Why Are We So Adultish?

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Last Sunday was potentially the best day ever on record.

I mean, if we ignore the fact that he told me to ‘go away’ when he first saw me. After that he was all hugs and kisses.

On the way to the swimming pool we played a real fun game: I pretend to put my hand in a holly bush and hurt myself and he grabs my hand and kisses it better. He thinks it is hilarious when I hurt myself. I try not to be offended.  And then we bowled into the swimming pool and pranced around and played chase and I pretended to be a shark and Sonny kept dunking my head under the water which was fun and also kind of dangerous because he had no concept of how long I could hold me breath for. I nearly drowned.

But it was worth it for the LOLs. We had all the LOLs.

When we were getting changed in the cubicles I could hear someone telling off a child for being silly, and they said, “Stop being so childish!” Meanwhile, in a changing room a few doors down, myself and Sonny were, instead of getting changed, emptied out a whole bottle of talcum powder with great force onto our heads and bodies. It got me thinking, why are we so quick to tell a child to stop being a child, yet we rarely tell another adult to stop being so adulty? As a society we respect adulthood far more than childhood.

  What I have grown to realise, is that adults are just children in disguise.

I feel conned by adulthood. Genuinely I feel like it is a hoax. When I was younger I used to think, “wow I can’t wait to be an adult! Look at them all, knowing about everything and being so wise and clever!”  And then you grow up and suddenly you are expected to be an adult. And you wish you were a kid again, putting mud in your hair or pretending to be a dog, instead of trying to get your head around interest rates and how best to remove a wine stain from the carpet.

So when did we all stop playing? And why? It is so fun. And so important, and the most efficient way to learn. And generally makes all involved very happy.

Sonny taught me that. He is really quite a good teacher, though I doubt he knows it.

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Two Front Teeth!

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He has two front teeth! I have known him three and a half years and he has never had front teeth and now he does! One is a bit longer than the other, but, if anyone can pull it off, Sonny can. He looks brilliant.

I took Sonny to soft play today (the classic) and had a blast.

We kept on having water breaks every 10 minutes. Soft play basically consists of me chasing Sonny pretending I am going to eat him. Oh and then when I do catch him I smell his feet. And he finds it absolutely hilarious and gets me to do the same smelly feet joke about 15 times in a row.

He spent a long time lying down putting his hands in my eyes/up my nose/ round my mouth.

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After soft play we found some escalators and spent about half an hour on those. Sonny loves repeating things over and over again, and still seems to get the same enjoyment from the 100th time as he did the first.

Not so much for me. So I started to pretend I was scared of heights and every time we were going up he had to help me. He did the first time, then found it was way more hilarious to try and push me over the side.

Walking home he kept saying, ‘racing…on your marks, get set, GO!’ He won every time.

Anyway we laughed loads. And looked at our teeth a lot.

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Cheap Fun Is Good Fun

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Sonny is a man of simple pleasures.

I have noticed he finds happiness in the smallest or strangest of things.

Recently, he has been asking to go into supermarkets. (Click here to see) When we go in he makes a bee line for the DVD section. We can spend a good 20 minutes in there. He walks up and down the aisles reallllyyyy slowly. Maybe one will take his fancy. He will pick it up, look at it for about a minute and then put it on the floor. And carry on in the same manner. Eventually he chooses something fairly inappropriate (he loves a film rated 15 apparently) and gives it to me. I usually have to employ some distraction tactics to move him on without getting upset he hasn’t managed to take Prometheus home. We then mince on over to the fruit and veg section, where we talk about the colour of grapes, bananas, apples etc.

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Last Sunday we ended up spending about half an hour sitting in a park getting very involved with a pack of balloons (click here) I had in my bag, along with various toys from Macdonald’s happy meals, bubble wrap, hand sanitizer, random bits of fluff, you know, the usual stuff a girl in her mid twenties carries with her. He said all the colours (confused between pink and red, but whatevs) and then tried to blow up all 4 balloons at the same time.

Every time I see Sonny I have some activity or outing planned, like a city farm/soft play etc, but sometimes he likes staring at DVDs. Sometimes he likes watching the taps run in the toilets. Sometimes he likes lying on the floor with his head in his hands.

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Horseplay On Hampstead Heath!

Sonny and I went for a lovely day in the sun last Sunday, and played for a very long time! We ended up lying on the floor playing games. Had the best day!

This video is dedicated to the lovely and wonderful Elizna Krog (a VERY amazing special needs teacher and dear friend who I learned ALOT from.) She came to visit me at Victoria Station today where I was raising money for the National Autistic Society for World Autism Awareness Day.

I am running the London Marathon for the National Autistic Society in two weeks time! Working with Sonny is proving to be all the training I need at the moment! The link is below.

https://www.justgiving.com/Melanthe-Grand1/

Happy Autism Awareness Day to all. xxx

With Love Comes Worry

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‘WOOOWWW’ Sonny said when we walked into the HUGE soft play centre I had chosen to go to.

It had a massive climbing frame in the middle,a bumper car area and a tea cup ride. And it was absolutely heaving.

Sonny was obviously in heaven and wanted to get involved as soon as poss, whereas I was feeling a rising sense of panic about the whole situation…because it was such a big place and it was so busy I was a bit nervy.

I explained to him that he had to be slow, and not run off because I needed to make sure he was safe. Which he didn’t really understand. And then I thought that is really unfair because of course he wants to run around and explore without holding my hand the whole time. So basically I had to just keep up with him.

Which was a challenge. He is surprisingly fast.

And unfortunately these soft play areas are not made for adult sized humans. Trying to shove my body through two huge rolling barrels, crawling through tiny tunnels, clambering over things and scrambling around in a ball pit without knocking out any small children who happen to be in the way is a challenge in itself, let alone when I have to do all this at Sonny’s pace so that he doesn’t leave my eyesight.

It was not a pretty sight. However it was a very good work out!

This reminded me of when I was younger getting annoyed at my mum being really panicked when we would go anywhere, ‘Only go where I can see you kids, I mean it!’

Only now can I appreciate her terror when she would take my brother and I out…If she couldn’t see us for more than 20 seconds she would pretty much be in tears and on the verge of a nervous breakdown/shouting our names at the top of her voice/calling the police. (To be fair, she still hasn’t got over it, at the ripe old age of 24  I can still induce a cardiac arrest if I don’t answer the phone to her. She automatically goes straight to the worst case scenario and thinks I must have fallen in a ditch or got run over by a bus and died.)

But now I can totally relate to that feeling, not that Sonny ever left my sight, but even just the thought of it was enough to make me petrified! Sonny is known in his family as Bear Grylls because of his lack of fear..he has not concept of danger, which is quite normal for children with autism, I worry about his safety a lot!

So apologies mum, for all those stressful moments we put you through!

It made me realise that it is so important for us to allow children to explore and play as they wish to, without restricting them too much because of adult worry. To adapt to Sonny’s world by thinking, ‘right I am just going to have to keep up with him’ instead of spending the whole time trying to get him to adapt and to tell him to slow down meant that he could play freely and safely with me.

Sonny LOVED this thing and was playing with it for AGES…click here to see him flapping (he does this alot, when he likes something.)

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Click here to see us on a slide (we went down it about 46 times)

Click here to see Sonny on a tea cup ride! (apologies for my shrill laughter)

Sonny practiced his driving skills on the bumper cars!

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Aaand this was when I knew it was home time!

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Bikini Gate

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I didn’t get to see my man this weekend, because he has a cold (sad). So I thought I would write about a terrible but hilarious event that happened last summer while working with Sonny.  Having to relive the mortifying experience by blogging about it is going to be traumatic to say the least, but I feel compelled to share.

So Sonny absolutely loves swimming.(Here he is saying swimming pool!) He could stay in the pool for hours and hours, and only comes out of the pool if I coax him out with the promise of a Macdonalds after.  Quite simply he cannot get enough of it. I on the other hand am less of a fan, but we go often because he gets so much out of it.

We have been to this one pool a lot, it has a wave machine and some water fountains. Anyway, I usually swim in a bikini with a t-shirt over it, and that has been absolutely fine, however today the lifeguard blew his whistle and told me that I couldn’t wear the t-shirt, as it messes with the chlorine levels in the pool. I said I have worn a t-shirt in the pool before but he wasn’t having it. I was annoyed but took it off anyway, unaware of the DIAR consequences which were about to follow.

The bikini I was wearing happened to be one that ties up at the back. I had not double knotted.

Sonny and I were having a great time, he was on my back and I was pretending to nearly drop him, so we were laughing and playing and generally loving life. I then looked back at him over my shoulder (bear in mind I had no use of my hands as they were holding him up) he was looking at the knots on the bikini. In that moment I realised my fatal error. ‘SONNY NO, DON’T TOUCH THOSE….NOOO AHHHHHHH’ It was too late. In one swift movement he had not only undone the top knot of the bikini but also the bottom one. At the same time. The bikini top fell into the pool and Sonny bolted, leaving me topless and hopeless. The water came up to my thighs. There were a LOT of people there to witness this horrific event. It didn’t help that I shrieked in horror, thus attracting more attention to ourselves. I obviously ducked down as quickly as I could into the water and retrieved said bikini top.

Sonny was practically doubled over laughing. I was still topless trying to regain some sort of dignity as he was cracking up. I then had the struggle and embarrassment of trying to do up the bikini on my own, whilst making sure Sonny didn’t swim away and cause more carnage in his wake!

Note to self: buy appropriate swimwear.