It seems the little one’s reading and writing has come on further over the holidays than it did while she was at school!
She can read pretty much anything now – and does. We have to be very careful because we often have Facebook up on our computers and she can now read those ‘amusing’ posters and stuff!
The other day I was doing something on my computer and she was holding on to my arm and chattering away. I told her to bog off because I needed to concentrate. She went and told the hubby and then a short while later came back and apologised.
Then she came back with this
“I got up and got dressed. I went to McDonalds. I got home and had ice cream and slushi. Mum got mad at me but before I wrote in my diary I went and apologised to her”
I think that’s pretty amazing for a girl that has just turned 6!
We’ve had some lovely weather this summer holidays.
We’ve been to the cinema a couple of times. This is our cinema selfie
Then we went for a swim and had some lunch in the bar after where the little one built a tower out of beer mats
And had a play in the park
After a couple of days of rain we went for a walk down our local path yesterday to pick wild strawberries and raspberries
Then she decided we should take our bikes along the path so we went back and got the bikes.
She was amazing. She whizzed along for half a mile with me struggling to catch up.
The only problem was she forgot how to stop.
She didn’t stop pedalling.
She forgot how to use her brakes.
So when the path was getting too overgrown and she was pelting along, the only way she could stop was to steer into the hedge.
She didn’t do too badly but unfortunately she did land on a load of brambles
So then we had to get home and she refused to ride her bike back because her hand was too sore and she hated her bike now.
So for a very slow half a mile she pushed her bike home
The good thing is it gave me time to get her giggling again and stop her hating her bike so much. There was no way I could carry it with my bike – it a good solid and heavy bike she has there.
Once her hand stops being sore I’ll get her back out on her bike again – practising stopping!
We may have made the physical person that the little one is, but the personality is all down to her!
She is one of a kind.
She is kind and loving. She looks after the little kids and makes sure she defends her friends who are feeling hurt. If one of us is hurt she will do what she can to care for us.
She is funny and witty. Not a day passes without her making us laugh. Proper belly laughs too. She loves to entertain.
She is cunning and cheeky. Every day is a battle of wills and we love it. There is no ‘do it because we say so’ in this house. If we don’t have a good enough reason for something then she will expose any flaws and we will lose! That makes us smile.
She is bright and determined. She kept practising whistling until she got it. She didn’t give up. She delighted when a proper whistle came out. She loves trying and trying until she gets it.
At 6 years old she can read most books. She read all her birthday cards with minimal help.
At 6 years old she can ride a bike. Her birthday present is a new, bigger bike.
At 6 years old she has learnt to dance at school. She has even been allowed to dance with the bigger girls. In the cinema, when the music comes on she stands up and dances.
At 6 years old she makes us so proud because she is such a beautiful person. Not just on the outside, but more importantly, on the inside.
The little one’s birthday is in the summer holidays which means we need to plan ahead if we want a party with any of her friends. This year we decided to invite only the friends she really wanted there. We are lucky enough to have a big back garden so I hired a bouncy castle and a face painter and did it all at home.
She wanted a vampire theme and a vampire cake. So this is what I did
First there was a vampire cake
Made out of blood of course. Actually red food colouring. But it was delicious and moist and gluten free!
Then monster themed party food
And of course, there was blood to drink.
And then the vampire queen herself.
Much fun was had by all
All in all a great party I think. Now we have her actual birthday on Tuesday to deal with!
Before I blog about our entire trip away I need to tell you a little bit about what happened with our Hilton experience.
I used to live in Watford, so when I was looking for a convenient place to drive to as a basis for a long weekend away with the little one, a friend and her little boy, I chose to look first in Watford.
The thing when you are two adults and two kids is that you need a separate room for the kids. You don’t want to be stuck on your hotel bed, being too scared to make a noise for fear of waking up sleeping children. What you ideally need is a room with a living area and a separate area for the kids.
It’s quite difficult to find hotel rooms like this but we wanted a hotel with a pool so we could hang out in the hotel in between trips into London.
We looked at the many hotels in the area and found this in the Hilton
Looked perfect. We got a special deal for £284 for 4 of us for 3 nights. Fab. They have a pool too and it’s easy access from Watford Junction train station into London. We also had booked to go to Warner Bros Studio tour to see the Harry Potter stuff.
We took our time to drive down – making the journey part of the holiday. We arrived feeling good at around 7:30-8pm after setting off at about 9:30am. It was roasting down in Watford!
I checked in and we went to our room.
See where the laptop in the picture above? to the right and behind is a double bed. That’s the two adults covered. But no area for the kids.
Turns out they planned on converting the sofa you can see into beds for the kids.
Now tell me, who would book a room with a separate seating area just so it can be converted to beds for the kids? What is the point?
So I left my friend and the kids in the room and headed all the way back down the long corridor, and down 2 floors to reception.
I explained the situation. They explained that they don’t have any rooms that meet the requirements that we have. I asked if it was possible, as an alternative, to get 2 adjoining rooms.
He set me up with 2 adjoining rooms and charged me for 3 nights for an extra room. I was shocked. Bear in mind I could get a Premier Inn with adjoining rooms for a third of the price that I paid for the Hilton. I didn’t have breakfast in the rate so that would be extra wherever I stayed.
I explained this and he took 20% off the room rate and gave us all free breakfast for the 3 days we were there. It was better but it still left me with a bill of an additional £225 for the 3 nights. Given I was only paying £283 originally this was a lot!
When I told the hubby he immediately transferred the extra money to me. I then hiked back to the room, fetched the gang and our luggage, hiked back down to the 1st floor and all the way along the corridor to the new adjoining rooms.
The kids were amazing. So well behaved. We were so proud of them. They then had their own room and bathroom and we had ours. So the set up was workable for the next few days.
It was late and everyone was hungry so we decided to order room service. It’s a bit tricky with the little one because of needing Gluten Free but she could have chips at least.
I dialled room service. It was engaged. I tried a few times. Still engaged. I called reception to see if I was doing something wrong. They dialled room service. They called back and said room service was busy and would call back when they were clear.
It’s now nearly 9pm. We are all knackered. If it took them a while to call back, how long would it take for food!
Exasperated and exhausted I headed out because I knew there was a McDonalds around the corner. I also tweeted @HiltonHotels because it was such an awful experience. They came straight back and got in touch with the hotel. Which was great.
I took the food back to my room and everyone eventually got to bed after 11pm.
The next day we were off to London. We had Hamley’s to do plus M&M world plus I had a therapy session booked in Harley Street. At the end of the day we were booked in to the Warner Bros studio tour in Watford.
We got up and had breakfast which everyone enjoyed and went for a swim before we headed out. The pool and gym were empty. The guy on the desk told us kids were not allowed in until 3pm. I had asked two people on reception and neither of them told me this. The first thought there were no restrictions. Luckily the guy on duty was nice and let us in but told us we’d have to get out again if someone came in. No one did so we had our swim and headed to London. He assured us that the next day (Saturday) there were no restrictions.
I needed a code to get out and the front desk manager took the chance to ask what was wrong after Hilton had got in touch. I explained again how disappointed we were with the room situation and how there were many other options in Watford that were much cheaper than what we had now ended up with. I also mentioned how it hadn’t said anywhere that kids weren’t allowed in the pool. He then said he would take 50% off the additional room rate and gave me his business card telling me to let him know if there was anything else he could do.
We didn’t get back to the hotel until late on Friday but all was fine. The kids settled and we all had a reasonable night’s sleep.
The next morning we got up and went for breakfast. They had gluten free bread in stock which was great. We also had a letter under the door saying they were giving us the additional room for free which was a huge relief. It included 2 complimentary drinks vouchers for the bar but we’d have no chance to use those unfortunately.
We then headed off for a nice swim. Once more we were told kids weren’t allowed in until 3pm even though it was now a Saturday! Again, they let us in despite this.
Anyway, on Sunday we checked out and the bill was the original £283.50 that we had booked. We had a lovely stay. The new room configuration worked out and the kids loved the pool. We all enjoyed the breakfasts too.
It’s just a shame that it could have been a much better experience if the website had been clearer and if they had more clearly advertised the pool times.
The staff were polite and helpful and the true measure of a company, I believe, is how they respond to customer complaints. I can’t really fault Hilton for how they responded. It stopped the holiday being ruined.
One of the reasons I return to Trevor, when I have something that is getting in the way of my life, is that he gets me.
Of course I should be able to work my way through my own problems by now. I am a Cognitive Hypnotherapist after all. But the problem with problems is they are consuming. When you are ‘doing’ your problem you often lack the clarity of thought to be able to get out of your problem.
I also have a wonderful network of friends and therapists. But I have been ‘doing’ my problem for many many years and my stubbornness knows no bounds! It’s always been risky working with me too. I have tendency to abreact (I go into a zoned out state where I can’t respond and shake, often quite violently). Not easy for anyone to deal with.
So when I knew that a part of me was still very unhappy I booked to see Trevor. I needed a guide to get me past it.
What I also knew was that it didn’t have to be that way. From everything that has changed over the last 3 years, I knew I didn’t have to be having a constant battle in my head.
He doesn’t do as much therapy any more so it was a long wait. And with the police stuff it was a painful wait too.
Last week I had a session with Trevor.
The changes from this session will be subtle but that does not make them any less profound.
There was a young girl inside of me that was frozen. Frozen in a moment in time which she couldn’t deal with. And that girl made the adult believe that she needed protecting. She made the adult believe that she would freeze and not be able to cope with stuff. So she protected the adult. She enveloped her in a protective shell that would prevent anyone getting near. Nothing I did as an adult would persuade her to let the barrier down.
That’s why I needed Trevor’s help. He could persuade her.
It wasn’t easy, but then it never is. All I could see was a young girl sat on the edge of her bed in her room; frozen, unresponsive. I would try and get her to stir but she wouldn’t. If I tried to get her to move she remained in the same position. I could even knock her over but when I did, like any ice statue, she would remain in the same seated position but on her side.
Trevor uses the little one. He knows she is my Achilles heel. I would do anything for her. I wouldn’t allow anyone to hurt her. If we are struggling to get a change Trevor will find a way to use the little one to get that change. Sometimes it can be very upsetting. I’ve had to tell him to back off before. This time it was powerful.
The little one loves to dance. She giggles and sings and wiggles her hips in a way no almost-6-year-old should do! She makes us laugh and smile when she does it. It’s impossible not too.
When I was struggling to get that little girl to move, Trevor asked if she could dance with the little one. The little one walked up to her and took her hand. She took her hand. Her hand became unfrozen. Pink. Moveable.
The little one helped her stand up. She stood up. Moving. Unfrozen.
The little one turned to face the window and began to dance. She giggled and wiggled her hips and encourage the younger me to join in. And I did. I smiled and I danced. Not a full on, free dance. But still. A dance. And I smiled. How could you not smile when the little one is dancing and giggling?
This change does not feel like a thunderbolt like some of the others.
This change does not feel like it has had to be violently release.
This change feels more subtle.
But this change is deeper. This change is more profound.
I am fluid. I can smile. I am safe. I don’t need protecting any more.
Oh an I didn’t abreact. I was there at all times. Able to talk and interact with Trevor. To tell him what was going on in my head at each moment. That’s a first too.
Me: “Really? That’s a great story. Did you make up a story too?”
Little one: “No”
Me: “Oh right so we need to make one up too. How about if you fart 3 times in a room a fart monster turns up and everyone has to leave the room?”
Little one: *giggles*
Me: “Did anyone else make up any stories?”
Little one: “X made up a poem”
Little one: “But you can’t say death 3 times in the mirror”
Me: “But ghosts can be cool and sometimes I feel lonely. Can you do it so we can get some ghosts?”
Little one: “Shall I do it then?”
Me: “Yeah go for it. It would be great to have the house haunted”
Little one: *stands in front of mirror and says ‘death’ 3 times clearly*
We all wait.
Me: “Ah well, guess it must have just been a made up story after all”
Little one goes off to play happily.
Another disaster averted. I might not have been able to deal with it so well if it was Candyman she had to say!