Monday 9 September 2019

So that was Summer... Part 1

Last year I wrote a day by day account of our summer holidays on my Facebook page and spread them over two posts on my blog, called Summer Holidays with PDA - Part 1 and Part 2Sasha has really enjoyed reading these posts again a few times since and so I had decided that I would do similar for this year. However, right at the start of our holidays we received some sad news and so I didn't have the heart to blog about what we did in the following weeks as they unfolded.

Sasha let me know that she still wants me to write about our summer though. One of the original thoughts behind starting this blog was to keep this as a record of our life as we go, so I've decided now is as good a time as any to throw this short Summer Holiday 2019 summary together.
stephs two girls by pencil fence in center parcs
Earlier in the year at May half term I was fortunate to be able to travel on a week away to Florida with our eldest daughter who loves theme parks and all things Disney (blog post on that to follow). So we began our main summer holiday with a family trip away which we had chosen specifically with Sasha in mind - a week (Mon-Fri) stay at Center Parcs in Elveden Forest

I've made no secret of the fact that we are huge Center Parcs fans (I may have mentioned it, once, or twice) and the main reason for this is that Center Parcs is a place where Sasha feels comfortable and happy. And of course, if she feels comfortable and happy, then the rest of us have at least a good shot at that too.

We've spent at least one weekend there most years for the past six years; a regular meet up with old friends who live further away and also two separate weekends with both sets of grandparents. We've been to three of their sites, mostly in the autumn, occasionally around Christmas and once in Spring, but never in Summer, so we were looking forward to seeing if the atmosphere and 'busyness' differed at all. Well I say 'we', but I think it's fair to say that Sasha was hoping everything would be the same as it always is. That's one of the main attractions of Center Parcs to her, and why she can feel so comfortable regardless of which site we go to, the familiarity of the surroundings and the unlimited access to their Subtropical Swimming Paradise.
stephs two girls posing outside subtropical swimming paradise over the years
As it turned out, we picked the hottest week of the year to spend in Center Parcs. This meant that Sasha stayed in quite a lot, apart from when we were enjoying our swim sessions in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise. Sasha loves the rapids, and I loved watching her go down them with just her big sister at times, rather than always needing me by her side.

Of the activities we did book onto for Sasha, roller skating didn't go so well despite there only being five or so other people there, adventure golf was busy and involved too much waiting around, and pottery painting went by in a flash, but we did enjoy a mother-daughter Mermaid Experience which will give us happy memories to look back on for a while:
steph and sasha mermaid experience at center parcs
Our eldest did enjoy the roller skating, and the pottery painting, and on the hottest day of the year she managed to complete the high ropes course with her Dad, ending with a huge long zipline across the lake! She also enjoyed a spa session with her mum, lucky me (14 is the youngest age to be allowed entry).
Teen about to do the super long zipline across the lake at center parcs
So that was Center Parcs. Despite being somewhere which Sasha loves, it wasn't a straightforward week for her; every pool session ended in upset for some reason or another. It was still a good week for us overall though, and our only real choice since Sasha's anxiety has now become too bad for her to travel away on an aeroplane. She also really struggles with car journeys so our wings are clipped for the moment and we just have to relive memories of previous happy holidays abroad (such as this one in the South of France).

As soon as Center Parcs was finished I dashed home for the weekend, to visit my mum in hospital after her major back surgery (home home, my parents home town where I grew up, which is sadly a four-five hour drive away from where I now live). The best I can share about that was mum getting out of hospital and the beautiful sunsets. 
sunset in my home town st annes on sea
After that we enjoyed a stay-cation in our own home, as our eldest daughter was taking part in a drama production of Grease, one of my favourite shows. It involved two weeks of rehearsals followed by four performances in one weekend at the local Arena, and I was very proud watching her on stage at the end of it.
Teen with her Brilliant theatre tote bag
Sasha and I had plenty of chill out time over those two weeks but also enjoyed the first shopping trip in a long while for Sasha. She decided she needed a new 'look', so we went and got one, followed by McDonalds lunch as a reward of course. We also caught up on much needed eye tests for the girls and discovered that Sasha is slightly short-sighted. 
sasha wearing glasses
She picked out a great pair of frames and I really think they suit her, don't you?! She's even worn them without me reminding her, such as for watching television or when we went to the cinema later in the summer... more on that coming up soon in part 2!

To find out more about our experiences, please check out our 'About Us' page. If you are looking for more information on Pathological Demand Avoidance, the posts below may help.

What is PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)?

Ten things you need to know about Pathological Demand Avoidance

Does my child have Pathological Demand Avoidance?

The difference between PDA and ODD

Strategies for PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)

Pathological Demand Avoidance: Strategies for Schools

Challenging Behaviour and PDA

Is Pathological Demand Avoidance real?

Autism with demand avoidance or Pathological Demand Avoidance?

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1 comment:

  1. Glad that you were able to have these fun times in the midst of the stressful times. It's nice that Sasha enjoys reading your posts and asked you to record the memories of your summer.

    And yes, those frames really do suit her. A very mature look!


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