Thursday, January 26, 2006

En Francais

Yesterday we went to France for the day, with our two eldest boys. Ds2 was 8, and the day out was a celebration.

We took the ferry over, and headed straight for the supermarket. Mum and Dad having got the boring bit out of the way, the kids took us into McDonalds. Yes, that place again! Though to be fair, even we eat at the golden arches in France as the menu is much more varied that in the UK. The boys struck up a friendship with some children in the indoor play area, their French allowing them at least to introduce themselves and then the universal language of play took over.

During the course of the day we covered some amazing topics for learning. We discussed languages, politics, overcrowding in China and the one-child policy, national determination, freight movement, taxes, import and export, and many more. I told the boys they have certainly exceeded their two hour target for the day!

From there, we went onto the Cite d'Europe and straight into the French Toys R Us.

We were there for an hour!

Poor ds2 ended up on overload. Being in a toy shop - one as large and with such a fabulous range as that one - and being able to chose what he wanted, was just too much. On reflection, the whole day as we had it planned was completely the opposite of an ideal day for a child with Aspergers. We had to cope with 2 meltdowns, one over the toys and one over what to eat for dinner.

It was such a pity that we had tried to give him such a fabulous day, but really hadn't put ourselves properly in his shoes.

Anyway, we did all actually manage to have a great day. We treated them to half an hour in the arcade, going on all the rides, including the bumper cars twice. That is something that they have never been allowed to do before so they thought that was fabulous.

The blessing sometimes of an Aspie is that they are 100% present so barely five minutes after his meltdown, as he sat down to a beautiful pizza that he had just watched being made and cooked, he announced that it was the best day of his life.

The final battle came when the return ferry was nearly an hour late in leaving. We kept the children amused by being very crazy, to the point that the people in the surrounding cars in the queue were pointing at us and all enjoying the show. All we were doing was singing very loudly, and being silly!

My 3 year old, who had been with Nanny for the day, fortunately slept through the night so I managed a little lie in this morning to make up for not getting into bed until 11.30pm.

Today the boys have all played together with the new toys, which were consisted of Darth Vadar dressing up set, Power Ranger accessories, two hot wheels car sets, and some Mega Blocks.

In the afternoon, some friends came round and stayed for a meal, which was a nice way to round off the day.

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