Sunday 7th August
As finances have been a little tight over the last two years while Charlie has been studying we decided we wouldn’t book a summer holiday this year. We usually have time abroad or hire a cottage in the UK, but decided our week camping would be enough. But then out of the blue some old friends from Bristol asked us if we’d like to use their house while they were in France. What a great idea. We would drive straight from camping in Somerset to Bristol – giving us a total of two weeks away.
We drove from the festival straight to Bristol. I don’t think we realised how exhausted we were until we unpacked our car and sat down with a cup of tea. Before we went we had plans to use the house as a base and have day trips out every day. We soon decided that perhaps we actually needed a few lazy days, and morning lie-ins were definitely on the agenda!
Our friends house is a four storey town house in the north side of the city. Four storeys – 68 steps from top to bottom with a physically disabled child is hard work. Although Alice can manage some of the stairs by crawling up and sliding down, there is still a lot of lifting when she is tired. With that thought in mind we rethink where we are going to put her to bed. The top of the house where the children’s bedrooms are is not going to be practical. The main living space is on the ground floor and basement. So we decide to move a Z-bed down from the top floor and make Alice a bedroom for the week in the office on the ground floor. This way she will only need to go up and down one floor at at time – either down stairs to the basement to the kitchen and dining room, or up one floor to the bathroom. I have a feeling all these stairs are going to do my thighs some good – well its good to find a positive!
I guess one of the things we are learning through fostering is to be flexible, to be able to rethink how we do things when we face difficult situations. It might be where Alice sleeps – i.e. in a pop up tent inside a tent, or an office rather than a bedroom. We are always trying to think outside the box, to make life work better for us. The solutions don’t always come that easy and there are times when no matter how flexible we are, the situation is not flexible and we just have to accept that there are things we cannot do. But this time, we get things sorted, and settle in for a lazy few days!
A Less Ordinary Family – Foster Carer’s Blog