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Joshua had a much quieter day yesterday: after his long walk the night before and not getting to bed until 10.30 pm, he slept in until 9.45, so he was worn out. He gave me a big smile as I walked into his bedroom to see if he was OK, so that was a better start to the day. He enjoyed a bowl of porridge in bed and lay watching his Live8 show for a while, before coming downstairs, which was a further indication that he was feeling better and more relaxed than on Saturday. So I was delighted to see that the Incredible Hulk had only made a brief visit to our family.

My husband and I had gardening chores to complete yesterday at our cottage, as we had not been for so long, so the hedge was wild and the grass needed cutting too. Joshua was settled indoors, so my husband cut the hedge and my job was to collect the trimmings and remove them to a bonfire pile. We worked hard and well together , in between regular checks to ensure Joshua was OK, and as we were nearing the end, I mowed the lawn to pick up the small pieces of hawthorn. We were pleased with our handiwork but worn out when we had finished, around 3 pm. We had a snack lunch at home – our neighbour had kindly brought us some fresh eggs from her hens and a slice of chocolate cake each, so we enjoyed them for lunch. Then we needed a littleĀ  lie down to recover, but of course Joshua was well rested and so he did not comply very well with the siesta-plan. Eventually I persuaded him to snuggle into me on the settee, and we had a lovely nap together, like old times.

When woke up it was time to pack up and clean up the cottage, ready to go home, as although Joshua is on school holidays, we are both working for the next two weeks until our family holiday. Joshua will spend his days with Yorkshire Grandma and I am sure that they will have some fun. She will arrive this morning at 8.30 and no doubt she will already have a plan which is based upon the weather forecast. We arrived home at 10.20 last night and Joshua was clearly delighted to be back, he was beaming, even when I took him straight upstairs and changed him into his PJs. He snuggled down into his bed and looked very contented to be back in his own bed and I have not heard a peep from him all night. Most people love some time away, a break from the normal routine, but Joshua has always preferred coming home to going away, which is lucky as he spends more time here than anywhere else. He is not upset by change, but he does love his home comforts and his own spaces of his bedroom and his den. As he walked in last night, he looked at himself in the mirror in the hall, and tapped his chest , indicating “love”, so he loved being home again, which made me happy.

School Holidays

There are just four days left of the school year and I am not sure how that flew by so fast- one minute Joshua was starting the new Autumn term last September and now, here we are, it has gone. In previous years I have panicked about childcare in the school holidays, as I will have a fortnight off with Joshua during his 6/7 week holiday, but I am relaxed about this summer. I will have my Friday’s off and I will use the services of Yorkshire Grandma as well asĀ  our new respite service if we need weekday cover, as they have told me that is available should I need it, so I am lucky in that regard. I think I am not as anxious about it this year also, because I am more focused on the end of school permanently, rather than the end of school for 6 weeks. This will be the last summer holiday that Joshua has when he will be going back in September, so rather than being worried about the holidays, I am grateful for the new term I think.

I also know how fast the school holidays fly by and Joshua is so sleepy at this end of term, that I can see he is ready for some lazy days and lies-in too. We will start the holidays with a weekend away at our holiday cottage, as we have not been able to go for months, so that will be special. Joshua will be back at respite for the second weekend of his holidays, as I am going away with my husband, sister and niece to scatter Mum’s ashes in a special place from her childhood, and we are looking forward to that very much. Then we go on our family holiday for a fortnight, from the third weekend , which will be very special. When we get back it will be halfway through August and we will go back to our holiday cottage for the bank holiday weekend and after that, it will be back to school. So with long weekends, due to my Fridays off, we will not feel too deprived of time off together.

It is difficult making my 20 days leave stretch to cover the school holidays, but my day off every week and any accumulated lieu time helps a lot. I know there are several parents who are concerned how they are going to survive the long summer with their children at home with them everyday. I do not have that worry as I find the time flies by, they are back at school before we know it. But if you have a child with behaviour difficulties, or one who requires routine so asks for school everyday of the holidays, then that must be very challenging.

As I did last year, I am inviting a few Mums and their children for lunch in the garden on the first Friday of the holidays. Hopefully, like last year, it will be a carefree play-date, when the Mums can chat – in between chasing after their offspring – and the children can be themselves, where nobody will judge them, all around a buffet in the garden. We had a good time last year, so I have invited more families this time, and we will just have to hope that we are blessed with decent weather again so that we can be outside. Last year we were too ambitious and followed lunch up with a group outing to a farm, which was too much for some of the young people, so I have learnt from that, this year the invitation is only for lunch and to chill in our garden, that is probably enough. Hopefully that will be one day in the school holidays when those parents do not have to worry about how they are going to entertain their children and I will enjoy hosting this energetic party.