With the Scottish premiership Football league on a winter break at the moment, it means that Hubby and D are now not rushing out to see their beloved “Mighty Red Machine.” It’s quite nice to have the family together for some R & R as a group rather in splinter segments. It is such a rarity for there to be nobody having somewhere to go at any point of the weekend.
We decided to treat the boys as it was the first weekend after the return to school. They were asked earlier in the week what it was they wanted to do, and there was no hesitation from either of them when they asked to go swimming. The plan was made that Saturday morning we would head into the city to the beach leisure pool. The boys, well, no all of us, love this pool as there is a wave machine, and a rapids alley, as well as various shooting beams of water, and slides. One of the slides is included in the entrance cost, while the other more dramatic slides have an additional cost.
You would think the boys had never been swimming before by how excited they were. For D the excitement was that he wanted to wear his new wetsuit. I had got it for him as while he loves swimming and is very water confident, but he feels the cold and so doesn’t want to stay in the water long.
Saturday morning, they were ready to go about 8am! They pool isn’t open for public swimming until after 11! D loves the slide at the pool, but because it is closed in, M has always refused to go on it, so D spent the morning trying to talk him into it. By the time we got to the car, M said he might try it. I told him not to feel pressured, but if he wanted to do it, his Dad would go up with him – I’m too fat and wimpy to do those sorts of thing!
When we got there, parking is a nightmare, as it’s on the beach front, so no formal car park. Sometimes you can park and have a good long walk getting to the building – this is fine going but coming back it can be freezing with the sea breeze when you’ve got wet hair! We were lucky though and managed to get a spot not too far.
Because of the boys autism, it means Hubby and I get into the pool free as their carers. It does however, always confuse the staff on the reception desk, as they are never sure what to look for on the paperwork we have as proof and then unsure how to ring it through the till. We have got used to having to explain it all – I am sure we are not the only people using the facilities that have this problem!
Then the blow. The wave machine and rapids were not working, and the pool slide was not available. D was about to go into meltdown when the lady said that it meant they were not charging for the other slides for the day. This made D almost run to the changing rooms. He had always wanted to try the big slides but we had never been there at a time they were available. M point-blank said no to the big slides, and I think he was a little miffed having mentally prepared himself to go on the smaller one, but it gives him until the next time we go to do it because he wants to and not because his brother has talked him into it!
The boys who had their costumes on under their clothes were nagging for me to hurry up and get changed so they could get into the water – they are always really good waiting for us before they go in.
It was quite busy, but we were able to swim around. Hubby and D decided they were heading for the slides while, M and I stayed in the pool. A few minutes later, I saw D at the side of the pool in tears. He had hated the big slide because it was so fast and steep. I told him that he wouldn’t be made to go on it again, and that maybe when he was older he could try again. He looked genuinely scared. Hubby said almost as soon as you were in it was a sharp drop and your face was full of water so he understood why D didn’t like it. Needless to say he didn’t try the other 2 slides available. We did a lot of swimming and playing about.
We were in the pool for just over an hour. I think that’s long enough for them to enjoy it without getting too bored! D’s wetsuit seemed to do the trick and keep him warm, but he did have great difficulty getting it off when it was wet!! I don’t think he will be using it when he goes swimming with the school this term as I can’t imagine him getting help to peel it off him!!
After we left the pool, it was lunchtime, so we treated the boys by heading to KFC, somewhere we haven’t been for a very long time. One of M’s class mates came over to say hello to us. It was actually quite sad to see M not knowing how to interact with the lad, because he didn’t belong there – something we have had on many occasions when he encounters people somewhere he doesn’t usually see them, so in his mind the encounter was wrong.
We then headed home. M had done everything he had been told he would be doing, and so he needed to get back to the house. He had a lovely time out, but only to the point of doing things we had spoken about before we had left. We had completed the proposed outing so home we had to go.
We just chilled the rest of the day. It was really lovely to have spent some positive family time. Nobody fell out with anyone. The only negative was D not enjoying the slide, but he did soon get over it. I do wonder if we had such a lovely day because weekends can usually be busy going here there and everywhere.
Lets hope that 2017 will continue to include lovely family days like this.