Today was H’s first day of holiday club. See, as working parents between us we get enough holidays to cover school holidays (just) but it would mean we don’t get to spend any time as a family. Fortunately we have some very affordable holiday clubs around Carshalton and Wallington, and for less than £20 a day they have some great activities for the kids.

They also have some trips. Gulp. I’m used to her leaving her immediate surroundings and going for a walk to the park or a trip to the supermarket, and even with school they did a trip to the Post Office, so it isn’t an alien concept to us. However, today was her first big one. A trip to the cinema! Without Shaun or I.

We had no idea what they were going to see (though I suspected it would be The Lego Movie, and indeed I was correct, so I’m kind of glad we’d already seen it) and I think H probably got a lot from it due to having seen it before. So off they went, a group of eight of them on the bus, with their hi-vis vests and a bucket of popcorn and 100 minutes of Lego goodness.

This meant when I arrived for pickup they hadn’t got back, so I sat in the car and watched them all head back 30 or so minutes later, looking very cute standing in twos singing ‘Everything is Awesome’ hehehe. I hid in the car so H and her friend M didn’t spot me, partly for fear of them running into the road if they saw me (though I’m sure they wouldn’t, but I’m also quite sure it could be possible).

This bodes well for future trips as well, as I was pretty nervous about letting her go and relying on someone else to look after my child in a setting where there’s less ‘control’ so to speak (or is it me having less control and learning to trust?). I know I have to, but heck, she isn’t even four and a half yet. But it was a success. There’s a further trip to somewhere fun tomorrow which is bringing another new world into my life – the world of the packed lunch box.

Giving H the space to grow without Shaun or myself is something we have to do, but it’s hard. I’m glad the experiences she’s starting with are ones we’ve done together already so there’s a level of comfort in it for us all. Or maybe just me.

H St Pauls