Recently, we’ve been talking a lot about booking a holiday.
We intend to go abroad in the summer before Jude breaks up as I don’t think he’d be happy with the plans. I feel content recognising that the girls have very different criteria to Jude for what they need from a holiday and for the first time ever, I’m intending to take Jude away separately. Just Jude and I for a few days by the coast.
So what constitutes a good Jude holiday?
- Easy transport. Flying with Jude could be a nightmare. It’s hard enough to get him in the car when he’s in one of his indescribable moods and I doubt very much a pilot would happily allow his crew to spend an hour coaxing Jude off the floor and onto the plane. The last time we flew was when he was only young, I think he was seven to be exact and at times it was incredibly difficult for him. I don’t think he had any concept of being in the air however, he did love a bit of turbulence and happily stood on his seat for each bump we rode! It was a bit traumatic during landing as I couldn’t reach Jude to hold his hand and he started kicking off as he didn’t have a clue what was going on. I think that was one of the longest twenty minutes of my life! It know it could go perfectly well and Jude may take everything in his stride but I don’t feel confident putting myself in that situation just in case. So in terms of transport – the easier the better. A car/bus/train/ferry/Eurotunnel are all winners in my book. Basically anything involving us being on the ground, able to get out if we need to and nothing like the “no turning back” you experience during take off!
Here he is almost five years ago in my parents hotel room 🙂
- Somewhere to escape. Jude needs space. Not necessarily a lot of space but somewhere he knows he can retreat when he’s had enough of us all. When we went glamping last springtime, Jude found refuge in his curtained bedroom area, using the bed as a table to play on and crouching next to it. Always crouching on the same side of course. We knew to leave him be and it allowed Jude the chance to recharge his batteries, calculate everything that we had done that day and just relax in his own company. So if we were to book a place to stay this year for the whole family, I think it would need to have separate rooms in some way. Previously, we’ve always booked cottages or villas for our holidays and it’s worked really well. I think Jude and I would be ok just the two of us in a hotel room but if we took the whole family then we’d need more room.
- Familiarity. I recognise the fact that going on holiday means that life changes for those consecutive days however it is possible to create a mini routine of sorts for the duration. Jude likes knowing the menu of a place before we’ve already got there so the likelihood is we would eat in similar restaurants each day. He can take new options pretty well as long as you brief him with what to expect however, his preference is always the known. Of course Monkey and Mr. Giraffe would accompany us on our holiday too.
- Short trips to the beach. I remember going to France with the children several years ago and Elsa becoming quite frustrated as we could only stay at the beach for an hour or so (max!) each time. Jude’s attention span is minute and he would be ready to leave all of a sudden and there would be nothing I could do to change his mind. I guess if there is two adults on the holiday then one can take Jude back to the house or out for some food for a little while but if you’ve had to drive to the beach then this is a bit of a pain! Jude loves the beach, it just isn’t somewhere he sees the endless possibilities that most children see. Him and I would have a great time on our own and at least I could make it all about him, chill at the beach when he wants to and return to the house when he’s finished.
Little Jude at the beach!
- Despite the above point, Jude loves water! We’d need a swimming pool or splash park to visit.
- Sub 30 degree heat. Jude’s eczema flares up horribly in the heat so when abroad, I’d always make sure we’d go out early and spend the hottest part of the day in the shade. I know this is what you should do with young children anyway but for Jude it is more important because of his fiery skin. Similarly, Jude had a few fits as a toddler and could never seem to regulate his body temperature. I remember when he was ill and he would just be getting hotter and hotter despite giving him paracetamol and stripping him down and in the end I had to call an ambulance or drive him to hospital as I ran out of options to try myself. I think, as a consequence, I’m a bit paranoid now – he’d probably be fine but I’m still mindful of keeping him a little cooler, if possible.
- A slow Jude-like pace. When we went to New York at Christmas, I kept reflecting on how glad I was Jude had remained at home. He would have HATED it. It’s not easy to move slow when there are so many things to do. For Jude, one activity a day is more than enough so it wouldn’t be possible to go sight-seeing or on an action-packed city break. In fact, life very much remains the same as at home when on holiday with Jude, the only difference being the location. There’s nothing wrong with this at all and I know people who like to contain the same lifestyle wherever they are. However, with Jude it’s imperative to keep in mind his processing ability and give him time to analyse it all in his mind otherwise he may have a meltdown and then all hell breaks loose.
I can’t think of anything more right now. I may add to this if I can later on. Jude and I will be staying in a cottage near the coast somewhere. I haven’t booked anything so if you have a recommendation then please let me know 🙂