What I like to imagine going to Grandma’s house for Christmas looks like…
A weekend at Grandma’s house. Ahhhh, how relaxing and comfy. Unless you’re Ana.
Weekends anywhere are super stress inducing and quite often end in trips to the ER for sedatives. Thankfully, this weekend no hospital was necessary.
When we go anywhere Ana has to have some semblance of normalcy or she loses it immediately. At my parents’ house that is relatively easy since they live in a house, the same house they have been in since before I was born, making it the only Grandma house Ana has ever known. That is a great start to a survivable weekend.
Hotel rooms do not work for Ana. They are too small. There are too many people in them (seven in our family) and there are no clear definable spaces (i.e. kitchen, bedroom, living room). She needs all these things. So, whenever we travel we have to have a house or apartment. Or Grandma’s house.
The drive to and from Grandma’s is daunting. It is four hours not counting traffic which isn’t too awfully bad compared to Florida or some far away vacation hotspot. This time in an last minute spark of pure genius I stopped at the library to get some books on CD to listen to in the car. The other kids have a variety of devices to play but Ana is not into any of those which makes her a very bored girl (our mantra is ‘a bored Ana is a bad Ana’). The books on CD were a hit with all the kids so we travelled in relative peace. Even Ana was chuckling at a few parts in the story.
At Grandma’s house things got hoppin’ fast so Ana went along for the ride. We had lunch with extended family which kept everyone entertained and Ana enjoyed the attention. After lunch there were presents which are always a great way to keep Ana happy.
Later that evening we did Grandma and Grampa Christmas which was over the top, as usual, and Ana racked up some impressive gifts. To say the least Justice was well represented.
All during the day Saturday Ana was chilled out about seeing daddy (same city as Grandma and Grampa), but as Sunday night came around and no visit to daddy was in the works she began to talk about it. This combined with limited sleep (always a problem in a different bed than her own), junk food out the wazoo, and a lot of sensory overloading over the course of the weekend caused Ana to lose it.
Thankfully, my husband was with me for this trip so I wasn’t stuck with a meltdown-mode Ana and four other children (in similar states for similar reasons) all alone. We managed without her emergency sedative, but she will definitely need a few days recovery to get back to normal.