Sometimes it just takes over me. An urge to do things, get out there, make some memories. I get scared that it might be my last chance to have some fun with the kids. They are growing so quickly and I’m not getting any younger myself.
It was half term and I made a plan of all the things I wanted to do. Was it too ambitious? Maybe, especially as we had to go out three days in a week, normally I have to rest after a day out. But, there was a birthday in there and you can’t postpone a birthday. The celebrations maybe, but not the buying of gifts and cards.
So, Monday was buying day. The card shop is practically next door to the toy shop, which would have been great had the birthday boy been under 40! But, no point in wasting a trip to the toy shop with the kids in tow, it was definitely time to spend that pocket money that was building up. Thankfully, the gifts had already been bought, but Graham still treated himself to a new game for his PS4 (yes, I did say he was over 40!) And Boo bought him a new DAD mug. He needs a coffee mug twice as big as the regular mugs to help him stay awake to play his PS4 all night.
Tuesday was Graham’s birthday and we went out for lunch. We could have gone out for dinner and included the whole family, but we’d only done that a couple of weeks ago for No1 Son. So, lunch it was at the local Brewer’s Fayre. The girls discovered that they were too big now to play in the play area so The little Man went off on his own. I wasn’t worried about him, he’s not shy and makes friends so easily, he talks to everyone. Plus we had a screen we could watch from the table. Boo, however, worried incessantly, ‘what if he gets hurt?’ ‘What if he goes somewhere else and we don’t see him?’ ‘What if someone bullies him?’ She’s just like a mini mum. I think I was probably like that when I was younger, but you kind of become more relaxed when you’ve had five children.
Thursday we had decided to go out. ‘Let’s go to the Think Tank’ I said. We haven’t been there for years and it was somewhere I wanted to go. The kids agreed but were not too excited. Had I worn them out already, surely they didn’t prefer to be stuck indoors?
The morning started as usual, breakfast then laptops. But, not without protest, I’d managed to persuade them to get dressed too. I got ready for our day out but no-one seemed really keen. Boo complained that she’d been to the Think Tank with her school just last year. Star complained that she didn’t want to go to the Think Tank but wouldn’t offer a reason. The Little Man just wanted to play Roblox, he didn’t even want to put his socks on.
Then Star said she didn’t want to go out unless we went to Mc Donalds first. I knew what would happen, it’s happened many a time before. We’d go to Mc Donald’s and then she’d insist we came home again. Eventually, she agreed to go to the Sea Life Centre instead of the Think Tank. Arrrgh! At least it was getting out, although I didn’t want to go to the Sea Life Centre, it’s way too familiar. Why was it so difficult, I just wanted to make some fun memories for my kids? Health wise I am probably better off staying home and doing nothing at all, but I don’t want my kids to have that as their childhood memory.
Anyway, cut a long story short, we went to Mc Donalds, then to the Sea Life Centre which was fully booked and we couldn’t go in. So, guess where we ended up? Yes, The Think Tank! On arrival at the Think Tank, Star brightened up as she recognised the place. Then we realised that we hadn’t actually explained anything to her about it and she’d become anxious because she didn’t know where she was going. That’s the problem when you have an autistic child, sometimes it’s easy to forget ‘the rules’ to forget how her mind works. Even though we know she’s autistic we still get it wrong and think she’s just being awkward. The tears and tantrums and effort just to get out of the house could possibly have been avoided had we just spent five minutes explaining that we’d been to the Think Tank before and tried to remind her of what it was like. Or maybe not, you never can tell.
So, fun was had (eventually) and memories made and hopefully, somewhere in the back of their minds they will retain only good thoughts and images of our ‘fun’ packed half term.