Half term started really well, with a planned but unusual trip out to a stables where they hold special riding days for children with autism and siblings. I knew Tamsin would enjoy the horse riding, having been whilst we were away on holiday, but I had no idea what Sasha would make of it. When I asked her if she wanted to go, she was fairly non-committal so it could have gone either way. I think I was the most scared when we turned up to find the horses were actually fairly large! There was a little bit of waiting around and we nearly had to leave for home as Sasha was becoming disinterested, but fortunately we got chance to ride just in time and both girls loved it. My main worry was that she was slipping sideways and didn't really have the strength or the sense to shift herself back centrally, but she stayed on. Very short clip below:
The rest of half term was up and down - one day I attempted a trip to the supermarket but we only ended up making it to the local shop, as Sasha decided she wasn't going out. Cue a minor meltdown and me having to bundle her in the car with no shoes on, then carry her round the shop. Having the two girls at home is difficult, as they would both like my full attention on different things and I end up feeling guilty that I'm not balancing that, or giving either of them the real quality time. I had suggested Sasha might go back to her special nursery, Tracks, but she clearly told me that Tracks was for little girls, and she was a big school girl now! So that was nice as it shows she has moved on, but that also sadly takes away the chance I had of spending any 'alone' time with Tamsin.
For the weekend, I had booked us tickets for a family outing to see Disney on Ice at Wembley Arena. I booked them months ago, and was really looking forward to the whole trip out at the end of a quiet-ish week. I knew Tamsin would be thrilled, and Sasha would enjoy the train ride (daddy's daughter ). Initially I had been concerned that Sasha's attention span wasn't long enough to sit still for something like that, so I was pleased when I managed to get front row seats, as I thought she would then be able to see everything and be amazed. Not quite. She did try and enjoy it, but the extra loud PA system which was booming out the story and the songs non-stop was something I hadn't anticipated. I had taken a gadget along to occupy her if it didn't work out, thankfully, so after 10 minutes I put just the headphones from that on her and they seemed to help for another short while. By the time we got to just the middle of the first half though, she was repeatedly asking to go home and so I had to take her out. We found a nice security man who informed us you can hire ear defenders there, which hadn't occurred to me, so I handed over the deposit hopefully and Sasha was happy to go back in. That lasted until the interval though, where she became fixated on the extortionately priced (don't ask!) twirly whirly light up toys. Tamsin melted my heart when she quickly said she didn't mind if Sasha had a toy and she didn't (not her usual stance, I might add!!) so that put a huge grin back on Sasha's face. But when the second half, and the noise, started up again, it was clear to see it was still too much for Sasha, even with the defenders, and she begged to leave,so I had to take her out once more and sit on a wooden bench in the foyer for the next hour, whilst Tamsin enjoyed the show and Sasha played with her gadget. Ho hum. In some ways her sensory issues are becoming more apparent now and that is something I'll be following up at our paediatrician review next week.
The following weekend also didn't quite go to plan - first a party of two boys from school which Sasha had been invited to. It's always particularly lovely to get invitations (Sasha has another 3 on the fridge!) as a big worry is how Sasha is 'different' and can't relaly make friends easily - she doesn't relaly understand that concept fully. we're really lucky that Sasha is so confident and sociable, as it seems that for now at least, the other children seem to love her and take her under their wings. Long may that last.... Anyhow back to the party, which was sadly not a great one for Sasha - one entertainer lady with a very loud PA, who got all the children to sit on a mat for and hour and a quarter, shouting things out while she did silly jokes and magic. All the children except Sasha that is - we had to go and play outside the front door because it was just too noisy for Sasha and she was asking to go home! I kept hoping it would switch to more standard party games, but sadly they didn't come until after the food. As I was outside looking in, it struck me again how compliant all other children are, sitting still and following instructions for so long. No problem for Tamsin, but big issue for Sasha.
That evening was fireworks night, and we had tickets for a display in the local village. Looking back, I'm not sure why I ever thought that was a good idea, but Sasha seemed keen on the idea, even though it was a late start at 7pm. We left home all wrapped up with no issues, but the second we stepped foot inside the gate and onto the large field holding a fair few people (but not crowded), Sasha wanted to go home. She was scared of the big bonfire when they lit that, and wanted to sit inside right next to the DJ's speakers (loud!) rather than be outside. I tried to hold on until the fireworks started, but she just got more and more upset and so we (Sasha and I, Daddy and Tamsin stayed to enjoy...again...!) left for home. I spent the next day feeling sorry for myself, and bemoaning the fact it's difficult for us to go to nice 'family' events and occasions such as that. Then it occurred to me how lucky we are, and how much more we get to do than lots of people, and how much more difficult our lives could be and hence now the PMA.
That doesn't mean I won't blog about the bad things any more I'm afraid - I've got a good one for next time about how we couldn't see Sasha get her first ever certificate in assembly - but I do want to be thakful for what we have and enjoy life. I'll be back to the random, inane blogging before you know it .