Jo Worgan column: Break from the norm gives me very welcome lie-in

Guardian columnist Jo Worgan
Guardian columnist Jo Worgan

The past week has been a little different at home as Andrew has now broken up for the summer holidays.

Although this is fantastic as I get extra help it can upset and disrupt Tom as he has a completely new routine thrown at him.

Tom thrives on routine and sameness so obviously when circumstances do change this can affect his behaviour as he feels unsettled and anxious.

For example, this was shown one day last week. As Andrew was home I was a little more relaxed in getting Tom ready for the minibus and before I knew it the time was 8 am.

This is when Tom usually starts to get ready and lets me puts his shoes and socks on.

However, I usually give him a 10-minute warning beforehand and because I failed to do so he was very reluctant to let me.

In the end Andrew distracted him and we managed to get him ready but he was clearly unsettled and anxious – a stark reminder that he does need his usual routine in place.

Generally though over the past week he seems to have coped really well. This has been shown in our morning routine. Usually when he wakes up he gets into our bed, snuggles up to me for 10 minutes and we then go downstairs for a drink. If Andrew is still in the house Tom will not say good morning to him. He usually shouts, “Go back to your room” and then reluctantly, if Andrew is lucky, shakes his hand before he leaves for work.

This week has been completely different and much improved for Andrew. Now when Tom wakes up and gets into our bed he asks Andrew, “You at work or home?” When Andrew replies, “Home”, Tom then says, “Go downstairs with me” to Andrew and I am told to “stay there” in bed. This is absolutely fantastic.

Andrew and Tom do have a special bond but we did worry about how rigid it was. So although relatively small, this is a huge achievement for Tom. Andrew is made up as he now gets snuggles and cuddle time with Tom and more importantly I get a lie-in.