2020 saw the arrival of COVID-19 and lots of people’s lives were changed. Our son’s nursery was closed for months and we like so many found ourselves trying to juggle working full-time from home and child care. There was only so much time you can spend indoors, watching Scooby-Doo or other kids' TV shows. We wanted our toddler to make the most of this sudden free time and surprisingly good weather which graced the early part of the year.
That’s when our little faithful Vango came to the rescue one more time. In early April we came up with an idea and pitched her under a tree in the garden with a tarpaulin over the top to provide a little extra protection against the birds nesting above. Inside we covered the floor with play mats, jigsaw puzzles, blankets, and bean bags. On the afternoon of the 9th of April, we revealed it to him. He loved it instantly.
It would become a cosy play tent for our little man, with enough room for him to do floor puzzles or just sit on his bean bag playing on his tablet or watching the birds and squirrels in the garden. It quickly became his favourite place to sit in the afternoon after a morning walk, sometimes on his tablet, sometimes doing jigsaws, or just sitting with dad relaxing or dozing whilst having his favourite stories read to him.
We were able to share photos with grandparents of him playing with jigsaws or books they'd posted whilst we were all in lockdown, and they were unable to visit. It was tall enough for him to dance to music but small enough for him to feel cosy and safe.
A few months later and nursery reopened but he would still want to play in it on his return or at weekends in what he had claimed as his tent now.
Sadly, I fear this might be her last hurrah after 25 years, as the sun has now bleached her skin, and time has worn her fabric skin so thin to be near-transparent, but what a wonderful last adventure she has had.
Today on the 19th of October, I took her down, possibly for the last time. This was over 7 months after she was erected, as what we thought would be a short-term play den, and garden play area. I doubt the lawn will be the same again but honestly, we don’t care, after all, that's a small price to pay for great memories.
So, thank you Vango for offering us the opportunities to make some wonderful memories in an otherwise less than a wonderful year.
The Jones Family