Traffic Jams and (no) Meltdowns – a Bank Holiday

6 May

It was a slow start to the day with M sleeping in past her usual bounce-out-of-bed time, which suited me fine too.

After a trip to collect the eldest from a sleepover I headed into town with the 4 children I had at home (poor R was back at boarding school last night) with the intention of a browse round the shops after buying M some desperately needed new trainers. It’s about a 45 minute car journey, and during the day we currently have to allow a bit more for bridge repairs. A bit more?!! No idea quite what was going on but it took an extra 45 minutes thereby doubling our journey time. I was extremely impressed that M kept calm, but she had asked me to put classical music on, and she was happily conducting away to herself in the back for ages.

New trainers were found, tried on and bought in a matter of minutes – I take her to an out of centre shoe “warehouse” that is never crowded – then we headed into the centre for something to eat. M won’t compromise here; if we have gone shopping then she’ll only entertain McDonald’s. Even when offered something else she likes, for instance pizza, her autism goes for the comfort of the tried and tested. I did put my foot down about taking her buggy though, I knew it would be impossible to find somewhere to sit downstairs and I wasn’t planning on trying to drag it up the stairs. She had a few yells and screams and initially refused to get out of the car but big sister no 2 came up with the clever idea of promising M some keyboard practice time at home later, and grudgingly she got out. It doesn’t take long to walk and this was our view as we went.

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When the meal was over we said goodbye for an hour to both big sisters who were headed off to do some shopping and M, B and I went back to the car so we could head for the Monday drama class. On the way we saw this cool tower room and speculated about who might live in it. A princess or Harry Potter seemed likely candidates.

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M and B go to a weekly drama class for special needs that is run in the theatre. B is allowed to attend as it would be very unfair on him to have to spend an hour doing nothing much in the foyer while his sister is having fun upstairs – but I think he is the only exception as we travel so far and have no one who could babysit him if I only took M. He has made some lovely friends there and not all the children who go have autism, so I guess it has broadened his knowledge of additional needs as well as drama. I sit in the bar and amuse myself like this:

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Usually I sit and chat over coffee to other mums but I was all alone today as 2 other mums hadn’t realised the class was on due to the bank holiday. Much as I love them I actually didn’t mind the solitude as I don’t get much of that.

We sneaked another change into M’s routine by stopping for some groceries on the way home. I really needed some vegetables for tonight’s dinner and she was calm enough not to beg to sit in a trolley which is what she usually does. A quick basket full of shopping later and as I was queuing to pay Madam was amusing herself like this:

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She duly got her keyboard practice while dinner was cooking, and the only real hiccup came when hubby was brushing her teeth – she bolted and had to be carried back – but all in all she has had a lovely day and done lots of the normal “Monday stuff” but in a different way. It’s been good.

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