Saturday 29 March 2014


We've planned a holiday and come what may we're going.

Previous experiences of going away with Flossy, Lotty and Peanut have been mixed to say the best.
Before the wee two/three arrived it was not uncommon for us to go away on proper holidays like proper people. Normal strains with children but on the whole good family fun.

But since the day Flossy and Lotty arrived in 2006 things have not been the same.

Firstly, they where in the Looked After system and it was just too complicated.

Secondly, we had become the size of two families.

Secondly, Flossy does not do holidays.

In her little head she loves them, she has a wonderful time.

However, the safe landmarks of her life are removed. Her routines, culture and familiar surroundings are replaced with restaurants, campsites, other peoples homes, strange beds, scary men....I could go on.

Every attempted trip away has ended in hyper vigilance, red line rage, inappropriate behaviour resulting in free fall parenting.

The consequence being that often we pack up early and dart for the relative safety of Coates Towers. We escape back into our humdrum routines and patterns, a safe place.

A few nights away here and there and the odd long weekend have been the most we've attempted and have all led to the realisation that the best we can hope for is to be shouted at with different background scenery. At worst its been gloves off, no holds barred war.

So, with a scant regard to history we are trying again.
We've payed our money and we're taking our chance, we jet, yes an aeroplane, off in two weeks.

We know that from the moment we step through our door to the moment we return fear, worry, anxiety and panic will prowl round Flossy. But we all want to go and be like a 'normal' family.

Flossy is excited, we're excited/nervous.

But his time we're optimistic, there's been a change in the air. Flossy is a year into DDT and though I have no idea how or why there is a subtle shift in Flossy. Over two weeks since the last redline, which is a long time around here, a record in fact. Its still no cakewalk I assure you, but it is a green shoot. Self awareness is awakening and a genuine desire to be the "boss of her cross"  is beginning to emerge for the first time.

We are accompanied by two families who get "it", accept "it" and love her all the same. Safe people for us and her.

Ginger, Gracie & Queenie have opted out (cutting us down to a more manageable six)

The Big One is coming, though our eldest child it & technically gives us a 1:1 child to adult ratio if things turn ugly.

We're going to trial run trips to the airport. We're explaining why, who, how, where and when.

Empathy and patience turned up to 10.

We are determined to be chilled out therapeutic "Dan Hughes" kind of parents.

A few months ago we had a routine meeting at the local CAMHS HQ we raised the topic of the planned holiday.

Flossy's CAMHS lady was encouraging, she advised write down the things that may be stressful for her.

Mrs C and I laughed...........nervously.

CAHMS lady laughed.........knowingly.

There is not enough paper in the world

We all laughed.

So, watch this space, watch the skies.

Note: If you have to have "it" explained then there's a fair chance you don't get "it".


  1. Eeeek! Such courage! Or foolhardiness?? :-) Either way good to hear that you're seeing improvements. Hope you all have a wonderful time!

  2. The line between stupid and brave is very thin.
    Thank you.

  3. I love holidays but the experience has very much changed since the boys came along. At first, when they were little we sensed the anxiety but managed it. In more recent years coping with the fall out has been harder. Last year, two weeks in Portugal was sheer hell... ok the sun was lovely and warm and the food yummy, but the company was extremely hard work. However I too will not give up on holidays because, as I say, I love them and after last years horror I realise, like you, that it's all in the planning. I really hope you manage to have a degree of success with your holiday, I will wait to read with batted breath. We too are planing a break in a couple of weeks, but not on a plane just yet. Love the idea of being "Dan Hughes" kind of parents, how we all aspire.