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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Sonny Knows The Alphabet!

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Sonny had one of his best days ever today! I think because we hadn’t seen each other for two weeks he was looking forward to going out more than usual!

He gave me loads of hugs and kisses all day, and even when I said, ‘Sonny we are just going to pop into the shop to get some water before we get on the train’ which usually would stress him out, he was so casual and calm about it, and helped me give the money to the man at the till.

Sonny played a game in the soft play centre, getting the balls from the ball pit up to the top of the slide, then watching the balls go down the slide and then repeating this process about 20 times. (A woman who worked there told him off for moving all the balls, but I spoke to her and said as he isn’t bothering anyone, and getting a huge amount of joy from his game, would it be ok if he carried on?! She was fine about it once she found out he has autism.) It was really funny watching him trying to climb up ladders with his hands full!

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Then he surprised me by showing me he could say the alphabet! (Click here to see.) Well, he needs a bit more practice, but it is a good start! My favourite bit is when he says ‘W’. He just bowled over to the alphabet puzzle and said it without being prompted or asked to…I was so chuffed that I had my phone on me to video it because I asked him to do it again afterwards and he straight up refused.

Anyway, I was really proud of him today. he played really nicely with the other children in the soft play centre too,  and considering it was really noisy and busy he did well not to get stressed.

YES SONNY.

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‘I’m Sorry!’ ‘No, I’m Sorry!’

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As it is half term I have been taking Sonny out during the week, so yesterday we went to a soft play centre in Kentish Town and then went for a (very long) walk up to Primrose Hill and through Camden Town.

He was being so chatty!

When we were walking up the hill (very slowly) he was saying ‘up, up, up!’ and when we were up on the top of the Hill Sonny said ‘cold’ and did the sign for it. And then when we were walking back down the hill he stopped to point and count 6 big buildings that he could see! (Click here to see a vid.)

In soft play we invented a new a game that involved me pretending to fall asleep and snore really loudly and then scare the living day lights out of him. (Click here to watch!) He then started to walk up to me (while I was fake sleeping) and shout ‘boo!’ in my ear! The game came to an abrupt end though when he took a running two-footed jump onto my tummy. I was pretty sure he cracked a rib, but I was just winded. Had to have 5 minutes break while I regained my breath and composure.

Apart from said injury and a minor fall out about which direction the bus stop was (turned out he was actually right. When I tried to apologise to him and say, ‘I’m sorry,’ he  kept on repeating it back to me saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ ‘No Sonny I am sorry, not you, I am sorry, I was wrong!’ I said. I am not sure he understood because he replied again with, ‘I’m sorry.’ And so on. If only all men were so quick to apologise!) we had  a lovely day and it didn’t rain! Win.

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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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Soft Play on a Rainy Day

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Sonny was in such a good mood when I told him we were going to soft play (which is basically an indoor climbing/play area). Despite the rain and gale force winds, we set off to the bus stop in high spirits. Until I took us on the wrong bus. Going in the wrong direction.

Good start.

When we finally got back on track, we had to change buses. It just so happened we walked past a Macdonalds. Sonny tugged at my arm and pointed and said ‘Macdodods!’ I said, ‘yes Sonny lets get a macdonalds then before we go to soft play.’ We get to the front door, him excited about some fish fingers and me about getting a coffee. And just our luck it was closed because of a power cut.

WOW.

It was traumatic. Shoes were off. A fruit shoot bottle was thrown (thankfully not injuring anyone). Did I mention it was raining?  Oh and a random passer by thought that it was an appropriate time to approach me and ask where my bag was from.

When he has a meltdown like this I try to explain as much as I can, and tell him what is going to happen next ‘Sonny I know its really confusing because I said we could have a Macdonalds and now we can’t, and that must be difficult for you and you seem very cross, and I am sorry! Let’s put your shoes back on and get on another bus to the soft play centre.’ And then, luckily, my distraction tactics worked a treat: I made him laugh by pretending to hit my head on a lamppost.

After our minor blip we had an absolute blast in soft play. I sometimes think I enjoy it more than him! It basically involves a lot of me chasing after him and then catching him, tickling him until he is blue in the face, and then letting him run off again. I was pretending to be a hungry monster wanting to eat him for dinner. Which he finds absolutely hilarious.Making him laugh is honestly one of my greatest pleasures in life!

He did some really good talking and signing too! Click here to see! He has only really started to talk in the last six months or so, I’m so proud!

Even though Sonny got upset about the Macdonalds saga, we still managed to have a really fun day. It just goes to show that no matter how prepared you are, there are some things out of our control: sometimes Macdonalds will be shut and sometimes it will be raining. But we were able to recover from that moment, and adapt to the situation. Being resilient in the face of a set back isn’t always easy, but we managed to put it behind us and enjoy the rest of the day together.

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Sonny and I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!