Previously, I’ve had my Charlie week during the October half term, but things have been switched up a bit this year, which meant that my turn came a little earlier than normal…
After starting off with some seriously epic bedhead (he has such thick hair that it occasionally defies gravity!), we got washed and dressed and headed out.
We drove over to Bristol to see the Lego Batman Movie, which Charlie absolutely loved. As a grown up, some of it was slightly slow in the pacing but it was entertaining enough and it kept the boy enthralled from start to finish.
The best bit for me though, was when he worked out that the arm rests in between the seats could be pushed up and out of the way. He immediately shoved his up, leaned against me and held my hand for the whole film. It’s not often that he will cuddle up with me and I have to admit that I had a sneaky cry in the dark – ah, step parenting life!
It was a beautiful day when we came out, so the rest of it was spent outside, on his scooter or messing about in the garden – with a few cartoons thrown in as well!
We had a very slow start, partly because the weather looked pants and partly because we were both feeling lazy – and sometimes you just need to laze around in your pjs!
Eventually though, we got ready and headed out to Prior Park, in Bath.
We’ve been up there before to do nature trails and as it was Valentines Day, they had this really sweet ‘Green Hearts’ trail, where you had to find eight different stations and answer questions on nature.
I gave Charlie the map and he was off like a shot! We had a great time finding all the stations, hugging trees and collecting ‘souveniers’ for Gary (read; leaves, bits of bark and the occasional seed pod), to give him when he got home.
We also squeezed in an extra Ninjas class – much to Charlie’s excitement – and it was very tired boy that went to bed that night!
When Charlie arrived on Friday, he had a really heavy cold and bad cough. By Tuesday, he was much better but on Tuesday evening, Gary and I both started feeling ropey and by the time we woke up on Wednesday, we both felt rough as guts.
Put it this way; if Wednesday had been a work day, I would have called in sick.
Thankfully, I had already arranged for Gary’s parents to take Charlie to soft play in the morning, which gave me a couple of hours to try and pull myself together. CJ had a great time with his grandparents and came home full of all the games he’d played and the people he had made friend with.
We spent the afternoon watching ‘Robots’and Charlie alternated between playing in the lounge and playing in the garden, in between the rain bursts.
Part of me felt guilty, because I spent most of the day on the sofa, but he seemed content to play with his Lego and would occasionally come over to pat my hand and ask if I still felt poorly. Sweet kid.
Gary was in London all day on a training course and he didn’t get home until bathtime but he made it in time for the story and to put Charlie to bed.
I often get nervous taking Charlie somewhere new without Gary. But on Thursday, we tackled this head on and went to Flip Out in Bristol, with a friend of mine and her little girl.
It’s a giant trampoline park and we had the best best time. Kiddo didn’t stop for the whole hour and we had a blast, challenging each other to do different jumps and to be as silly as possible.
The rest of the day was very quiet – Charlie nearly fell asleep in the car on the way home! – as it really tired him out but we will 100% be going back there, for me it was the highlight of the week.
We had to be at home all day on Friday, as the plumber was coming to do our gas safety and the garage was collecting my car to repair it.
We had a slow and lazy start and then Nanny came over to hang out with us. Once my car had been collected, we took Charlie’s scooter out and went for a wander through the estate. He enjoyed being the leader and he’s getting pretty good at jumps and tricks!
Whilst I made lunch, they played 3D Snakes and Ladders, which got pretty competitive and noisy! Charlie eventually won and then we settled down to eat.
After lunch, Charlie showed how well his reading has come along and then we headed to the shop. He had said at the start of the week that he wanted to buy the DVD of Kubo and the Two Strings and we had agreed that if he earned half of the £10.00 it cost to buy it, we would pay the other half. He did chores and worked all week and by Friday afternoon, he finally had enough.
When we got to the shop, they didn’t have any copies on the shelf. Charlie looked crestfallen but thankfully, when I asked the shop assistant, they had one more out in the back. Charlie was really happy and we zipped home to put it on.
The rest of the afternoon whipped past and suddenly, it was time to get packed up and ready to go.
It’s always hard to say goodbye to him, particuarly after such a lovely week together, but I am grateful for the time we had and we made some really great memories.
I love you kid. Always.