I am pleased to say that Joshua leapt up out of his chair to greet me home from work last night and he kept giving me bear hugs, suggesting that he had missed me almost as much as I had missed him. So we were reunited and I read all about his weekend and his day at school in his diaries, to get all caught up as Joshua just grinned at me when I asked him about either adventure.
I had a call from school around lunchtime yesterday and my heart skipped a beat : what had happened so soon after his return from respite and once my husband had just left the country? My reaction was no less panicked when it was the school nurse on the phone but she was quick to explain that nothing had happened to Joshua. He had a spot at the edge of his mouth last week and I had been treating it, but it had got worse over the weekend, respite had mentioned that they thought it was a cold sore. But the nurse was querying if it could be impetigo. She did not think that it was but she asked me to get him checked out by the Doctor, as if so, it is highly infectious and needs to be treated.
I knew that I was wasting my time calling the surgery this late in the day for an appointment, they are all gone by 8.45 usually, but I had hoped they could squeeze him in with the nurse practitioner, but that was not possible either. So I decided to consult the pharmacist but I knew that he would not be impressed heading out once he was home and comfortable after school. So I asked Yorkshire Grandma , who met him from school, to try to take a photograph of his mouth , for me to take to the chemist for an opinion. if we could use to technology , rather than disturbing him, all the better. She struggled as he would not sit still or let her get a decent close up but eventually she sent me a picture that I could use and after work , I took it into the pharmacist. They looked but said that we needed a GP appointment as they had no over the counter remedies. So I was glad that I had not dragged Joshua down there, for that same response.
So I had a look at the real thing when I got home and it does not really resemble the images that I had seen on the internet and I am sure that it would have spread more if it had been impetigo. But I cancelled today’s taxi and I will start calling for a Doctor appointment , with the rest of the town, on the dot of 8.30. I am hoping that I will get an earlyish appointment, so that if ruled out, I can then take him into school. But whether it is ruled out or not, this sore will still disrupt his school day and my work day considerably. But I need to know if it is infectious, so that I can take appropriate action. But I have had so many welcome back kisses, that if he is infectious, the damage is already done.
We arrived home from our holiday around 5pm yesterday, so we just missed arriving in the daylight. Joshua was excited from when he recognised the roads 20 minutes away and he kept pointing up ahead, as though he was navigating and directing the driver. By the time we turned up our lane, he was bouncing in his seat, shouting ‘I like you’ excitedly. I was carrrying bags into the house , when he got himself out of the truck – my husband had undone his seat belt – and ran into the house, he could not wait a moment longer. He then went from room to room, checking all was well. It was very cold at home as we have run out of oil while we were away, so luckily we have a log burning stove which soon made the snug cosy and generated enough hot water for a bath. Room inspections over, Joshua grabbed at his apron hanging on the back of the kitchen door, indicating that he was hungry – despite a stop at Donalds en route home! So I set about making an evening meal.
While I love my home, coming back to it after a holiday is always tough as it indicates back to the normal routine for me : back to work, back to school, washing machine on, meals to prepare with less eating out, meetings about Joshua to attend…..That is all suspended while we are away on holiday together – except that I had some work to do and the washing machine ran everyday! But it implies that family fun is over and back to the grindstone, so apparently I was grumpy yesterday while packing up! It is just a period of adjustment, that is all. I know that in the weekend after next, while Joshua is in respite, we have a long weekend at Center Parcs booked, so I do not have to wait long to get back into holiday mode. I also know that Christmas will be here in the blink of an eye, as the end of October half term always indicates that countdown. We are fortunate that our offices close from 21 December through to the new year, so I will soon be on another break, almost having school holidays. So I really have no need to feel sorry for myself and I know that once I have adjusted, I will be fine again, I just did not share Joshua’s innocent delightand unadulterated joy at being home again.
I left work early yesterday, so that I could be the one who met Joshua from school, which is unusual for a Monday. As the car reversed into the drive, his cheeky, smiling face looked out of the back window at me and he was eager to get out of the car. I was greeted with a big bear hug and a beaming smile, which was the best feeling in the world. We had been missed and he was delighted to be back where he belonged, back home. Once indoors, Joshua checked out his Den and bedroom, just to ensure nothing had moved or changed while he was away. All of the time I was treated to more hugs .
He messed about at teatime, just seeing how far he could push things now he was home : he wanted to eat his meal on his bed upstairs in his bedroom, rather than downstairs in his normal place. He left a third of his first course, but was he still offered a pudding? Of course, thrilled to have him home, I relented on both challenges.
While the respite provision attempts as far as possible to replicate a home environment, there really is ‘no place like home’ and Joshua recognises the difference. At home he had my undivided attention and he made the most of that, so much so that my husband commented on feeling neglected, as Joshua’s needs and wants came first. He was indulged by having ‘Lion King’ on in his bedroom, while Robbie Williams was singing in the Den and Madagascar was playing to itself on the ipad on the floor of the snug at one point, and Joshua browsed between all three favourites, not sure where to turn next, being spoilt for choice.
I loved our break away in Belgium and I am certain that Joshua had fun in respite, but this is where we both belong : “back home!”