Yay, Daddy’s going to be off for three weeks! Was what I was trying to think, even though I knew that actually this wouldn’t necessarily mean things would be easier.
For Big, any change to the routine is terrifying. It makes her think of times when there was never a routine and things were extremely scary. So her daddy being at home for three weeks has been challenging to say the least.
Most days have resulted in meltdowns and it has taken the two of us to help her. Without revealing too much, she has never lived in a house where anyone has gone out to work before. The concept of work was hard enough, the concept of taking holidays from your work even more alien.
My husband’s job means that his holidays usually fall within the school holidays so they have coincided with playgroup breaking up. Another huge change. So for Big, things are really hard. She sees the two of us at home as a sign that something will change for her. She’s waking early (the psychologist has said that we’ve got to go in and wake her for a fortnight so that we’re the first things she sees, in the hope that this might reduce some of her anxiety. This means getting up before quarter to six for a fortnight!) She’s trying to control the both of us and finding it difficult and she’s trying to control an extremely independent younger sister who has found her voice and is having none of it. And in and amongst we’ve been trying to get a bit of time away each and try to do some nice things as a family. (We’ve pretty much failed at these.)
And next week my husband goes back to work. More change. I’m really hoping that because it’s a change back to ‘the norm’ it might be slightly easier. (I’m really hoping.) But I know that on Monday the three of us are in for a rough ride.
We’re hoping as time moves on and holidays become part of the routine, things might get slightly easier for her and she might start seeing both of us at home as a good thing rather than a terrifying one. We haven’t tackled an ‘actual’ holiday yet. Not sure if we’re being sensible to wait or if we are just delaying things further.
So the next four weeks are going to be interesting in a different way. I’ve said before that I’m not confident taking them places by myself because trying to contain Little while helping Big is becoming more difficult as she becomes more independent. But the thought of four weeks at home (and in this weather) is not a joyful thought either. We are well timetabled and we’ll be fine but I know that it’s going to be a hard four weeks with no ‘time off’, I will have to be with them both all the time to help reassure and settle them. Little has really enjoyed having her daddy a home and she’s really going to feel it on Monday. Big is going to struggle but hopefully with our new strategies in place we will all make it to the middle of August!
The Best Bits
We have discovered ‘Nature Tots’ and the girls have released moths, been pond dipping, hunted mini beasts, searched through owl pellets and made owl masks. They’ve loved it and really focused on the activities, especially the mini beast hunt.
A few weeks ago we had our first ‘Family Day’ and the girls did really well. They showed off their bike riding skills and had pie, (their favourite) for lunch.
We’ve been building in a lot of sensory breaks into our days and the girls are responding well. We’ve started ‘squashing massage’ at night and although I wouldn’t say that it’s helping them sleep, it is another way to encourage touch and calm.