buzzy. I do a lot of shrieking and running.
“I thought you weren’t scared of bees,” shouts Keola, avoiding the grass and bouncing on the trampoline.
“I’m not,” I yell as I do another lap of the garden, convinced a swarm is going to swoop, induce anaphylactic shock and leave the girls motherless.
We go in.
The next day I don’t know why I thought tree hugging was a good idea.
They complain it’s hard, scratchy, a bit wet, lumpy, smells funny, cold and can’t they just climb it.
They find a big black beetle in the bark.
We go in.