School holidays… that time where, despite good intentions, parents are to be found sobbing into something alcoholic by the end of day three.
There are lots of amazing blog posts doing the rounds with pictures of crafting sessions and fun times but just out of camera shot, you can bet there’s a bottle of Gordons and a family size bar of Dairy Milk stashed in the cleaning cupboard next to the Cillit Bang.
Activities with S are limited because of his sensory and social problems. We have a lovely big park within a short distance but I’m still recovering from last Sunday’s trip where S had the mother of all meltdowns. ‘Damien’ was firing on all cylinders. Needless to say, it will be a few weeks before we’re allowed back by the fur hat and Hunter welly brigade. We soooooo lowered the tone. Oops.
There are woods nearby to where we live and it was a nice day yesterday, so I decided to take him for a walk in his wellies.
Walks have to be planned like a military exercise. I gave him warning using now and then prompts and I made sure I had plenty of things that he likes, technical word is incentives – commonly known as bribes.
Whenever we go for a walk, I have a bag of sensory objects, food, drink and his beloved numbers. We can’t go anywhere without his pockets bulging with numbers…
I love trees. I love how their roots splay across the ground, gnarled and twisted- like an old woman’s feet. Yet there is beauty to them and the knowledge that this big ol’ tree, it’s bark tattooed with declarations of love, was once a tiny seedling.
These roots say, ‘I’ve been here for decades, I’ve seen some stuff y’know? so think about that before you shove your used condoms and beer cans in my hollows!’
Nature fascinates me. It brings something different to the table with each season. You could set your camera up on the same spot yet end up with hundreds of different images.
We should have more respect for Mother Nature, she’s amazing.
I’m not exactly into hugging trees but there is a special energy about them. I love lying down on the floor of woodland or a forest and gazing up at the branches… having carried out a poo inspection first. Obvs.
It’s so peaceful to gaze up into the sky..
Peaceful, that is, until some livid dog owner spoils it all by screeching “RAMBONE!, FFING COME BACK HERE, NOOOOOOOOW!!!!”
Rambone will most likely be found trawling through a bag of rotting food or rolling in fox shit.
I asked S to find things for me to photograph. Interestingly, all his suggestions were at floor level so I encouraged him to look up and around as well as down. He liked the colour of these leaves. After autumn’s explosion of colour, winter can be bare while it waits for spring to bring it to life. But there is colour and interest to be found even in the middle of winter.
The ignorant of the species strike again. Why do people do this? They have no regard for where they live or the wildlife that they are endangering by leaving their rubbish about. Idiots.
Kids love sticks, right? So I asked S to go and find a stick while I took a breather on a mossy boulder. I watched him as he zipped in and out of the trees looking for one that took his interest.
He came staggering back with what looked like a small tree so I suggested that he downsize a little and eventually, he came back with this one.
He carried it all the way home and I had to keep explaining why he couldn’t poke it through people’s letterboxes…
S doesn’t like the feel of paint or glue on his fingers but he will happily play with a dirty stick. That’s autism for you. Unpredictable.
It wasn’t a long walk and we were only gone for about an hour but it was a thoroughly enjoyable hour. I felt relaxed because there were no people about. It didn’t matter if he had a meltdown. Most everything else we do is stressful because it involves stimulus that S struggles to cope with and more often than not, people. In that one hour, there was nobody there but us. Bliss.
There are plenty of things that you can do with your children for free. You don’t have to spend money to have fun.
Here’s hoping that you made it through the week in one piece.
Next stop, Easter.