Riley and Sonny are 4 days into the half term break from school. Riley is in Year 2 and Sonny started Reception at the beginning of September. Any holiday or break from school is always a challenge to start with and for us that’s OK. Changes in routine is not something the little people in our family adapt to easily. For those who thrive on routine and knowing what to expect next, breaking up from school for any period of time is a tough task!
Saturday and Sunday are usually great. It feels like another weekend, but then when it comes to Monday, Sonny just cant get his head around why we aren’t getting ready for school. He doesn’t understand the school is closed even if I try to explain it to him. That change in routine comes suddenly, it’s hard for him and it brings a melt down a minute.
Sonny I see this is hard for you, I know your frustrated. You cry, stomp, growl and throw things. You sulk by the front door and bite your nails like you do when your anxious. I wish there was a way I could help you better understand. We can have so much fun this week. Mummy really misses you when you go to school, I love having you home.
I generally try to keep the Monday onwards of a half term pretty busy, just to help Sonny keep up his energy levels. We get our things together and head out. Riley, Sonny and Zachary love to be outside, they don’t seem to feel the cold and for us that’s OK. We all prefer to be outdoors having fun, taking longs walks and exploring. The start of this school break was different, we were all pretty snotty and full of cold, so it was pancakes for breakfast which we ate on the sofa all of us wrapped in a blanket watching Bee Movie.
Sonny you are such great company when your calm and feeling good. We made pancakes together while Riley and Zachary were playing nicely in the other room. You helped me whisk all the ingredients and spooned the batter onto the pan. I loved you singing the Dinosaur A to Z to me while we got our pancake on. I danced for you while you sang, you didn’t really care much for my dancing but it was fun. Dinosaurs really are your forte at the moment aren’t they Sonny. You pretended to be a diplodocus and told me how many years ago they lived, how tall they were, what they ate and how they were different to the brachiosaurus.
We built train tracks in the living room with tunnels built with Duplo. This was fun for a while but Sonny found everything more challenging than usual, no doubt because we were all feeling rather rubbish. If Zachary sat on the track, Sonny would loose all reasoning. If Riley wanted to borrow a particular carriage, if the tunnel collapsed or a train derailed, Sonny would just destroy the entire thing in a wave of fury descending all three into chaos. There wasn’t much patience going on and we were rubbing each other up the wrong way. Joe called from work to see how we were doing amid the chaos so the conversation was brief, well from what I could hear of it anyway. We needed to just get out.
One of the most special people in our family is my mum Wendy, Nanny to the boys. We lived with Nanny for a year after Sonny was born and this only strengthened the bonds between us. I see Nanny as an extension of myself, just as I always saw my Nan to be an extension of my Mum. Besides me and Joe, Nanny has been our constant, there for us whenever we need her. From her own experiences she understood Sonny and his quirks and knew how best to communicate with him a while before I fully did. She was my voice of reasoning at times when I struggled to understand and felt completely out of my depth.
Some times I wonder Sonny if you like Nanny more than me, you squeal when you see her and if we were to both pick you up from school, guaranteed you would run straight past me. (I blame to sweeties she keeps in her handbag) When we go to Nanny’s house you sit beside her in her chair practically in her pocket. She is so cuddly, when she hugs you, you do those little baby noises that make me laugh. You love your nanny so much. Nanny loves you and your brothers very much too. To me that’s OK, I’m glad you have so many positive role models.
Riley and Sonny are 6 days into the school break. Zachary insisted he wanted to run to nanny’s house, and by no exaggeration that’s what usually happens. Sonny was feeling tired and irritable so wanted to sit in the pushchair. Zachary was raring to go with his little life backpack which Riley held. We stopped to watch the trains from the bridge along the way and kick the leaves on the ground. Riley finds the biggest leaves for his brothers to hold, we tore out eye holes so we could hold them to our faces like masquerade masks.
Sonny you didn’t care to much for your giant leaf, it was all different colours, it smelt funny too and I watched you lick it before throwing it back on the ground. You want to walk if only in short bursts along the way but your feet only get you so far, you get so cross when you cant keep up with your brothers. Don’t worry Sonny they will wait for you. We stop at benches along the way and you lay down to have a rest. Zachary lays down with you, he copies everything you do Sonny, the good things and the not so good things. You got cross with Zachary on the way to see Nanny, you saw a man walking a dog and you wanted to hold the lead on Zachary’s little life bag so he could be your doggy. Zachary wasn’t having any of it he just wanted to run by himself. You said “it’s not fair!” you flapped your arms and turned around to walk the direction of home. I helped you, I always try.
We got to Nanny’s eventually and had lunch. Chocolate sandwiches cut into squares, absolutely no crusts. Nothing else will do for Sonny! Grown ups had soup, was a fairly chilly walk and I needed something to warm me up. We stayed for a while, the boys played in the garden, me and my mum stayed in the warmth with a cuppa until it was almost dinner time. We took Nanny back home with us because lets face it, we were never going to leave otherwise. That and the bribe of a pit stop at the park on the way back.
Half of the school break is over now and we’ve got half still to cherish. Sonny is more settled now and is enjoying spending his time at home with his family. Joe is home for the weekend so we’ll go out somewhere different. I know its only a short time until school starts for another term, another change in routine after adjusting to the last. The clocks are set to change and that will be hard for Sonny as he thrives on routine. Every day brings challenges, it gives us opportunity to grow and learn and to become stronger together.
For us that’s OK.