Learning to be a little less anxious

Learning to be a little less anxious

I was going to write a post about fun things to do with kids in Paris for half term, which is two weeks over here. Like many adopted children, my kids struggle with holidays, the lack of routine causes all sorts of anxiety related issues. To negate this, I had planned a range of holiday activities:

  • IThe kids workshop booked at Museum of Modern Art
  • A trip to the Aquarium
  • A visit to the Musee du Quai  Branly. It has an amazing display of anthropological exhibits from across the globe and it’s brilliant for kids
  • An excursion to China Town for a bowl of noodles
  • Maybe for a bit of downtime a trip to the cinema and the park

But then, I have been stuck down with a nasty throat infection. The thought negotiating the Paris Metro and trawling through crowded museums and galleries filled me with dread, as my bones ached and the infection gripped my throat like a vice.

Instead, I’ve dosed myself up with paracetamol and hung out at home with the kids. And guess what? It wasn’t so bad!

Our first day, the kids really thought they’d struck gold, back to back movies, curled up in their duvets, and a special treat – pizza on the sofa.

We have since made it out to the park, and to the cinema to watch Goosebumps, in English. The kids loved it – it’s like a really scary movie Mummy!

The throat infection aside, it’s actually been fun to just chill and hangout. We’ve woken up late, mooched around in our PJs, eaten leisurely breakfasts, more mooching before getting ourselves washed and changed and attempting something constructive with our day.

This has been a first.

The kids usually hate holidays, their secure routine is brought abruptly to an end, with no fixed plans, they have reacted with anxiety induced arguments with me, each other, all of us, banging and slamming of doors, squeals of he / she hit, pinched, kicked me, finally everyone relegated to their rooms for quiet time.

For me, holidays and half terms were planned to military precision – playschemes, playdates and outings. I’d have our calendar colour coded by activity giving our little ones a reassuring look forward as to what was coming.

Being this organized we were never available for the spontaneous – ‘who’s free on Wednesday, lets head to the lido’. But this strategy has kept us sane during the holidays.

Maybe I’m starting to be more laid back. Maybe after all the upheaval of moving to Paris, our collective anxiety levels have recalibrated.  Maybe, just maybe, we are finally relaxed in each other’s company.

They’ve both been in Wonder Boy’s bedroom, quietly playing with Lego, with no arguments or fights. I’m not going to question it. I’m just going to let it be.

First published 26/02/15 photo credit Nan Palmero, Flickr

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