The Safe House goes French

It’s been half term this week for The Safe House and we’ve had a holiday with friends in France. 

It’s been a lovely week. There’s been some sunshine and heat for start! With that comes the ease of days out and fun at the beach flying kites or just paddling and playing.

  
There’s been a bit of culture with a wander round an old Chateau and absolutely tons of food consumed!

  
Once upon a time the thought of holidaying with other people would have brought a shudders of terror to mind. In fact we’ve had our share of the horrific and disastrous holidays but perseverance has improved them. 

The main benefit for Biggey is that there is no school and the further away from school the better she seems to be!  For Littley she is usually ok if she is with us.  

Our wonderful supportive friends have a house in France and when we stay there Safedad and Biggey sleep in a tent in the garden and Littley and I have a room inside!  The sleeping arrangements suit us all absolutely perfectly. Biggey likes to have time away from people, time on her own, time with nature so she definitely gets that in the tent.  Littley is inside in a bed right beside me with the light on and story playing and the sound of us chatting in the living room. Littley can’t bear to be far way from people and sounds, so that suits her perfectly too. 

One other couple brought their 3 year old grandchild and my girls have a great time playing and keeping him entertained. Biggey is so much more comfortable with little people (rather than kids her own age) or with adults that this suits her too!  I can easily see where she is slipping back into that comforting role of caring / parenting that she used to have to do before she came to us.  Yet it is a joy to see her so happy and without pressure to “fit in”.   I’ve been slightly surprised (in a good way) at Littley’s willingness to play with this little boy as she is usually more ego-centric, so that’s been great to see too. They all seem to have decided the tent is the “play tent” and go off happily there. 

  
There have been a some strops and a fairly significant screaming fit outside a French supermarket (which does really frighten and worry me as I’m never sure what she might do, or what other people around will do).  I’ve found for Biggey there are usually a couple of largish ‘episodes’, one at the beginning of the holiday and one in the middle then we can enjoy the rest. For Littley she’s usually ok once we arrive then has a wobble half way through when she is home-sick and at the end where she worries we will leave her behind. So, even the strops and wobbles have seemed to develop their routines over the years (but shhh don’t tell them I’ve noticed!!!). 

There have been a couple of real achievements this holiday. Littley has actually slept. For a girl with an amazing ability to keep herself awake in new and different places (an early safety mechanism) she has slept quite well this week. 

Biggey – the girl who can’t cope with school – the girl who is so full of shame she finds it difficult to speak to anyone she doesn’t know – went into the Boulangerie (bread shop) and asked for bread!  For her, that’s amazing!

Trois pain s’il vous plaît

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