Big went on his first residential trip in March at the grand old age of nine. Two nights on the Isle of Wight with the school.

I was fine. I was organised. Everything was labelled within an inch of it’s life. The trip started on his Little Brother’s birthday, so my mind was consumed with birthday cakes, party bags and a last minute gift request for a toy Santa. In March! This from the kid who requested a sled and summer shoes for his birthday.

Big was so excited about his trip. Literally bouncing off the walls and talking about it non stop. I was excited for him.

And if I’m honest I was looking forward to not having to answer a million questions about it for a few days!

I waved him off with all his classmates and I didn’t shed a tear. This from the woman who cries when they sing Happy Birthday at parties.

The day went on in a whirl wind of wrapping paper and candles, and the attention rightly so was on the birthday boy. There was a nice little update on the schools facebook page telling us they were having a great time. I went to bed happy and exhausted.

Then the dreams started.

I kept dreaming that Big was driving a big blue tractor to my Mum’s house. He could only really go in a straight line, and didn’t stop for anything in his path (After seeing him drive cars on a recent trip to Legoland, it seems I wasn’t far off with his approach!) I didn’t want him to drive the tractor, but I couldn’t do anything to stop it.

I would wake up in a panic and when I eventually got back to sleep, the dream would start again.

It seemed my subconscious wasn’t totally cool with him being away after all, and now my conscious self was having a wobble too.

The dream turned me into a neurotic mother.

My mind was whirring and my fingers were constantly swiping down on my phone to refresh the schools facebook page, just in case there was another update.

What if he walks from the shower back to his dorm naked? He walks round naked all the time at home. Maybe I should have talked to him more about boundaries.

What if he hates his first residential trip so much he never wants to go on a school trip again.

I bet he doesn’t brush his teeth.

Or comb his hair.

Please don’t get lost.

What if he can’t sleep without Bear? I knew I should have made him pack it.

I wonder if he’s warm enough.

What if he doesn’t like the food?

Oh God the ferry! Don’t go overboard on the ferry.

Is he missing us?

What if he looses all his pants?

Damn my subconscious. By Friday afternoon I couldn’t wait to see him.

He of course thoroughly enjoyed his first residential trip. A great time was had and zero sleep happened. Which all caught up with him on Saturday and made him THE grumpiest child in the world.

So much so I would have quite happily sent him back to the Isle of wight and sent my subconscious thoughts with him.

I was right about the walking back from the shower naked though. Only my kid would be in the shower when the fire alarm went off!!! It was one of his highlights of the trip.

first residential trip

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The thoughts of a neurotic mother on their child'd first residential trip with school.




Claire Kirby

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