Yesterday was Joshua’s first overnight stay at his new respite provision and it was not easy to let him go, given the night before that we had experienced. I had sent Joshua to school, despite our lack of sleep the night before, as he was not sleeping in the morning either. He had a lively day at school, with no dozing, and even had a swim in the afternoon!
I was in school for a meeting in the afternoon , so I went to his classroom to say goodbye to him. It felt very odd when I walked out of one exit and Joshua left, with his overnight bag, through another. I had asked the taxi driver to text me to let me know when he had arrived. Due to the distance and the traffic, it took them over two hours to get there. But she reported that he snoozed in the car and that he arrived happily.
I relaxed once I knew he had arrived and I tried to visualize his evening meal and the type of activities that they might have lined up for him. At around 8pm I called to find out how he was, my curiosity getting the better of me, but there was no reply when I called. I assumed that the staff were engaged in bath and bedtime activities, so I did not worry but resolved to try again later. So I called an hour later, but again the telephone rang and rang and I was surprised by the lack of answer phone. Another hour later, I tried a couple more times and got the same lack of response and now my imagination kicked in..were they having some crisis and that is why they could not answer the phone? Logically I was certain that he was fine and I felt sure that if there had been a problem , then I was sure that they would call me but….
When you you go from being responsible for care for 24/7 it is difficult to cut off completely, and I was more anxious than normal because of the seizures and lack of sleep that he had experienced the night before. My little Prince had gone into a black hole and I could not think what to do. So I resorted to emailing Joshua’s key worker, in the vain hope that she might check her emails before bed. Fortunately she did as she was curious why I had not called as I had promised, so she replied.
It turned out that I had the telephone number, from the bottom of their emails, that was the office number upstairs and not the right number for the accommodation – what a relief! So I instantly phoned to be greeted with the reassurance that I needed : Joshua had arrived with a beam and had barged into the lounge, no hesitation at all. He had eaten some tea, as he often refused food on his first night at his previous provision and he had gone to bed, fast asleep , by 8.30. But best of all, his key worker had seen the cheeky side of his personality, that he sometimes keeps well hidden until he gains trust. But no, he had giggled with her as he had hurled a chip over her shoulder, signalling that he had eaten enough, and apparently he had laughed at her attempt at guitar playing too.
After that conversation, I was able to relax and retire to my bed too, with the confidence to know that he was both safe and happy, and that I could enjoy what was left of my ‘night off’