After an exhausting week of seriously hot weather on our Spanish summer holiday, it has taken me a few days to recover enough to update on here!
After our last disaster holiday (see my previous post), I didn’t hold out too much hope for this one but it actually went as well as I could have hoped. We hit our first real hurdle as we boarded the plane, Ethan had been talking constantly about sitting by the window which I thought I had covered when pre- booking the seats – Daddy and Missy T on one side of the plane and me and the boy on the other! Everyone’s a winner, right? WRONG, oh so wrong 😦 In my defence, how was I supposed to know there wouldn’t be a flipping window at the very back?? It had seemed like the perfect arrangement right up until that realisation – toilets right behind us, no passengers behind to get annoyed in the event of a freak out – so just the ones in front to tut and glare and easy access to the doors to make a break for it on the other side!
As soon as Ethan saw there was no window he point blank refused to sit down- cue the panic in me and Daddy starting to rise as the other passengers started to back up behind us and little man stood defiantly in the aisle with no intention of sitting in our allocated seats. But then a beautiful angel came to our rescue, whether she saw the panic on our faces or just saw the melt down that could be on Ethan’s, I have no idea but she offered for herself and her partner to switch seats with us so that he could sit by a window. That one kind act meant that we had an almost perfect flight and I can not express my gratitude enough as the alternative would no doubt have been absolute carnage! Ethan got so excited at both of the take offs, literally squealing ” I’m flying, I’m flying ” which everyone seemed to get a kick out of, it brought a tear to my eye to witness his utter joy and I wish I had thought to video our return take off.
Both children thoroughly enjoyed the pools, the beach and sea however needed some coaxing from us but they did enjoy the experience eventually. We even braved the entertainment which was much less stressful than on the last holiday.
I think the main challenges this time around were:
- His dependence on me, I was the only one he wanted to sit or sleep next to, I had to be the one that carried him or took him anywhere. Thankfully Daddy managed to negotiate with him some of the time on the carrying side as he is just so long and heavy these days I find it very difficult to carry him for extended periods!
- Missy T really noticed that everything ends up being done to keep him stable, she kept saying that he always gets to do what he wants to do and to be honest, she’s right! We do what we have to do in order to get the job done but trying to explain this to a six year old is quite difficult and it breaks my heart to know she feels this way.
- Being on high alert and needing to negotiate for so many hours a day! We always have this but more so when he is out of his comfort zone, at home we can just stay in on the tough days and things are relatively calm but on holiday it is a 24hr job and Daddy and I have returned both physically and mentally exhausted from it!
- During the week Ethan tried to join in the games of other children but he couldn’t understand the games and just wanted them to play the way he wanted. The others wouldn’t let him join in and for the first time I saw him realise that he was different and feel left out, that’s a tough thing for any parent to witness but unfortunately something I suspect we will see much more of over the years.
But lets finish with the highs!!!
- His joy of flying is something that will make me smile forever
- Seeing them both enjoying the water so much
- Watching them sleep cuddled up (they do love each other really!)
- We met a really lovely family who were all very understanding and accepting of Ethan’s little ways, even their young children made every effort to include him and knew to leave him alone when it was getting too much for him.
- Free Sangria!!!
- Free Gin!!!
- And best of all the realisation that we can survive a family holiday and enjoy it. We have all come so far and learned so much since that last experience and surely things can only get better?
We may not have rushed home to book our next family holiday, but we didn’t vow never to go again so that is progress!