Wow, its been a long time since my last post again. Honestly I have just been so busy/ miserable/ lost for words that I couldn’t even bring myself to get started.
Oh how I had been looking forward to the summer break, not because I am a saintly mother who desperately misses her kids during term time because I really dont! Harsh but true, it is my only break from the mental exhaustion of a) having two young children, who like most, argue and whine constantly b) having to plan in minute detail the morning routine to allow for all the negotiations and refusals required with a Pdaer.
If I am honest, I was also really looking forward to a lie in and being able to work in my jammies (a perk of working from home! )
With no holiday or big day out plans, I went into the break feeling like a weight would be lifted from us all. No school, very few demands for Ethan and lots of chill time for both children. What could possibly go wrong? 🤯
Erm…. the thing that I thought would reduce demands and give him an anxiety respite i.e. school holiday, basically threw him through a loop!
Yes, school causes him anxiety and stress but it had also become part of his “safe” routine. So even though he was happy to be at home with very little demands placed on him, his anxiety levels actually seemed to increase for the first 3 weeks. He was volatile and demand avoidant so much more than usual and it shocked me, I was expecting a calmer Ethan not one who literally left me crying into my wine of an evening!
My little man basically became a recluse for the majority of the summer, not even a trip to buy sweets, to the playground or even in the garden appealed to him. He literally just wanted to be in the house – mostly watching annoying you tubers play games I dont understand!
I know from reading other PDA parents posts that not leaving the house is fairly common, but I didnt expect it to be so bad at such a young age tbh.
We did manage one day out to Gullivers Land because his big sister was there with her Brownie troop and it was a huge success (if going down the log flume eleven billion times counts as success 🤣), and I am going to write a blog just about that day out because he enjoyed it so much!
Apart from that we had a couple of hours most weeks where we got out and about either on our own or to meet friends and he did so very grudgingly.
The second half of the break was definitely calmer once he had got used to the new routine of being at home, but all good things must come to an end (plus I literally couldn’t afford to feed them for much longer- never have we got through so much food and drink 😳) and the new term loomed!
I made a point of not mentioning going back to school until a few days before because I knew that Ethan would worry and get himself worked up otherwise and he did once it had been mentioned. He said he didnt want to go to his new classroom and that he couldn’t remember school or anyone there, bless him!
Also he had only worn pyjamas and sandals for 6.5 weeks so putting on his (loose version) of uniform was pretty traumatic on that first day back!
We are in our 1st full week back now and so far he is coping on the surface, underneath he is struggling. I see him withdraw as we walk in and I know its tough for him.
This morning I cried after drop off because once again he begged me to stay with him and the kicker came when he told me why, he is lonely 😫💔
Man how that broke my heart! And the worst part is that its mostly self imposed, not because he has no friends but because he cant cope with the demand of doing some of the work and so takes himself away from the group.
The teacher and head are going to keep an eye on him for now but I dont quite know how this will pan out.
Lets just hope that he settles over time and feels able to join in more.
To all the parents of new school starters, I hope your babies are settling well and loving their new teachers and friends and that you are enjoying watching them grow in this new phase of their young life xx