Why I Hate school Holidays
We’ve just come out of the first school holidays in 2016 (this post is late!) and well, I breathed a sigh of relief when Monday returned and I dropped G off at nursery!
I love my daughter and I like having her home but it can be a real challenge to keep her entertained!
Like most children she is bored of all of her toys – even the new ones she just got at Christmas!
And so our days were filled with continual negotiations with me trying to get her to play with certain toys to give me 5 mins to do the washing/ cooking/ cleaning up!
But G, like many children doesn’t want to play on her own- she wants mummy to play with her – CONSTANTLY – by Monday afternoon of the first day of the holidays I was already frustrated , bored and exhausted!
It was too cold for the park.
She was just getting over an ear infection so swimming was out.
And Softplay in the holidays fills me with fear.
Why you may ask…
1. It is always WAY busier than normal.
2. G (despite her determination) gets overwhelmed and scared with all the children running/ pushing past her so quickly. (She is unsteady on her feet due to hyper mobility)
3. Other children can be mean to her.
However to keep us busy as luck would have it, we had not one but two hospital appointments and a food tolerance test scheduled during the week- fun times!
So our “alternative” holidays comprised of more medical intervention then actual planned ‘fun’.
However it struck me more than ever on this school holiday, how little there was to do to keep her entertained in between appointments. This was echoed by a report released by Lord Blunkett in February that said “92% of parents with children with disabilities felt they did not have the same opportunities to play as their non disabled peers”
By the end of the week I surrendered and psyched myself up to take her to soft play. We enlisted the company (support) of a friend. We met her nursery friend who also has additional needs, he’s a cute little boy with a big smile called H. However both H and G have sight problems and upon arriving I was even more anxious.
Well I needn’t have been worried about H he was off exploring finding his way around, a lot of the time using touch as his guide – this was impressive to witness in such a busy multi levelled area. Nothing was about to let anything stop him having fun!
G was excited too, her friend was there and she just loves being around kids in general and so she wanted to get involved with everyone!
However- when G wants to get involved she will stop and just stare at the children who interest her. Uncomfortable glances from the children could be seen “Why was she looking at them like that” their faces said.
She excitedly shrieked and made noises at the different lights and the games she saw taking place around her and she tried to attach herself to several games some of the children were playing nearby – however she was met with dismaying looks, children running off or telling her to go away.
She smiled and spoke in her garbled language back to them – she didn’t detect the hostility, she just saw that children were talking to her and that made her happy.
It made me sad as I watched from the side lines. A mother bodyguard who has to follow her everywhere as she is unstable with her hyper mobility.
Rage and childish retorts sprang up in my mind as these kids told her “You can’t play with us” and walked away. I wanted to go over and tell these children off for their cruelty, make them feel the pain I felt seeing my child rejected.
Probably not the best reaction to imagine! But as parents you have irrational thoughts when it comes to protecting your child!
Instead I smile at the children and ask softly “Can she play with you? She’s only little and can’t speak yet?”
They look at me as the “Adult” and kind of comply by letting her past, however these children are picking up that something is different, she looks their age – but can’t speak. They can’t articulate their confusion.
And what do we humans do if we don’t understand something? – we reject it- see it as ‘wrong’ and not fitting in.
After the longest 1hr 30mins we left. I nearly ran out of the building – physically and mentally spent by the excursion, I promised myself not to take her again in the holidays!
Holidays are definitely a lot different then I imagined them to be. There are a lot more considerations/ limitations that arise when it comes to going out.
1. Navigating public transport with an oversized toddler in a pram.
2. Keeping a routine as to not unsettle her too much and cause public meltdowns.
3. Feeding with various food intolerances.
4. Having company/ support. Conversely going with people whose children don’t have needs I feel like a hinderance as I have to bring a pram, she can’t get out of the pram and walk with other children. She isn’t developmentally at the same stage as the other children and so affects her awareness, appropriate interaction
5. Busyness – her getting overwhelmed/upset.
I was almost thankful we had the hospital appointments – for something to do! And ironically both appointments we bumped into friends from nursery so was almost “alternative play dates” lol except with a Dr consultant.
Easter is around the corner and she will be off for 3 weeks! Eek!
How do you find school holidays? Love them or loath them?