Not all day out goes to plan!
We headed to the sealife centre, I wasn’t planing on it being so busy! Headed for 11.45 thinking lots would be having dinner, mmmm how wrong was I!
It started because he couldn’t get in with the penguins, maybe escalated as he couldn’t see them out of the water like he can in folly farm, that’s what I’m guessing anyways. It was really busy, with buggies, screaming kids and lots of people. The one part he had taken his shoes off to ‘get in’ the water. Me saying no shoes on we can’t get in didn’t help, he could just see faces in the water but couldn’t grasp it was a tunnel. So speed walking commence.
There was a section you could touch certain animals, yea he wasn’t interested in touching any animal just playing in the water! So we moved out of the way and played with the clean water!
Luckily he was wearing his adventure belt to stop him fleeing.
We quickly moved around trying to find the exit, to realise he was soaking, the water had gone right down his sleeves and down to his waist, was far too cold to leave him so wet. So let’s add to his bad day by attempting to change him. Ended up in the ladies in the middle of the floor attempting a full outfit change. With Z getting stressed and by this point I was stressed it was time ten minutes ago to leave we just couldn’t find our way out! With Z stressing, throwing himself on the floor, trying to push his way through the crowds, he caught one lady, I’m chasing after him and she decides to whinge as I didn’t apologise to her. All I seemed to do was apologise to every one, sorry for him pushing your child out of the way! Sorry for him trying to clamber through your legs! Sorry for him screaming and throwing himself on the floor in front of your buggy. But I am sorry that I didn’t apologise to you too!
Towards the end it was much quieter, he stopped and looked at a few fish , but quickly moved on.
So we left, we got back to the car, he was still very upset I’d say. He looked at me once we got back to the car as if to say why? What part of that did you think was a good idea?!
We waited on the girls to come out to meet them for some food.
Z wasn’t going to eat as he really had munched his way through his cheese spread sandwiches and his drink in the car!! But for most of it he sat, watching his iPad in front of the fire!
When chatting away to another parent who’s asd son is now 19 I learnt that there’s always going to be struggles. Even at 19 she worries about loosing him in a shopping centre. Who really worries about loosing a 19 year old in a shopping centre? I’d not thought that far ahead, of course I worry now at 5 because he can’t say he’s lost, what if he can’t at 19? That’s the reality check here. Even if he’s lost to us and he’s not actually lost to himself imagine Just for a second how scary that’s going to be. I’d be going around the place screaming his name, not that he answers to it, worried shoppers what does he look like? 6ft, slim build….. you’re going to get looks like you’re crazy.
How Even though certain things may change like less meltdowns, the need to flee in a shop may pass, eating new foods, using the toilet, the worries will always be there. I’m looking forward to the days when he does actually try new foods or the hormones kick and he’ll want to sleep and he doesn’t run away!! Or when he can communicate his needs even just to say what he would like to eat that week because he’ll eat loads more then! ( I say crossing my fingers and wishing!)
I know Z maybe completely different, he may be similar to this guy, he maybe able to talk and have a conversation with you enough to get by or he may never be able to communicate. He may stick to only eating his crap and he may never sleep! If there’s one thing I wish it would be that he will be able to tell me what he needs or wants!
It was lovely hearing from a parent of an older child, of a parent who’s not going to say oh yes at 19 everything is fine, because it’s not. Autism is still there, these small little children will grow into adults and I may be one of the few but I’d like to know stories of what I maybe up against from people who have been there who is going through it. When we go to groups the oldest is maybe 10 or 11, 19 is way older, way more experience and there are lots more stories to be heard. But what I’m finding the same is when I ask at want age did your child stop doing stuff the answer seems to be around 6-7. So I may only have two more years of finding lines everywhere. I may only have a few years left of nappies? I may only have a few years of food being dropped everywhere as thats when he’s not going to waste any and eat it all instead!! I’m hoping to only have a few more years of no sleep left!
But I don’t know. It’s gotten me thinking of when they are babies and you never knew that was their last bottle etc, will this be Z’s last line?!
So even though I wouldn’t call today a success we tried, we may have kinda failed! But I learnt other than I’ll still be worrying at 19, what Z is like now doesn’t mean he’s going to be like that in 14 years time!