Joshua has probably spent the longest weekend of his life these past two days. Because when you're 10 years old and going to France for a week with your schoolfriends, Monday morning can't come quick enough.
He's usually pretty good at playing it cool, but this one was too much for him to contain. Armed with the kit list on Saturday afternoon, the hints of packing prep were coming. Just checking certain shirts were in the drawer, sorting out an empty backpack to take for the day trips, trip to the shops for a new pair of trainers, making sure no washing was due to be done so the all important trendy stuff was clean and ready. Check, check, check.
By 5pm the desire to pack was getting too much. Could Dad just get the suitcase down now? Assured the suitcase would come down in good time, excitement then turned to attitude with huffy puffy blows of 'fine', grunting up from somewhere inside his body. The chimpanzee arms swinging by his side and the hunch of his back as the realisation that still at least another day was in waiting before departure.
By 7pm we relented. A very excited boy busy packing his case, checking off his list and counting his Euros.
Then the tummy problems started. 'Mummmm, I've got stomach ache'. 'It's because you're excited, it's perfectly normal, don't worry'. 'I'm NOT excited, babies get excited'. 'You're 10, going abroad for the first time with all your friends, trust me Joshua, you ARE excited and it's OK to be'. 'Oh, alright then.'
Saturday night, skulking off to bed - far too wound up to sleep. How on earth was I going to get him through two nights?! Sunday morning unable to contain himself, the decision to abandon rugby training was taken as his mind would not be on the game. The last thing I needed was the air ambulance arriving due to his lack of concentration, making him the 3rd player to be escorted off the field like this. Taking no chances, he asked to come to church with us instead - big result - YAY for that!!
Lunchtime - not hungry. Not excited apparently, just 'not hungry'. What to do with him in the afternoon? I know, we'll all go swimming - that will take his mind off it. Dinner time - FINALLY, he eats.
Bedtime - surprisingly he settled quite early. But three trips to the bathroom last night, an early wake, fully dressed and not interested in breakfast, shoes on by 7.30am, we set off with case in tow, wallet stuffed with various coins and notes, EHIC card ready, rice milk in a bag and off to school.
28 very excited 10 and 11 year olds departed at 8.30 this morning. It's a great bunch of kids going and he's going to have the time of his life. I'll see just how much when he gets back and develops the three disposable cameras he's taken.