Well, we're going away for the weekend.
My son is going to be staying with his Mother for the weekend and I'm going to be staying there the first night then staying with friends round the corner the rest of the weekend. In some ways I'm looking forward to a little break from my son, and quite frankly I think he's looking forward to a little break from me as well!
I'll tell you what though – a simple thing like this doesn't half take some planning.
The journey will take around 5 hours all told. My son doesn't have any problems being inside a moving car but the stopping is problematic. Firstly he can't get out at service stations or anything (nor can he use public toilets) so as you can imagine he'll be slightly strained by the time we get there! Although he can't use the service stations I can't drive 300 miles (safely) without a couple of breaks so we have to stop, but it can take a while to find the right space to park in. Not so close to the entrance that he'll have people milling around but also not so far away that he feels isolated. There have been times in the past where there simply hasn't been a space at the services where he can be left so we've had to go on to the next one.
Next you have the time honoured parental job of trying to make sure your child isn't bored to hell on the journey. This is slightly magnified as if his mind wonders too much he could get anxious and that's the last thing I want when I'm driving. We'll take my laptop so he can watch a movie but the battery won't last for ever so I end up hoping he sleeps for a chunk of the journey. I also end up hoping he'll wake up soon when I get bored and fancy a chat!
And of course there are the random problems. My Mother decided to tell him that whilst we are away she was going to clean his room for him. The first I knew about this was when he told me that he wouldn't be able to go, and then he told me why. His room is sacrosanct. It's his little area that he has total control over and no one goes in there – not even me. He needs the privacy and going in there would break that so whilst I'm obviously curious about how it is in there I have no idea. The upshot of my Mother's kind (if misplaced) offer? Well earlier today I fixed a bolt on the outside of his door so he can lock it while we're away. It'll come off when we get back (let's be honest – the last thing he needs is something that can lock him in!) but it's another thing that needed sorted out.
Today we need to get his stuff packed. I got his holdall down from the loft the other day so it would be downstairs for a while before he needed it but it'll still need a good shake out just in case. No doubt there'll be a last minute need for some emergency clothes washing this afternoon when he decides he wants to take something that's dirty, but I guess that's a pretty normal job for a parent really!
Hopefully the trip will go well. He should be fine at his Mothers and should there be any problems I'm only staying 5 minutes away, but I can't help being nervous.