To enable Gary and I to have a weeks holiday on our own, we divide up our Charlie time. We each have one week alone with him and then we have one week – usually in the summer – all together.
This is great because, as well as leaving enough days for us to have a holiday, it also means that we both get some quality one-on-one time, which is so important.
Gary had the Spring half term off with him and the October half term was my turn…
Gary and I had a chilled and lazy day, not even rolling out of bed until gone 11am! We pottered about, got a few chores done and then curled up and watched Order of the Phoenix.
Charlie arrived at about 6pm and we had a lovely hour or so before bath and bed.
I have to admit, I was feeling very anxious about the coming week. I work on Saturdays when Charlie is with us, which means that I only really see him two days a month. So having a whole five days with him felt a bit daunting. I’m also not as patient with him as Gary is and I was also feeling pressure (from within my own brain) to make sure that he had a fun week.
Anxiety is so much fun.
Anyway, we went through our usual bath and bed routine, read a chapter of his current story (The Jolley-Rogers and the Ghostly Galleon by Jonny Duddle) and off he went to sleep.
I got up with Gary at 6am as normal, to make his lunch and have a quick cuddle before he had to go to work.
Charlie woke just after 7am with a sore throat and a sniffle and we had some cornflakes for breakfast. He had had his flu jab at school the week before and because his throat kept hurting, I gave him half a dose of calpol, which seemed to ease things.
Toast and cartoons followed, then it was time to get washed and dressed, before Nanny and Grandad arrived to collect him.
Christine has been really keen to spend some time alone with him since she got home, which is great, and half term seemed like an ideal chance for them to do that. They took him to Victoria Park in Bath and he had a lovely time, running around and showing them his favourite things to do.
He got back around lunchtime and we spent the afternoon just hanging out, watching a couple of episodes of Power Rangers (urgh!) and playing in the garden.
Charlie woke up feeling poorly and so we had a very slow start, curling up on the sofa and watching a few cartoons.
Eventually, we got dressed and went into town to run some errands.
We got Charlie a really cool Halloween costume, measured his head for a new bike helmet and then went into the toy shop, so he could spend some of his hard earned pocket money on (what else?!) a new Power Rangers toy.
He had run out of steam by then, so we went home, had lunch and then got the duvets downstairs and put our copy of Matilda on.
In the early evening, I took him to an extra class at his martial arts school and it was like a switch had flipped; suddenly he was full of beans and jumping around like Tigger! I think it was the excitement of the additional class (he usually only gets to go every other weekend) and the adreneline of all the cool new stuff that he was learning.
Safe to say that he slept very soudly that night!
Charlie was back to normal by the time he got out of bed and it was a relief to see him back to his usual self.
Amy and I had planned to go to Prior Park in Bath that day, to do the pumpkin hunt with the kids. However, when I checked the website for directions, it turned out that they had stopped doing it the day before!
After a quick discussion on what to do, we settled on meeting at a park around the corner from Amy’s house, as it’s one that Charlie also loves.
(sidenote; if you’re not following Amy’s wonderful blog and youtube channel, you should be!)
Charlie and Amy’s oldest daughter, Lyra, played really nicely together, despite the fact that Lyra is only two. He did really well with her and was so kind and patient. He also got some lovely smiles from Athena, Amy’s five month old, as well.
We did have one slight mishap, as Lyra slipped into the stream that runs through the park, but a quick outfit change and a towel down and she was fine!
We left the house early on Thursday morning and drove into Bristol, to the Vue Cinema at Longwell Green.
It’s a good thing that we did, because we got the last two seats in the first showing of Trolls that was on that day!
We both loved the film and I’d really recommend it, even if you don’t have kids! It’s really colourful and fun and we’ve been singing the soundtrack since we heard it!
Charlie was feeling tired again that day – he even fell asleep in the car on the way home! – so we had another quiet afternoon and played in the garden.
Friday was our last day on our own and we headed to Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park, which is about half an hour from us.
It’s a great place to take little ones, as there is loads to do and see – indoor soft play, a huge outdoor climbing frame, mini golf, a farm and a steam train – and Charlie and I had a fun couple of hours running around and being silly.
At 12pm, we were signed up to go to ‘Witches and Wizards School’, which I would highly recommend if you get a chance to try it next year.
Charlie was given a broom and a wizards hat (both of which I ended up buying, because I’m a soft touch!) and a Witch and a Wizard then took them through several ‘classes’, to qualify the kids in magic!
It was really well organised and Charlie loved all the make believe involved. He was also presented with his flying license after passing his broomstick ‘exam’ and was really chuffed to get it.
That was the end of our week, and whilst we’ve had a really fun weekend (including going to Ninjas for a great Halloween party, carving pumpkins and having Amy, Matt, Lyra and Athena over for Sunday lunch), I was sad for it to come to a close.
It has been really good to have some one-on-one time with Charlie, it has strengthed our bond and helped my confidence to grow as well.
Now, where is my wine glass…!