We have reached the halfway point of the summer holidays. With the English schools only just breaking up, and so the summer holiday buzz only just beginning, it seems strange to be saying we are now on the downward side of the hill.
I spend a great deal of time planning our time so the boys have an idea of what is going on. Not all of our planned activities are set in stone, so as to give us some flexibility to adapt to weather conditions or new ideas thrown into the pot. We do however have something that have to be booked or organised in advance.
The first week of the holidays, we went away to Haven – anyone who has read any of my previous posts about holidays will know this is our type of holiday of choice because it gives the boys some idea of familiarity, while giving us the opportunity to visit different parts of the country. We were in the Lake District, one of the most beautiful parts of the England. The weather was kind to us, with sunny days and rainy nights! We went to various places in and around, and had a fabulous time.
We then had a few planned down days when we got home. A chance to process the events of the previous week and file them in the correct place in the brains of my wee boys. We know when this is done, because they start asking what we are doing that day.
We have had days out. We met up with some other families from SafeSpace – the local additional needs family support group. My boys though were anything but friendly, and decided they didn’t want to look around the farm with everyone else. It was however good to have some human contact, even if it was just for a short time!
We went to look for the dolphins at Aberdeen harbour. It is apparently one of the best places to see bottle nosed dolphins, but they weren’t out playing for us to see. I am sure we will go looking again in the next few weeks. The boys did use the opportunity to do some rock pooling while we were in that area, but the only thing that was found was the right leg of a Masaurous – M slipped and got very agitated as he was soaked through!
We have been swimming, visiting the new aquatic centre in Aberdeen. It is the most amazing facility. The pool we were in has a movable floor so they can change the depth of the water depending on the activity. We were there with the additional needs summer programme the council runs. It was brilliant, with an hour of games and general fun in the pool, and at a depth of just 1m, even M was happy – his swimming is getting really good, but he does get panicky if he can’t touch the bottom.
We have been to the cinema to see The Minions – I highly recommend it to parents and normal adults!! https://jas2jar.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/the-minion-movie/
We’ve been out and about in the countryside around here, including a fabulous guided walk with the head gardener at Drum Castle – http://www.nts.org.uk/Property/Drum-Castle-Garden-and-Estate It was really interesting to see things that we probably wouldn’t have noticed if we had been visiting by ourselves. If National Trust properties near you do guided walks, I think they are well worth looking at because the people working the estates are a mind of amazing information.
D has had his usual busy social life, attending parties, and being out with his chums. M has been becoming closer with a boy who is in his year at school, and I believe they are in the same class when they go back. They communicate online and play together at Minecraft. The boy has also become friends with D online. The child has visited the house now, and is really nice. He is not so in your face as many of the other kids their age, and that is probably why M can tolerate his company – that might sound a harsh way of describing their friendship, but that is how it evolves for M. When the boy has come over with other children, he is more boisterous, and M seems to withdraw both physically and mentally.
So we only have to get through another couple of weeks. We have many days planned, but also down time for adhoc adventures.
M has been very calm so far this holidays. He isn’t as yet talking about returning to school, and while we have to prepare him for it, we will enjoy his calmness at the moment.
D on the other hand has been miserable. His mood swings are far more pronounced. He is already telling us he will not be returning to school in August. He doesn’t see the point of going back as it just wont be the same without his beloved teacher – I am sure his new teacher will be good, but there will probably never be another Mrs B in his life, as he connected with her, and she inspired him to want to achieve for her. Again we are not talking about it too much. Why start a conversation you know will end up with a very angry child?! He has an appointment with child mental health next week, as we try to look for ways to help him deal with his aggression, both verbal and physical. I think if we could get some guidance for building strategies, it will help all of us – even he says he doesn’t like being angry all the time.
So the holidays are going well so far. Hopefully we will all still be feeling the same way on 18th august!!!!!