Preparing for hols.

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Tomorrow we head away for our Easter break. We are going to Haggerston Castle again, having been there a couple of times before – https://jas2jar.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/haggerston-castle/. It is a Haven holiday park, so there is plenty to do there, but being a smaller site, it isn’t too busy for the boys. Like many things with our ASD boys, you do something once, and it is scary and there is great resistance to doing it, but do something a second time, and it becomes the norm, and therefore what we must do. Haggerston has therefore become what we do at Easter and during the October holidays, although we do also go to Haven in the summer – last year we went to Primrose Valley near Scarborough, and to be honest the site was too big for the boys. Being bigger, it was much busier with far more people, and they therefore struggled to cope with the shows and group activities. We learned our lesson and have opted for a smaller site for the summer this year, and are heading to the Lake district, a part of the world that both Hubby and I love!

The boys are half way through their Easter break from school – they go back to school on Easter Monday, but don’t get me started on how terrible I think that is, and we have kept busy this week. It is a fine line we walk between giving them the freedom to chill and enjoy their down time, but keep them mentally and physically occupied so they don’t become too frustrated with the lack of routine. We have therefore had something planned everyday so they have had something to fill their time, but they have also had plenty of time for going on the trampoline, seeing their friends – well D’s friends that M attached himself to, and just slobbing in front of their video games! I think for once we have pretty much managed to keep them on a fairly even keel most of the time!

Today though is another story. It is the day before we go away. We have written lists during the week, jobs that needed doing, things to pack, etc, and today we executed them. The problem is what to do once everything is organised! Everyone has been brilliant doing their share of the preparations, and the car is packed waiting to head off first thing tomorrow morning – we like to head off in time to get as far as Edinburgh for a breakfast at IKEA – another thing that the boys see as a normal part of the holiday! The boys have had their hair cut – all three of them. M moaned and groaned the whole time, but looks really smart when I take the shaggy bits from around his ears – he really hates having his hair cut which is why we had to give up taking him to the hairdressers, and I learned to cut a straight line, luckily his poker straight hair works really well in a bob!!! He had his lollipop as a reward once it was done! Finger nails have been cut. We even have about a hundred cuddly buddies checked and double checked waiting to go away with us.

But what to do with the rest of the day?

D and Hubby watched the footie – not the result they wanted and so Hubby is now in a foul mood. M is pacing. It wont make time go faster but it helps him. There is too much nervous energy going on to sit nicely and watch a movie, and the sky looks like it could open up at any moment so playing out wont last long.

I do wonder how I used to cope, because I was one of these people who would pack weeks in advance so as to make sure everything was ready, but now leaving it all – well as much as possible, to the last-minute makes life so much easier – I do write my lists so I feel I am getting organised though.

I just hope this year the Funstars – what Haven call the entertainment staff, are as brilliant as last year.    While I think in an operation like a holiday camp everyone is equally important from the garden and the laundry room worker to security, and management, it is the entertainment staff that are the face of the company.     They are the people the kids latch on to, and happy kids means happy parents and therefore a happy holiday.    The boys do enjoy a lot of the activities that are organised for the children so they need a person they can relate to.

The boys are excited at the prospect of swimming every day – but trying to get them into the pool when not on holiday is so difficult, and of course spending their saving in the games machine arcade – they go for the machines that spew out tokens, and then they cash them in at the end of the week – last year they did brilliantly and came away with a lot of quite nice booty – they could probably buy the things for a lot less, but the winning the tokens and cashing them in is an important part of their holiday!

Fingers crossed the weather isn’t too bad for although we aren’t outside much its going from caravan to entertainment centre that could get us soaked.

Maybe today I could just send the boys to bed early, very, very, early!!!!!

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