Gosh i can’t believe how quickly the holidays have passed!  Although our six weeks school holidays were very helpfully broken up by 2 weeks in the middle with a very exciting road trip to Austria…

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The packing was done, the car was serviced, cleaned and ready and we were all set, just to make sure all the paperwork and passports were packed together in my bag.  Always love having a look at the passport photos, especially the boys as they’ve changed so much!  It was at that point that my heart sank, I started to shake, surely that couldn’t be right, because if it was then we had a big, big problem.  I sank to the floor and just stared at Henry’s passport… It had run out the previous month.

There’s not many times in my life where I’ve felt utterly sick and totally helpless, I won’t go into all the detail, but it included the OH driving with Hen to Durham passport office at 7 in the morning the next day in the hope we could get a one day turnaround.  Unfortunately he’s 10 and needed to be 12 to get a one day.  Only option, turnaround of a week but we’d need an appointment the next day, and by the time we got, we’d have to fly him out at a cost of at least £700 (half the cost of the whole holiday!!!) to then spend probably 3 days and come home.

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I was at work whilst all of this was going on and by 11:30 i couldn’t stand it anymore (well to be fair i couldn’t stop crying so wasn’t much use to anyone) and came home.  It gave me the chance to sit with Hen and he quickly explained that he really wanted to go spend the two weeks with grandma and grandpa (who’d offered immediately) and that he was absolutely fine with not going.  Now i could go into detail of why i finally decided that the best option was to leave Henry with his grandparents but it would take to long and actually what does it matter because i know that people will judge no matter what, and we’ve already had a few comments directed towards us.  It hurts, it always will and especially to me as I feel it’s totally my fault.  I don’t need to hear others tell me it’s not, or that it’s one of those things, so easily done, because I did it, it was my fault and I will have to live with it.

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The holiday itself wasn’t free of issues.  As we were driving over our apartment had to be changed due to unforeseen circumstances, we ended up in a huge apartment that slept 9-11 people with only 4 of us LOL, with no washing machine (we’d packed for having one) and faulty WiFi which wouldn’t have been such an issue if we didn’t want/need to face-time Hen daily! However the boys loved it and i have to say it was very beautiful, but i could never truly enjoy as I missed Hen too much, occasionally when i did find myself relaxing and enjoying I’d then feel truly guilty and that would set me off again.  There were a lot of tears on my part, I didn’t really want to be there but i had to do what was best for my kids not me.

What the holiday did do was teach me an awful lot about myself and my boys.  Hen for example immediately made the decision himself that he was happy to stay at home.  He didn’t falter once and had a whale of a time with all his grandparents (spent time with my mum too), he messaged us (usually when he wanted to buy something) and face-timed us, but was also quite happy if we had a day where WiFi failed us and we couldn’t talk face to face. Fred admitted a couple of days into the holiday that if it had been him, he wouldn’t have coped without us bless.  But he was the one that thrived on holiday, he quickly picked up the basics of German and loved any opportunity to use.  I saw several occasions where he’d wait patiently to ask for something in German, being ignored initially by adults.  If that had been Hen he’d have given up after the first minute and asked us to deal with.  My kids strengths were definitely put in the right area this holiday.

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I was very wary of taking pics with just Fred and Samuel in all the time as didn’t want that to be Hen’s first memory of Austria and a constant reminder. So instead what we did was take lots of picture with our little friends Raven & Snow on their adventures.  Not only is that what they do anyway, just check out their IG account; but it means we can produce a fab book about Austria for Hen with everywhere that they visited, for when we go back next time.

So I’ll await the judgement and deal with any when it comes, but yes our holidays have certainly been eventful.  I hope no-one as a parent ever has to go through that experience so please go check your passports! I’ve posted off Hen’s now and set reminders in my phone for the others – actually the passport office would make a fortune if they did a text message reminder service, i’d certainly pay for that!

Back to normality now with orders, samples and Samuel’s new room to keep me busy.  Remember to follow me on Facebook, IG and/or Twitter for updates and if you fancy meeting me in person – and belittling me for abandoning my child 😉 – and seeing my stuff then I’ll be at the Baby & Toddler Show, Manchester from Oct 7th – 9th.

Much Love,

Fay x