Tuesday, September 11, 2007


We're back! Well, actually, we were back late Friday night (10pm) but I've only really just started to get my head together again!

It was an exhausting time for me, and for Roarke too I think, but very rewarding as the kids had a great time.

One thing that the holiday DID show us, quite clearly, is that William has aspergers, and also it reminded us that we really do still, on a daily basis, forget that Samuel has problems with things that we take for granted.

Whilst he coped admirably with the week, and change of routine, and sensory overload etc, he was obviously having to try very, very hard. Little things, like fretting constantly that we were going to miss the Eurostar, until we had all actually physically boarded it; having to sit in the luggage area of the coach as our seats were backwards facing, and he felt too enclosed; experiencing momentary disorientation the first two mornings upon waking and not knowing where he was; struggling to be able to go on some of the rides.

Anyway, the visit itself was great. We got off safely in the morning, thanks to the stirling efforts of our friend Jenny, who got to our house at 7.10am on the Tuesday morning and travelled with us all the way up to the Eurostar terminal at Waterloo International.

We stepped off the train and got into the Park at 2pm, making use of the luggage service that took our bags straight to the hotel, so that we didn't have to go and check in first.

Best moment of the holiday? Watching the penny drop with an almost audible "clunk" as William sat on his first ever ride in Disneyland - it was obvious to us that up to that point he had no real idea of what was going on, on what "going to Disneyland" meant (he doesn't really understand that we were in another country), or what to expect. But suddenly, his face lit up in a HUGE grin, and when he got off the ride he came running over to me and threw his arms around me and said "thankyou thankyou thankyou!" and then proceeded to jump around like mad for a few minutes!

Wet eyed, parental special moment, for Roarke and I.

We said to the boys that all disbelief was to be suspended for the week, and that we were all going to consciously tune in to the Disney magic.

Ok, I didn't do so well on that! But I DID do well at breastfeeding in public! This being number 4, I'm definately more relaxed than I was with Joshua, but I still feel uncomfortable in public (though I breasfeed during church and have encouraged the other mums to do so, which can look quite amusing with there being 6 of us at the moment!). However, last week I fed in crowds of hundreds! Sitting on benches outside just about all the main rides in the two parks.

The funniest was sitting waiting for the Lion King show, and they were randomly focusing the cameras on the audience at the front, and putting the image on the big screen. The boys were jumping up and down hoping it would land on them - but I was VERY glad it didn't as I was feeding Jonathan - and decided I drew the line at being screened to hundreds!

I got to go on some of the rides, using their Baby Switch service, but it did turn out how I expected that I spent most of the time either feeding Jonathan, carrying him when he was colicky, or waiting around with Samuel or William if they didn't want to go on a ride.

Talking of rides, and William, he wanted to go on Thunder Mountain and, still not really having my head around the idea of him being an aspie, it didn't occur to me (shame on me) that he didn't actually understand my explanation of what it was like.

The poor kid was TERRIFIED. It took him nearly half and hour to truly calm down. Made us feel AWFUL!

Still, apart from that, he had a great time and enjoyed the other rides.

They did:

Thunder Mountain (me, Josh, William, Roarke only)
Pirates of the Caribbean (Josh, Roarke and I)
Buzz Lightyear Lazer Blast (not me)
the Cars
Obitron (all expect Jonathan)
Lion King Show (all)
Star Tours (Josh and Roarke)
Nautilus (Roarke and boys)
Its a Small World (all except Jonathan)
Casey Jr (me and the boys)
Mad Hatter's Tea cups (all expect Jonathan)
Alice's Maze (Roarke and boys)
Peter Pan (all expect Jonathan)
Lancelot's Carrousel (Roarke and boys)
Pinocchio (all except Jonathan)

In the studios:

Aerosmith Roller Coaster (Roarke and Josh!)
Moteurs Stunt Show (all of us)
Studio Tram Tour (all including Jonathan!)
Animagique show (Roarke and the boys)
Flying Carpets over Agrabah (Roarke and the boys)
and we watched High School Musical on Tour

We also enjoyed a character breakfast at Mickey's cafe on the first day, and also got 2 hours in the park after closing time (for Disney hotel guests only) and a second morning where we had breakfast in the park, 2 hours before it opened, where we got to go on some rides that were opened.

Whilst we didn't do all the rides, we did enough, and they all had a good time.

On the way home, William "pulled" on the train, sitting alongside some pretty lady who was with someone who we recognised as being "someone" but couldn't place (australian, and I think a TV presenter). The lady thought William was very cute, and he entertained her for nearly an hour!

My brother picked us up from our local station, and as I said we got home around 10pm.


Sharon said...

What a great holiday! We loved Disneyland too and I want to go back taking Duncan this time.

I loved your story about William's joy; made for a wet-eyed reader too!

I hope you can get some rest now you're home.

Wobblymoo said...

Aww brilliant, you brought back memories of our holiday there too, a magical place certainly

Dawny. said...

fantastic :) - well what a lovely time xx

Shirl said...

Glad you had a lovely time. Are you going to HesFes II by the way?