So, I've booked our holiday this morning. We haven't been for a couple of years, and strangely I think we've both missed it... Not for us an exotic beach holiday or a month-long safari, instead we've opted once again for the same, glorious three nights in a caravan park less than sixty miles away in the middle of March.
There's method to the madness... 'caravan' because there's more than a wall between us and the neighbours; 'off-peak' because there's fewer of the aforementioned neighbours around in the first place; 'sixty miles' because it's just easier and 'three nights' because... well, anyone can last three nights.
The Boy loves staying in a caravan. Just a big, bright dolls house where everything is where it should be. No frills. No clutter. Everything has a purpose. Four plates, four cups, four knives, four forks, four spoons, four seats. If it wasn't for the fact that they come with a shower in the bathroom, they'd be pretty close to perfection.
We talked about what we'd do on holiday. And sometimes I'm surprised by his memory, even though I should know by now not to be. We will do on holiday what we do on every holiday. Together, we reeled off the list.
We'll start each day by going swimming as soon as we wake up even before we've had breakfast as it's quieter then and no-one is around. Then we'll go to the cafe and have porridge and play Top Trumps which The Boy will win. Then we'll go back to the caravan and hang up the swimming trunks and drive to the sea. We'll throw stones in the water and stand too close and one of us will get our feet wet when the waves come nearer and it might be raining but it doesn't matter because we're on holiday. Then we'll go to the amusement arcade to warm up and play the 2p machines until the wet foot has dried out. Then we'll go to crazy golf but we won't take the little pencil and scorecard because we don't keep scores and deep down we both know there's only one winner anyway. After crazy golf we'll go to the fairground where we'll both sit on rides that we're far too big for nowadays but we won't go near the far end of the fairground because that's where the Ghost Train is and The Boy doesn't like walking near the Ghost Train because there's no fun in making yourself scared when there's nothing more scary than real life itself. Then we'll drive back to the caravan and Dad will try to suggest we sit down for a bit and watch TV but the TV in the caravan only has four channels to go with the four knives and four forks, so instead we go swimming again even though our trunks are still wet but it doesn't matter because we're on holiday. Then we'll go to the cafe for tea and eat fish and chips and play Top Trumps which The Boy will win. Then after we've gone back to hang up wet swimming clothes Dad will take a sharp intake of breath and we'll go into the clubhouse to play bingo which The Boy is really good at and brings his own pen just to play and sometimes he doesn't win but it doesn't matter because we're on holiday. Afterwards Dad will go to the bar and order a pint of lager but The Boy doesn't really like him drinking 'dirty beer' as he saw a programme once and someone died from drinking too much. But if Dad buys a packet of Quavers at the same time that seems to make everything fine. Then we'll go back to the caravan and have hot chocolate which is a waste of time because we won't drink it until it's gone cold anyway and then as the rest of the park goes dark we'll make sure every light in our caravan is turned on before going to bed.
And the next day we'll wake up and do it all again, the only thing that might change is the weather, but that doesn't matter because we're on holiday and you get wet when you go swimming anyway and besides... the amusement arcade has a roof.
This blog is about bringing up The Boy. He's 12 years old and autistic. It's written by The Dad. It's my words, my view. Other people will think differently and have different opinions. Good.