At the weekend we decided to have a family day out. We decided to encourage M to get out of the house we needed to plan to do something he would really enjoy. The decision was made to go down to Dundee for a visit to the Science centre – http://www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk/, as both boys love the science centre in Aberdeen.
We took the train down, which made the travel part of the day out. It is only a 45 minutes journey, but after just one stop, we were getting “is this our stop?” Goodness knows how they would cope with a longer journey!
Dundee train station is under going a major refurb at the moment, so the area was a total mess – I am sure it will be lovely when it is finished, as it is all part of the new V &A museum being built across the road from it. It is a five minutes walk to the science centre, and luckily it stayed dry!
The first thing we saw when we arrived was one of the Oor Willie statues – http://www.oorwulliebuckettrail.com/ – Hubby was super excited by this as he his a huge fan of the comic strip. All three of them insisted on having their photos taken sitting on the bucket next to him.
The centre had an exhibition about forensics. It was brilliant. The boys got their finger prints taken by a police man. They found out about forensic archology, getting to dig up bones and then identify them – they were ones purposely buried for the kids to dig up, or I hope they were any way!!!!!
The best exhibit in my opinion was a mind controlled game. The player had a headband with sensors put on and there is a magnetised ball and by relaxing you push the ball to the other player. The most relaxed person wins. The boys sat for ages in quite a stand-off, before M managed a push towards D and won. The guy manning the exhibit did asked if they were usually so relaxed, and when I said as an aspie, it was usually impossible for D to sit still let alone relax, he laughed and said he was also aspergers so he understood that one!!! Hubby and I played off against each other, and Hubby trashed me, which just proves he is used to sitting down and doing nothing, while my brain is constantly on the go!! The boys seemed to love the robot area. There were sensor robots that they had to trick, and we spent ages while the boys tried to out think the machines, and were both over the moon when they finally managed it.
We had a really pleasant snack lunch in the centre before heading into Dundee city centre which was a short walk away.
The boys did plenty more OOr Wullie spotting – Hubby has said he wants to go back to find some more! At some of the statues it was a waiting game while the crowd took their turns to get photos taken. We then went to see the Desperate Dan statue.
We told D that this was who we had names him after, and it took him a while to work out we were joking with him!!
The whole time we were walking around the city, M was holding my hand which is something even when he was little he used to refuse to do. I think it was his way of getting reassurance that being out was not a totally scary experience. It was a lovely thing, despite me knowing there was an ulterior motive behind his actions.
The boys asked if we could get some munchies for the train home, and so we bought a box of doughnuts in the shopping centre. I was really impressed with the boys though as there was a stall from a local fruit farm, and the boys asked, or rather begged me to let them get some strawberries and raspberries. We sat on the wall outside and rather than diving into the doughnuts, they demolished the strawberries – I only got 2, and Hubby doesn’t like them! While we were sat there, M wrapped his arms around me, and told me what a great day he had had. It was lovely to see and hear.
We wandered back to the train station, only stopping to see one more Wullie on the way.
The train was crowded but we got seats. The boys had a doughnut each and then took the raspberries, leaving one in the punnet for Granny!
We decided to pick up fish and chips for tea on the way home and so stopped at the award-winning The Bay – http://thebayfishandchips.co.uk/menu/ While Hubby got in the huge queue – it is so good that it is worth waiting for, the boys wanted to go into the sweetie shop next door to get something to say thank you to Granny as she had given them some money to get something at the Science Centre – sometimes they can both be so lovely without even trying! It was a lovely tea.
The boys went to bed totally shattered after a lot of walking around and fresh air. M told me several more times how much he had enjoyed the day. I think a day in a different surrounding did us all the power of good. It was a lovely day.
I do think M had a little difficulty processing everything he had done and seen during the day, as the following morning he was totally withdrawn, refusing any company. Getting him to go out was a step we had to do, but we know how hard it was for him. We will continue to encourage him to get back into the world, but doing it a little at a time will hopefully mean he is able to build on each time until it no longer becomes an issue for him.