Tuesday, 25 August 2009

What is normal anyway?

Since the naming ceremony things have been starting to return to normal. Next week the kids go back to school and life will be back to normal. Not that anything in this house is ever really normal. And if it was I'd be totally bored.

Yesterday we took the 3 youngest kids to Cheeky Monkeys in Newry. How did we manage to get Barney out of the house? Well, we just asked him if he'd like to go anywhere. And that was his choice. But it only took him a millisecond to decide exactly who would be going in his head. I immediately told him that we were all going (minus Jimmie) but he had already imagined that it would be only him and his Dad. So panic ensued within seconds. I had learnt my lesson about making sure he knew exactly what the plan was, but it seems that if the image of what will happen has been in his head for even a moment, then anything that differs from that is a change of plan that he can’t cope with.

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Anyway, we made it to Cheeky Monkeys. I asked if Barneys big sister Tarja could go around the soft play area with him, despite her being too tall for their height restrictions. The lady was about to say ‘no’, when I said to her ‘it’s just that he is autistic and gets a bit panicky if he is alone in these places’. She immediately said ‘yes that’s fine’ and didn’t even charge for Tarja. It felt weird saying that he is autistic. I’ve never had to say that before and I felt like a bit of a con artist for some reason.

A good time was had by all. Barney totally wore Tarja out, dragging her everywhere at full speed. The problem was the she couldn’t stand upright inside the play area, so had to run at his speed whilst stooped down! Rosie enjoyed looking at all the bright colours and screaming children, whilst we fed her lunch to her. Everything was going swimmingly until Barney sprained his ankle. A member of staff helped him down to us. The problem wasn’t so much that he had sprained his ankle, but that he expected an ice pack for it. I couldn’t work out why he was so adamant about getting an ice pack until he explained that when he hurt himself at school an ice pack was provided for his nose; and when he hurt himself at the igloo soft play area an ice pack was supplied. So Barney was expecting an ice pack for his wounds. And nothing was going to make him stop shouting until he got one. Once again he expected something to happen a certain way and couldn’t cope when it didn’t. We carried him out to the car and he got home without any serious injuries.

Today I spent half the day making more baby food for Rosie. The last batch had run out, and she’s eating lumpier foods these days. Barney wanted to help, and so he peeled onions, carrots and potatoes for me. I made such a fuss of him for helping. What a great big brother. We made a huge batch of cauliflower cheese with pasta, roast chicken dinner, tomato and veggie stir fry with rice, and bacon and lentil stew. That should keep her going for a while!


We really want to go out tomorrow as a family, but Barney is not keen on it. He wants to go to somewhere that is within Banbridge, so that he doesn’t have to spend so long in the car. The trouble is that there is nothing to do here! I’ve suggested the aquarium and various places but they all involve an unwanted car journey.

Here are a few little piccies that Marty took today. He took little Rosie out for a drive and stopped to feed the swans…

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