A pretty good weekend

We’ve had a good weekend so far. Saturday I took Bridie and Bill to a party so Bethie stayed home with Paul. He usually does sailing on Saturdays but it was too windy to go which was a big help to me. The party was at one of those big slide places which Beth will either not go up or will get to the top and change her mind. It was good not to have to take her with me.

Yesterday (Sunday) was Anzac Day. We had a tribute to Anzac Day at assembly on Friday which always brings me to tears. The grade 5’s did a rendition of He’s My Brother at the front of assembly along with pictures projected onto a wall. It was so moving, as too was the bugle being played by Michaela’s husband Paul. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. Today is the public holiday in lieu of Anzac Day so Paul has gone sailing and I’ve declared it pyjama day for the kids.

On Sunday we went to the new adventure park in Belgrave. Wow, it was fabulous. It’s like a big treetop obstacle course with courses ranging in age appropriateness and difficulty. It just opened this week so we invited Amanda, Geoff, Lachlan, Guy and Will along. The youngest had to be 5 so we just got in as Bridie and Will are both 5. It’s run by some rather handsome french men who are like monkeys as they go through the courses saving the kids if they are left hanging. They probably would have saved the mums too but not with such grace!

Firstly we all had to get a harness on, and helmets and gloves. Each obstacle course has 7 or 8 different things to do on it, ranging from flying foxes to wobbly bridges and you are clipped on to the ropes that surround them. They are about 2 or 3 metres off the ground for the easiest course so it’s quite scary when you start off. I had in my mind that the beginners one wouldn’t be too far off the ground at all but I was wrong. I was so proud of Bridie and Bill as it was so high up for them but they managed to do it. Bridie got a little teary but worked through it and was so proud of herself. Bill was quite scared by one bit too but he loved it and wanted to do the older kids courses too.  A couple of times on the flying fox the kids would get all the way then slide back to the middle. The staff were there in a jiffy to save them. Bridie cottoned on to this after the first time and, although she could make it to the end, the second time around she let go so she could be rescued! (Don’t know where she gets it from.) Beth unfortunately climbed up at the first bit and changed her mind so Paul and I had to take it in turns to be on the ground with her and in the trees with the others. She spent most of this time whinging that she wanted to go home or go to the toilet or anything else to get her out of doing what we were. It was such a shame as she does this sometimes and I feel like shaking her to tell her that we’re trying to do something nice as a family, hoping that she’d enjoy it. She was really argumentative too. Paul must have told her to shut up at some stage as I heard her wailing “no, open down Beth, open down!” Oh well, at least she knows her opposites!

The central station looked like the house from Swiss Family Robinson as Amanda pointed out. They have done such a good job as there were round platforms to land on with steps. While we were on the lower ones I saw Amanda and Lachlan whizzing by above us. It was a real island paradise in the forests of Belgrave. Amanda and I decided that it would make a great mums day out so we’re going to organise it as a HAGS fundraiser. I think I’m quite an adrenaline junkie!

Afterwards we went to Flippin’ Pancakes in Sassafras for afternoon tea / early dinner. All in all it was a good day. I would have hated not to have taken Beth with us as if she’d tried it she probably would have actually loved it. Now I would be ok with taking the other kids because at least we could give her a choice and she’d know what she was saying no to. I think it’s important to try them with everything that you can and they are very accomodating with special needs kids. On the other end of the scale, Lachlan seemed to have found something that he absolutely loved so of course it can go both ways.

About Sarah

Mother of an autistic child wanting to write about my personal experiences
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