Daddy and I took DS to Blackpool at the weekend. It was magical!
There was a special reason why it was magical and that reason is because this was the first ever trip that went smoothly, without a hitch/wobble/meltdown/anxiety attack. There were no issues, no issues at all which has never ever happened before!
We booked the usual premier inn for the night which DS loves! The fact that they are always the same wherever you go is a massive hit with DS as he knows what to expect.
As we swung in the Premier Inn's car park, DS recognise the sign outside and started bouncing up and down on his seat in the car with excitement :)
We checked in and let DS get use to the room before we headed out again
Due to the crowds and noise at the pleasure beach, we decided to give that a miss and instead headed towards the tower for the Blackpool eye. However that wasn't running due to the strong winds so we headed to the sea as DS just loves water!
Actually, he loves water a little bit too much! He was adamant that he was going to run straight into the sea and it took all mine and Daddy's strength and energy to chase after him to prevent him from running in and being swept away - we both moved like smooth athletes! ;)
DS loved our reaction to this so kept trying to do it and it kind of became a bit of a game. We would take turns in chasing him (within safe distances to the water) the tickling him once we caught him-he loved it and giggled breathlessly when we caught him.
(Mental note to self: Ugg boots are not ideal for sprinting after very speedy and quick as a flash child - must re-valuate footwear for future use!!)
The plan was to grab some tea, go back to the room give DS a bath then come back out to see the illuminations. What exactly happened was that after DS's bath, he turned the TV off, light off said goodnight to us and got into bed. So that was that!
Once he was asleep, we quietly put X Factor on and made a cup of tea :)
The next day, we headed back to the seafront as DS had enjoyed it so much the day before. It was very very windy. As I got out of the car, the wind was literally blowing all my hair up, DS was smiling away at me so being the silly parent that I am I started pulling silly faces which he was finding hilarious!
I cannot tell you how refreshing and so enjoyable it was to take DS on a trip that went without a hitch and one that he enjoyed so much - like I said its never ever happened before. I've been thinking why was it so successful, why did it work beautifully and why hasn't it before? This is what I came up with:
*It was planned weeks before with DS sensory issues considered
*I prepare DS the day before by showing him a pic of the room and telling him exactly how we were getting there, who was coming, when we would be going and how long we were staying
*Once we were there, the trip was totally child led. We followed his lead rather than us saying "right this is what we are going to do" DS decided what we were going to do and when we were going to do it.
*We took care to avoid sensory overload situations (ie avoiding the pleasure beach) and if it was impossible to avoid any we got him out as soon as possible
*Daddy and I enjoyed ourselves too which children pick up on. Happy parents=happy kids!
* We know DS well and know what he can tolerate and what he can't some being through trial and error of previous trips.
It would be great if this was the start of things to come but we'll see.
You know your a autism parent when a day out doesn't consist of your child lying on the floor, screaming whilst attacking you in the most public place ever *notice how they always choose the most public and exposed place possible??*
Even if we never have another day as good or as smooth as we did at the weekend again, I will always remember this one and for once, for the right reasons xx