School holidays are such a fabulous treat, especially when you are a teacher and you get to spend that time with your little chickens! If you follow us on Facebook then you would have seen plenty of pics of all our camping fun. We weren't able to go to our traditional September holiday and aren't likely to be blessed with it again (a beach side unit in a BEAUTIFUL resort for cleaning rates only!), so we accepted the challenge and decided to become campers! We chose a park in a small seaside town thanks to the recommendation of my lovely SIL. An old work colleague has already recommended a great farm stay place for our next trip in a few months time and we are planning already. My Bear is excited about increasing our camping kit after our success so if you have any essentials that you would recommend, let us know! We saw plenty of coffee machines and even a thermomix this time around!
While we are proudly calling this a success, this trip, like so many others, is one that reminds us of the perils of stepping out of our comfort zone. I'm sure every parent worries about bullying, except maybe the parents of the bullies, but when your child stands out as different there is a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach every time someone new interacts with your child. If the best predictor of future experience is past experience, then bullying and ostracising is going to happen again and again. This time some children had just left the playground Imogen was in when my Bear heard them say to another group of children, 'Don't go in there. There's a creepy girl with wierd eyes. They're huge!'
We are home bodies for many reasons, but fear of unknown social situations for Imogen is a big reason. We also avoid going out more than we need to as Imogen's body doesn't handle it too well with a chronic illness dictating her life. It's no way to live. Imogen's illness means she fatigues very easily and become highly emotional or non-communicative from anything which is too taxing. We were very worried that a new experience like camping might be too much for her, and she proved us wrong big time! It was one of those times you are so happy to be told that you're wrong.
Diet and nutrition are becoming an overwhelming focus in our house, causing tears on many an occasion, mostly mine. More about it in the next blog, but thankfully were were able to survive camping under incredible restrictions!