Being able to say that we finally got to go on our first ever holiday is an amazing feeling. There was a time I didn’t think I’d ever be able to take the boys on a holiday by myself. Max was too volatile and I didn’t have the confidence to feel like I could manage it alone with no support.
We did it! I decided on a caravan at Craig Tara which is a Haven holiday park in Ayr. Not too far away at just under a two hour drive, but not so close that it wouldn’t feel like we were somewhere different. And it’s on the beach by the Clyde river… just the other side from where I grew up in Dunoon.
I booked us a pet friendly deluxe caravan with three bedrooms one week after the Easter holidays. The idea being that it wouldn’t be *too* busy for Max to handle, and he’d have his own wee place to retreat to if things got a bit much and we all needed some space from each other.
In fact, his response to realising that he had his own wee room was to get his iPad and his fave cuddly Elmo, and get comfy on his bed! Absolutely adorable!
The caravan itself felt pretty roomy, was clean (in fact it was just being finished off when we got there!), came with a tv with a dvd player, a kitchen with a microwave, fridge and a gas cooker, with utensils etc provided. Though we did have to bring our own washing up liquid, bin bags, cleaning supplies etc. I was prepared for this though so we had everything we needed with us.
We took our first walk down to the beach and ohhh it was so beautiful! The boys absolutely adored it as did Kenzi… this was going to be one of many wanders along the pebbles and sand during our week’s stay.
Max noticed the arcade as soon as we walked into the main complex and was desperate for a go straight away of course! Luckily I managed to persuade him that first we had to eat our dinner before we were allowed to go play. So he dutifully ate his pizza and waited patiently while Zack and I finished our meals. HUGE step forward here- M actually told me “oh no, need pee!” while we were waiting for our food! So of course off we went. First time he’s ever done that while out! This carried on while we were away and we’ve managed to keep it going since we got home too. We will be nappy free some day!
Another big thing for Max was his acceptance of drinking more water. He’s always only drank milk, and we recently switched to lactose free to help his poorly stomach, but it didn’t help things completely. Since going on holiday he’s now willing to drink a fair amount of water daily, and as a result some of his stomach issues seem to have started to resolve themselves.
Anyway, back to the holiday… our first evening event was a pretty loud one, and of course the one thing I’d forgotten to pack was the ear defenders… I didn’t think we’d be able to do much of the evening entertainment but after an initial ten minutes of getting used to it all was fine, in fact as time went on he got more and more involved – up dancing with the other kids by our last night!
Visiting the arcades was a daily occurrence… I dread to think how much we spent there, but it was worth it to see these two have so much fun together. I even managed to get Max to join in with some mini golf! Though it was grudgingly, but he did it!
On our last day I caved and took the boys to the wee fun fair they have on site… they weren’t disappointed, and as they had freshly made doughnuts, neither was I! It’s probably just as well we didn’t visit there till the last day to be honest. *cough*
There were lots of walks with the dog along the beach, ice creams, laughter and a feeling of peace I hadn’t had in quite some time. Along with that it was such a huge accomplishment for us all. Zack was an amazing help – I’m so lucky to have such great kids… he’s an amazing big brother and was so happy to be there with not one complaint about anything the entire time. And Max… well he blew me away daily with his ability to not just endure, but enjoy the many new experiences he encountered while we were there.
In fact, we’re already planning our next trip!