This was from nearly two years ago. Last year we managed a couple of two night breaks. Nothing since. They simply find it too hard. So do I.
I still remember my summer holidays as a child. I am sure they were never as idyllic as I believe they were, but they were happy times. The exciting evacuation from the caravan site at 3am due to risk of flooding. The huge dead fish we found on the beach, which we saved for fishing bait, only to find the family dog eating it a few days later. Running down sand dunes so fast I nearly started to fly. Watching the salmon jumping up-stream in Scotland. They were snippets of time, but they are embedded, and I have regular flash backs. In my adult years I have travelled and explored some exotic and fantastic places. Far flung and nearby. More than happy to jump on a plane and travel for hours.
These days holidays are short breaks, four or five days away. We have managed to try different places, having been to exactly the same place, time after time. We don’t go far, in case we need to come back, in case it all proves too much. So this time we managed a last-minute bargain, a gorgeous converted barn, half the price as was a late deal.
Need less to say, most of the time was spent trying to be therapeutic, being understanding, showing lots of empathy, letting things go, or simply treating them like toddlers. That’s OK, because that’s what I do most of the time, to keep things contained. I am not sure if this holiday was any worse than previous ones, if I was tired, if it was time for me to chill out? Whatever, it was hard, blooming hard work.
The first night, screaming shouting, slamming doors. They needed to be in control, but they were in chaos. The second day was spent doing loads of physical things, to wear them out. A long walk and swimming. They slept that night! Next day fishing and a boat trip. That night they argued about beds, who was sleeping where. Went on for hours. One was too tired to go out the next day, so took the other out. Later, he continued to be aggressive, swearing and threatening. Calmed for a while. Tried to say we should go home, the other turned on me. Nothing physical, yet. First one was really tired. Second one didn’t want to spoil ‘holiday’. I packed my bag and tidied kitchen. Bit of a stand-off. I somehow kept calm, but kept being told to F off and f’ing shut up. Should I sit it out? Pack and go ? Wait for things to escalate and call the police to turf us out?
Went into ultra fantastic dad mode. Very sympathetic to needs of both. Hearing both. Etc etc. laid it on thick how we work together as a team. Their favourite tea. Games night. At the end of one game said how much I had enjoyed the game, and how glad I was I had decided we didn’t need to go home. Played another game – scrabble of all things! Then sent them to bed. They went straight to sleep! I was absolutely shattered. Really shattered. Awful “holiday”.
I wonder what they will remember in years to come? The boat ride? Catching the fish? Swimming in the outdoor pool?