Sunday 2 February 2020

So that was Summer.... Part 2

Time for a very delayed post to follow on from my 'So that was Summer Part 1' post last year (how did it get to be 2020 already?!). The original idea was that I would do a round up post of our summer holidays, in keeping with the fact that this blog started off as a family diary. Sasha has said that she is keen to keep the memories documented, in a light-hearted kind of way.
cousins in the court house
Part 2 of our summer 2019 was as eventful as Part 1. Week four of the holidays involved my older brother's children and my sister-in-law coming to stay with us at our house. My girls were excited about seeing their cousins again as the last time had been the previous year at my brother's wedding. The family travelled from 'up North' and teen and I met them at the station then ate in London. Teen and I then headed off to watch the School of Rock Musical as we'd booked this months before as an end of term treat, but the cousins hadn't been able to get tickets for that later so they went to see Wicked, a show which teen and I had already seen a couple of years previously. Both amazing shows - to be fair, I've never seen a bad show in London, I love all sorts.
family group shot with cousins
Sasha wasn't with us that evening as she's not a fan of shows on the whole. Once a year we do manage to go and see the local panto as a family, but that's mainly because it's tradition. Sasha has some kind of idea of the storylines and she enjoys the repetitive, 'classic' scenes and jokes. Other shows are too much unknown for her. 
light box showing text my cuzons r comming to town
The next day we had lovely weather and we all went for a trip into our local town together. Sasha was keen to show her cousins our lovely local museum in town so we headed there first. Based on past experiences of Sasha not being so happy out of the house, I thought she might want to go home after that. But she bravely said she would like to stay with her cousins as they went for a longer walk and play in the park.
sasha eating an ice cream
It was quite a long walk in the summer sun, so we stopped en route for an ice cream... not something Sasha would usually ask for, but she gave it a try, sprinkles and all.
stephs two girls on exercise equipment in park
We had some fun in the park on the exercise equipment but her cousins then fancied some free play with a ball. Sasha struggled with this because she was keen to show them all the other museum in town. It's all about the Romans and is another place which Sasha likes to go. So I had to gently interrupt the free play to persuade the other children to visit a museum... good job they are easy going children!

I'll just stop there to explain that museums in general are not a 'thing' or favourite past-time for Sasha as such. We're just lucky that she does seem to have taken the local ones to heart. She'll only ever whizz through them, she doesn't generally stop to read any information about the exhibits but she does manage to soak in some history as she goes so they are definitely a win for me!
sasha building a bridge in the museum
Interactive exhibits are usually the ones which she makes a bee-line for; to be fair, most children like those ones I think. After the second museum, Sasha was feeling quite tired (it was past her usual food time at this point, I'd been brave in stretching it) so I ran back alone to fetch the car from the top of town and we made it home without any major disaster. Phew. We enjoyed a couple more days hanging out with the cousins and then once they returned home, we moved onto our second 'week away' of the holidays.

That makes it sound simple. This week away was to visit my parents at their home, up in my old home town which is sadly over a four hour drive away. For any car journey, there is always a lot of stress and anxiety for Sasha, and sometimes it's a close call as to whether we will be able to make it at all. We travel early morning if possible so that the journey is less likely to be delayed, and also to reduce the time available to stress about the trip from when Sasha wakes up. As we prepared to leave, Sasha became more anxious. I wasn't at all sure that she would get in the car, even though she knew herself that she would be happy once we arrived where we were travelling to.
steph and her mum on sofa
The travel is most definitely not a highlight, but the beach views when we get there and family hugs are, of course.
sasha looking out over balcony at sunset
Over the course of a week we get to see high and low tides, and the most amazing sunsets. Time for me to see my parents and enjoy their company, but also time for us as a family of four to be away from the everyday stresses of being in your own house (laundry and cleaning predominantly!). Mr C and I enjoyed the peacefulness of a very long walk out to the sea:
view of the st annes on sea shore from a long way out
I took the girls to the small local cinema to watch newly released film Wonderpark. I love it there because it's so quiet. They have small screening rooms; there was only one other family with us that day, so not too much of a distraction for Sasha.
stephs two girls outside blackpool pleasure beach
We braved Blackpool Pleasure Beach on a slightly drizzly day and Sasha was delighted to be reunited with her favourite ride, Wallace and Gromit's Thrill-O-Matic. Our day consisted of about six trips on this and not much else; writing about the accessibility policy there and theme parks in general is still on my very long list of things to do....
two girls wearing wallace and gromit cheese hats
Apart from that day out, Sasha mostly stayed indoors at her grandparents' home and it was frustrating to see her struggle with her anxiety, wanting to go outside but not being able to bring herself to. We had a lovely walk on the beach with teen and she met some other wider family members (my cousin and family) but it was only on the last day of our week away when we made it out to the beach as a whole family of four for the first time.
teen on beach, pointing to Blackpool Tower
The end of the summer, back home in our own house, saw us having lots more fun in our own garden with the hot tub and water balloons, and teen went to her first ever football match at her Dad's club's stadium.
teen at Wolves football ground, in Molineux stadium
Then summer was finished off beautifully for me with some gifts sent from a collection made by a group who mean a lot to me -bloggers who all write about their children with SEND. The canvas below arrived at my house along with flowers and earrings as a complete surprise - a lovely reminder both of happy summer times and of the supportive group online who've been there a lot for each other over the past few years.
canvas showing family on windy beach

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. Nice to see the happy times. Also nice that Sasha wants to be with her cousins, and that her cousins be flexible and go to the second museum.


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