Thursday 28 May 2015

New London Nickelodeon Store opening May 2015

There should be a footnote to this post but I have decided to begin with it for reasons which I hope will become clear.

I'm very aware that there are those who may be confused, or even irritated when reading my blog on and off, because I can go from writing about how PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance) affects our life and can hold us back, to talking about amazing holidays and trips out.

I never want to come across as 'poor me' or 'poor us' about our lives; we are very fortunate to have a great lifestyle and plenty of family and friends to support us. I know there are those that probably think I moan too much on the blog, and that my life sounds infinitely better than theirs, but oversharing and people not seeing the full story are definitely two of the biggest hazards of social media.

Family life can be very trying at the best of times, especially when you have young ones, or if you choose to have a larger family. That said, PDA is a different level; extremely difficult to live with, and a totally different kettle of fish to the kind of life you can lead with neurotypical children (I know, because I have one of those).

As my previous post will show you, I've spent a few days during this lovely half term sitting indoors, trying to persuade my two girls outside. It just doesn't happen when I want it to, we can't go out and join meet-ups with other families very easily.

So why, on earth, you might ask, would I accept an invitation to go and check out the brand new Nickelodeon store which is opening in London's Leicester Square tomorrow?

I've asked myself that a couple of times to be honest. Especially right now, when I know I'll have to be up early in the morning to get the girls there by train. Especially when Sophie doesn't enjoy travelling anywhere more than 10 minutes away. AND it's going to be raining. Sophie hates the rain. Sigh.

Nickelodeon though. Sophie is a long-time fan of Nick Jnr, even though we've never had Sky or any other form of cable TV in our house. Dora The Explorer has been a huge influence on our life; the teacher of Spanish and politeness to Sophie. The latest addiction is Paw Patrol, and we can of course thank You Tube for the introduction to them. They have plenty more characters such as Spongebob and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and I know the shop will be mega (or 'beast' to use the new 'in' word according to 10 year olds :D ). I do actually like the way these programmes teach children good morals and behaviour, and I know Sophie has learnt a lot of social skills from them, those that she doesn't pick up so easily in general life.

The store is going to be amazing; it's based over two floors and will no doubt be crammed with merchandise Sophie will love. We're not allowed to buy anything tomorrow, but that's fine as long as I pre-warn her. That wouldn't have been the case a couple of years ago, but she has now learned that some things you have to wait for. There is a great schedule planned of fun and games for the children, and VIP guests including a life-size Dora to welcome us in. Sophie is not a fan of characters dressed up; she is still scared of them in the same way two year olds tend to be. The noise of the younger children all getting excited, and the general sensory overload will no doubt be very tricky for her. We were also invited to a lovely breakfast/brunch beforehand, but I know that sitting down to eat is not something Sophie does happily (waiting and food being two key problem areas!) so sadly I will have to miss out on that experience which would be pleasant if it was just me and my older NT girl.

However, I am going to try tomorrow, in the hope that we will manage an exciting trip out of the house for at least one day this holiday. I will no doubt be dragged around at top speed in an effort to get home again, I probably won't get chance to chat to the other lovely bloggers there, and I may have to resort to trying to find a quiet corner to watch the ipad with headphones (and get all those judgemental stares) for our youngest, but that's life. 

We are very lucky to be offered the chance, and I'm extremely grateful to the PR company who have chosen us to join in despite our girl's differences - that is definitely inclusion in my book. Even if it doesn't work well, it is worth a try. Staying in permanently is not an option, and whilst it may be harder for me to leave the house tomorrow than I'd like, I'm very well aware that others don't get this chance at all.

I write this blog to help spread understanding for our girl, but also to help all those other families who struggle with PDA everyday. Please keep in mind that we are not living with an extreme case of PDA, but others may be, and what they may need most of all is your support.