Tag Archives: children

Magic Moments

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When on holiday our evenings usually follow a very set pattern. We go to the early character shows, which while billed as for the younger kids are still loved by my boys. We then spend too much money in the arcade before getting a take away which we return to the caravan to eat. However for just one evening we were allowed to change this routine. During one of the entertainment sessions during the day, M heard the announcement that during the evening there would be a magician performing. M has always been fascinated whenever we have seen magic shows in the past, and so was desperate to go. D wasn’t so keen, but agreed we would go, after a lot of huffing and puffing. We therefore decided, if we had our tea after the early show, we could be back in time for the magician. Of course, once they had eaten, they couldn’t be bothered to return to the entertainment complex. After much thinking about it, they decided they did want to return.

The show was scheduled to begin at 9:15pm, so it was going to be a later night for them to be entertained – evenings on holiday are always late ones, but they are usually slobbing back at the caravan by this time. The show bar was heaving from the entertainment for the older children, so there weren’t any available tables, so we bided our time, and were lucky to pounce on one right on the edge of the dance floor when somebody moved. The boys sat looking apprehensive with their ear defenders firmly in place – probably one of the best purchases ever made as they make so many things less difficult for the boys.

Then the lights went down and the music started.

M was in fits of laughter almost instantly as the sound track made it seem as if the magician was still in the loo!!!! The magician was Martin James – http://www.martynjames.com/ His show was a mixture of comedy and magic. Both boys were totally captivated, and I honestly believe if the show had lasted any longer, M would have had tears rolling down his face as he was laughing so hard. Some of the humour was a little naughtier, but it seemed to go over all of the kids heads, but had the parents chuckling!

One of the sections of the show included him lighting his finger, and pushing the glowing embers through his ears, into his mouth and retrieving it from his bum! M was totally sucked into the magic. What was even better was that at the end he showed the kids how it was done – it didn’t take away from the wonder seeing the thumb light he used to do the illusion. Better yet was that the kids were able to purchase the lights after the show. M of course was desperate for them, and has entertained us with his version of the act since.

D doesn’t believe in magic. He will tell you there is no such thing, which I do find a little sad. I think the wonders of life and the world is totally magical if you allow it to be, but his logic says there is an explanation for everything. That said, he was sucked into the whole entertainment of the show, he laughed and gasped at the same places we all did, and gave a huge cheer at the end. He may not believe in the magic, but he certainly suspended his logic while the show was on.     Live theatre is so much more engaging than television that I think it draws you in so much more.

M loved it. He laughed from start to finish. Seeing M laugh is a lovely thing because he totally lights up, and has the most contagious laugh imaginable. What is better, is that it is one of the thing we were told he wasn’t likely to do naturally – we were told he may learn to copy others who were laughing but not to expect him to initiate it. However, when the smile touches the eyes, and the chuckle comes from the mouth, it makes you pleased that the so called experts don’t know everything as each of our children is capable of the most amazing things.

We might say time with our kids teaches us the magic of the world every day.

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Preparing for hols.

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Tomorrow we head away for our Easter break. We are going to Haggerston Castle again, having been there a couple of times before – https://jas2jar.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/haggerston-castle/. It is a Haven holiday park, so there is plenty to do there, but being a smaller site, it isn’t too busy for the boys. Like many things with our ASD boys, you do something once, and it is scary and there is great resistance to doing it, but do something a second time, and it becomes the norm, and therefore what we must do. Haggerston has therefore become what we do at Easter and during the October holidays, although we do also go to Haven in the summer – last year we went to Primrose Valley near Scarborough, and to be honest the site was too big for the boys. Being bigger, it was much busier with far more people, and they therefore struggled to cope with the shows and group activities. We learned our lesson and have opted for a smaller site for the summer this year, and are heading to the Lake district, a part of the world that both Hubby and I love!

The boys are half way through their Easter break from school – they go back to school on Easter Monday, but don’t get me started on how terrible I think that is, and we have kept busy this week. It is a fine line we walk between giving them the freedom to chill and enjoy their down time, but keep them mentally and physically occupied so they don’t become too frustrated with the lack of routine. We have therefore had something planned everyday so they have had something to fill their time, but they have also had plenty of time for going on the trampoline, seeing their friends – well D’s friends that M attached himself to, and just slobbing in front of their video games! I think for once we have pretty much managed to keep them on a fairly even keel most of the time!

Today though is another story. It is the day before we go away. We have written lists during the week, jobs that needed doing, things to pack, etc, and today we executed them. The problem is what to do once everything is organised! Everyone has been brilliant doing their share of the preparations, and the car is packed waiting to head off first thing tomorrow morning – we like to head off in time to get as far as Edinburgh for a breakfast at IKEA – another thing that the boys see as a normal part of the holiday! The boys have had their hair cut – all three of them. M moaned and groaned the whole time, but looks really smart when I take the shaggy bits from around his ears – he really hates having his hair cut which is why we had to give up taking him to the hairdressers, and I learned to cut a straight line, luckily his poker straight hair works really well in a bob!!! He had his lollipop as a reward once it was done! Finger nails have been cut. We even have about a hundred cuddly buddies checked and double checked waiting to go away with us.

But what to do with the rest of the day?

D and Hubby watched the footie – not the result they wanted and so Hubby is now in a foul mood. M is pacing. It wont make time go faster but it helps him. There is too much nervous energy going on to sit nicely and watch a movie, and the sky looks like it could open up at any moment so playing out wont last long.

I do wonder how I used to cope, because I was one of these people who would pack weeks in advance so as to make sure everything was ready, but now leaving it all – well as much as possible, to the last-minute makes life so much easier – I do write my lists so I feel I am getting organised though.

I just hope this year the Funstars – what Haven call the entertainment staff, are as brilliant as last year.    While I think in an operation like a holiday camp everyone is equally important from the garden and the laundry room worker to security, and management, it is the entertainment staff that are the face of the company.     They are the people the kids latch on to, and happy kids means happy parents and therefore a happy holiday.    The boys do enjoy a lot of the activities that are organised for the children so they need a person they can relate to.

The boys are excited at the prospect of swimming every day – but trying to get them into the pool when not on holiday is so difficult, and of course spending their saving in the games machine arcade – they go for the machines that spew out tokens, and then they cash them in at the end of the week – last year they did brilliantly and came away with a lot of quite nice booty – they could probably buy the things for a lot less, but the winning the tokens and cashing them in is an important part of their holiday!

Fingers crossed the weather isn’t too bad for although we aren’t outside much its going from caravan to entertainment centre that could get us soaked.

Maybe today I could just send the boys to bed early, very, very, early!!!!!

Lunch Playdate.

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M is growing in confidence. There is no denying he is at last beginning to feel more confident with some people. Now, I’m not saying he’s able to hold a conversation with somebody he doesn’t know, but he can now make occasional eye contact with people he sees me with on a regular basis – I am talking about the Mums, and Grandmas we see at the school. There are a chosen few, that I talk to regularly that he is at last coming out of his shell with, and it is beautiful to see. One in particular, he has been happy enough to walk home with, and even stop into her house. It is a major leap forward in his development. One that being honest we were wondering if would ever happen!

A few weeks ago, the Mum of one of D’s friends suggested her son and his chums had a boys night at her house – tea and playing. D was very excited at the prospect. M looked put out, and as usual we explained to him that when D gets an invitation, it doesn’t always include him – he sometimes gets quite upset when not being included on party invitations, which is why for D’s impending party I have made sure siblings have been invited. He wasn’t having that, he knew the boy to speak to and his Mum was in his circle of adults he was learning to trust, but it still came as an amazing shock when he out right asked her if he could go too!!! I was horrified that he could be so forward as to invite himself, but my over-riding feeling was one of great pride that he had wanted something that he knew was attainable and just went for it. He had spoken to an adult unsupervised, and it was wonderful to see. The Mum said he could go, and hadn’t invited him as she wasn’t sure he would cope – they only live at the other end of our street, so I said if he was finding it difficult, just send him home! They both had a lovely time, and came home well fed!

My boys then asked if they could have some friends over during the holidays. Of course they could. To be honest, I would rather people came here to play as it give M the freedom to have a familiar safe spot if it gets too much for him, and therefore we pretty much have always had an open door policy for kids popping in – I do however have to know their Mums before I let them in as I don’t want any trouble!

The boys though didn’t just want a playdate, they wanted a play day! They invited four – 3 boys and 1 girl,  of D’s chums – M is more comfortable with them than his own peers, and their Mums/Grandmas – I thought if they are going to wreck the house I at least want a gossip and a coffee!! The boys then went ahead with planning the day! Everyone was to come over midmorning so they could play before having lunch – lunch was going to be pizza, and then they could play again afterwards! It sounded a perfect plan. I suggested that if we made dough then everyone could make their own pizzas. The boys like the idea.

I then threw a spanner in the works, and said they had to tidy their bedroom and the toy shelves if they wanted visitors!!! After much grumbling, they did it, and did a brilliant job of it on Monday.

Yesterday morning, I was in the kitchen making the dough – I had to make different sorts as D’s best friend has wheat and milk allergies, so I am learning how to adapt recipes, and I heard the cleaner going. I thought Old Person was putting it round – I know hard to believe, but no, M had decided he should clean before his guests arrived, and D had the polish and was cleaning the table! I should definitely invite people over more often if it gets this response from them!

The day was great fun, and all the kids were so well-behaved.   The pizzas all looked lovely, and were consumed with gusto.      Luckily the weather was good, so they were in and out to the trampoline as well as the little play area just out of our back garden.    Much time was also spent playing The Lego Movie Video game, and they all agreed it was awesome!

The house was a bomb site after they left, but no more than it is usually with my two, and it was just toys that needed putting away, and nothing more disastrous!

The boys were good hosts, and played nicely letting others play with their stuff – M has sometimes in the past had to be told to let others use his toys, but not today.       I think the only time I had to raise my voice during the day was when they were all at the dining table eating, you’d have thought they were each a mile apart that they had to scream a conversation!!!

My boys of course want to do it again, and will definitely during the next holidays.       I am very proud of how well they behaved, not just with the children, but with the adults, as M was very gracious when complimented on the flapjacks he had made!

It is lovely to see the hard work of teaching social skills does sometimes pay off.     D was overwhelmed by everything from the day, and I do think it was possibly sensory overload for him, as he spent an hour sobbing his heart out in the evening, for no apparent reason.   I think he just needed to release all the controlled emotion from the day, and crying is a lot safer than his usual thrashing and screaming.       He was asleep within minutes when he settled down, and hopefully had sweet dreams about his successful day.