Posted in Events & Holidays

Peppa Pig Live – 23/07/2022

I despise Peppa Pig, in fact I think in my last post that I referred to her as a talking piece of bacon but lets be serious… she is an absolute brat but… the kids love her 🙄

Let’s put it this way, Peppa Pig Live was not exactly on my bucket list but William’s Aunty Debbie was kind enough to get us all tickets. She’s really good like that, tries to push me out of my comfort zone whilst be ridiculously nice haha. I would never have gone, not just because she needs to be in a sandwich but because I would have been so anxious about how william would react and if it would be too much for him but after our successful beach trip, I was all in.

I love our little blended family and this was the first big event other than Hull Fair that we have been to like this, so that added pressure maybe didn’t help my anxiety but despite this I was actually really excited.

The performance was in Bridlington at the Spa, starting at 10am so it meant we had to be fully on it in the morning to get everything in the car, the kids fed and sorted etc. Since the performance was in Bridlington we took advantage of being at the beach and the fact the weather was going to be nice and decided to make a full day of it so the car was pretty full with beach toys, blankets, picnic, the works.

A stressed but happy family at 8am 🥰

The drive down was easy, both kids were happy sat in their car seats as we sang along (badly) to cheesy music. It honestly felt like we arrived within seconds rather than 45 minutes.

So now onto some bad points… have you ever tried to find disabled parking in Bridlington? There is a place near the Spa but it seems to always be full. there are no sign posts indicating disabled parking anywhere. We parked at the harbour an managed to get a spot that had extra room to be able to get Williams chair out of the car, this wasn’t a disabled bay, just a lucky find.

Let’s talk about toilets, anyone with a child or a person that needs assistance in changing them will know that some disabled toilets are just not suitable. Imagine my surprise to find these… ‘South Cliff Gardens Public Convenience’
For the first time in forever, I remembered to take Williams Radar key and I am so glad I did… I’m not sure if I am overreacting but I feel like I have hit the jackpot for fully accessible toilets.
Handrails, space for moving a chair with a large turning circle, sharps/hazardous waste bins, adjustable electric changing table, in perfect working order and a fully working electrical hoist system. I was honestly amazed and had to take some photos (once I had changed William obviously) All the equipment was clean and worked perfectly. If you do visit bridlington and are in need of an accessible bathroom then I would highly recommend this one! 🏆

We made our way to the Spa with plenty of time to collect our tickets, I had called them in advance (a few times🤣) to ensure they had a wheelchair space available for us. I would hate to have to disappoint the kids if it wasn’t accessible to us once we had arrived. The staff had reserved us the wheelchair space and 3 accompanying seats in advance which meant there was no hustle and bustle once we had arrived. The spaces were in a perfect location meaning that we had full visibility of the performance but were also away from the bulk of attendees which I think helped William acclimatise to the noise. I think if the performance had been full then he may not have coped as well.

The show started and William was a little upset however he soon realised that he wasn’t been tortured (although I was 🤣) and that it was actually something enjoyable for him. He laughed, he clapped and ate all the snacks. He love it, as did Little Miss who was singing, dancing and joining in with interactive songs and I will only ever admit this once but it wasn’t actually that bad. The show focused more on a human rather than Peppa which made it bearable. I would even go as far as to say that I would take the kids again… Why wouldn’t we want to go when they both loved it so much?

We are back onto the conversation about toilets, the show was about an hour and twenty minutes with a mid way interval. They sold Mr Moos ice cream so Liam & Little Miss grabbed us some whilst I took William to the toilets. The disabled facilities where also baby change facilities which meant there was a large queue with it being a children’s performance. I understand when places need to do this but somewhere as large as Bridlington Spa should be able to have separate facilities or incorporate baby changing into the mens and womens toilets (because let’s face it, men change bums too but yet places tend to put the facilities into only the women’s! 😡)

The toilet was tiny, the first picture was taken with my back against the closed door, the second from the same location as the changing table was in sort of a recess.
The changing table was not suitable for William, It was not built to hold his weight… I thought I was passed having to change Williams bum on a dirty toilet floor, sadly I was wrong. If you aren’t going to have fully accessible toilets (handrails do not make you fully accessible!) then at least have a clean fucking floor! 🤢

The kids fleeced us for merchandise, Little Miss got a glittery pink tote bag and Will;ster got the Mr Dinosaur soft toy which was a massive success. I mean they were super expensive but worth every penny. The venue isn’t daft as they place the merch stand in a place that is unavoidable upon entering or leaving the performance and even had a gent who stood at the from of the stage before the show, advertising the toys. It may put some parents in a horrid situation in which they maybe can’t afford to buy their children these items in which they are having waved in front of their faces. Young children don’t understand that money isn’t always readily available.

Once the performance was over we headed off for lunch and went to the Stirling Castle. Little Miss had a cheeseburger kids meal and William had a sunday dinner, both of them did really well with their food and they were perfect portions for children. The pub itself was very accomodating, lots of space to navigate the chair, no overcrowding and patient staff who didn’t scoff when William started throwing his chicken on the floor, I do pick it up though. I didn’t check out the toilets but I would still highly recommend them for a quick lunch. Pricewise I think it was good too, about £35 for 2 adult meals, 2 kids meals and 4 drinks.

Then time to get sand between our toes, we grabbed our picnic stuff, beach wear and found a good spot on the beach. William immediately tried to run off into the sea. I think I upset him a little since I stopped him in order to change his clothes but once he was sorted he was off. Little Miss was a bit more patient and was happy playing in the sand rather than wanting to swim out to sea. Liam took William as far out as he could, William was laughing and splashing the entire time, then Little Miss was ready to go for dip. William had a bit of a shutdown at this point, I’m not sure if it because he was cold, the sensory aspect of wet sand, clothes etc or maybe he just wanted to be back in the water but he picked his usual position…

He reached out for my hand and stayed there for quite a while just blocking out the world (I think we all wish we had that ability and I would class it as a superpower.🦸‍♂️), once Little Miss was out of the sea, she decided to comfort him and stroke his back. I have the most adorable video but I am unable to share it as my video editing skills aren’t very good and wasn’t able to hide her face. She did something similar not too long ago and I shared a small post and photo to our facebook page. Check it out by clicking here. Kids are so amazing in the way they just assess emotions and react.

Our final little bit of excitement before heading home was on a search for seafood, ice cream and donuts. William got his sugared donuts that he usually has at Hull Fair but I think the excitement was too much for him by this point and he maybe only had one small bite at a push. Liam searched for a dinosaur shaped ice cream (George had one in Peppa Pig 🙄) as that was all Little Miss wanted but nowhere sold anything like that so he fobbed her off with mint chocolate chip claiming it was ice cream that dinosaurs eat, he’s lucky it worked to be honest although he did end up wearing most of it as she was sat on his shoulders eating it and it was everywhere 🤣🍦 I am definitely my dads daughter and got myself some welks and a lobster tail which I imagine would have been really nice but a seagull decided it would be nice too, so hit me in the head and took the lot 😫🦅 I manned it out though, waited until I was out of the crowd before whinging about it and asking Liam if it had pooped in my hair. I know I have a big forehead but its not big enought to be a landing strip for birds!

The journey home wasn’t as fun as the journey there, Little Miss was fast asleep within seconds of her being in the car and William decided it was the perfect time try and eat as much of his nappy as humanly possible. We had to do an emergency pull over on someone’s drive to sort him out… It was the most stressful 15 minutes of the day, having nowhere to pull over and knowing I couldn’t do anything to stop him but it was all new for us so we will remember this next time and make sure he is more restricted in his clothes because there will be a next time… We must be gluttons for punishment. Paw Patrol Live here we come! Plus another day out at the beach with the full Hobman clan! 😲😜

ItemScore
Parking5/10
(It is available but there isn’t much of it and it’s not well signposted)
Bridlington Spa5/10
(Customer care & seats would make it a 10/10 but the toilet situation would be a 0/10)
Peppa Pig Live10/10
(Highly recommend for young kids or those with special needs.)
The Beach8/10
(Very clean but not too accessible, had to walk quite far for a ramp to go down with the chair)
Stirling Castle7/10
(Food good but not great, price reasonable and pub clean.)
Company 10/10
(Is there anything better than spending a day with your family?)
Seagulls0/10
(They owe me a fiver for the seafood! Flying B*****ds!)

I would take a 100 seagulls to the head to have more amazing days as a family, we might not all be blood but history has shown it doesn’t really matter. Much Love, M.x

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Posted in Events & Holidays

Overcautious

I don’t think I have taken William to the beach in at least 3 years, when we think about covid, it must have been summer 2019, that means William was only 2 when we first went to the beach which sadly was the last time until recently.
Back in 2019 he loved it, we struggled to keep him out of the water even as it got colder. For a child that at the time hated having a bath, he loved the sea.

Riding the waves with Auntie Nelen & Kaylee 2019 x

So much has changed since that photo. I was worried it would be a huge sensory overload for him and it made me anxious about it, but it was one of those situations in which I wasn’t just worried about how William would handle it but how I would handle William and I’m not sure which I was more fearful about, and I think that makes me a bit selfish and sometimes it takes a while for me to put that aside. I am only human after all. 🤷‍♀️ I do wonder how many other things that I have been so worried about, that its stopped me from actually experiencing them or letting William experience them. As a natural worrier, I don’t think this will ever stop but as long as I take a breath, things will eventually become clearer in my mind and I will suck it up and leap into new experiences.

Well we took that leap, We had taken Little Miss on an impromptu beach visit and felt we should do the same for William. The thought of it gave me that feeling you get in your stomach, the one in which you aren’t sure if your scared, nervous, excited or about to shit yourself. 💩

We took Williams blue badge so we could secure a parking spot with enough space to safely put him in his wheelchair which was also close to places of interest for him. First stop was obviously fish and chips, because are you even at the beach if you don’t get some and since we visited Hornsea, it had to be Sullivans 🤤 William was a little picky but demolished his chips and battered sausage (Insert comment here from my dad🤣) after a bit of coercion and alot of my curry sauce.

We then walked along the front burning off our food and desperately trying to avoid the little black beetles that seem to be out in force this year 🙄 Getting his chair on to the sand was a bit of a nightmare as we had to find a sloped entrance, pushing it across the sand took strength I didn’t know I had 💪 As soon as he was out of his chair, he was straight in the water. If I hadn’t have stopped him, it would have been a lot more than just a paddle but he absolutely loved it. I worried that the smell, sound and textures would be too overwhelming for him but he took it all in his stride and absolutely surprised astounded me. I think sometimes I am guilty of underestimating him, in fact I know I am guilty of it as this isn’t the first time I have been proven to be overcautious.

We ended our day with a cheeky trip to Mr Moos ice cream place, I had never been before but Williams uncle Jim had told us a few times about how good it was. Liam and I had what I would class as ‘Fat Bastard’ desserts, they were huge but got eaten 🤣 and since William doesn’t really like ice cream, he had a huge piece of cake and seemed to thoroughly enjoy trying to feed himself with a spoon, there wasn’t a crumb left on his plate.

As you can see he was truly exhausted after our little adventure and we are very much looking forward to our next one… Peppa Pig Live! Something I never thought I would do, Mainly because I hate that little bratty talking piece of bacon but also because I wasn’t sure how William would take to it but if we don’t try it we will never know!
I will keep you posted on how it goes as it’s a big thing for our little blended family but I’m sure it won’t be our last adventure.

Much love, M 😘x

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Posted in Emotions, Open Letters

Prejudice

This started as an open letter but the more I have written the more I think it’s not, its ranty like a standard post so I’m unsure how to categorise it 🤷‍♀️

There are people out there who are prejudice against disabled children, people who may not be aware they are prejudice and some people that think it is acceptable to stereotype and judge without basing these feelings on facts or first-hand experience. There are many times in which William is judged like this and it is absolutely disgusting and genuinely makes me feel physically sick. Especially when it is by people that have in fact spent time with him no matter how little or how much.

There any many times William is purposely singled out and excluded from events and parties because of his disabilities. Sometimes this happens because people have misconceptions about him and his needs, these people are too arrogant or lazy to ask questions or educate themselves. Sometimes it happens for Williams own protection or comfort. As Williams Mom it is my job to advocate for him and make sure people around him understand him but if those people already have misconceptions about his needs, I cannot help. It isn’t just my job to advocate, it’s also his dad’s, both of our respective partners and anyone else who has a big part in William’s life. However, recently I am wondering if we have failed? Are we allowing people to make assumptions about William because we haven’t done enough? Is this a collective failure? Or a personal one to me? Or can you just not educate stupid people?

Believe it or not Williams needs do not have to limit him. William loves parties and events, actually let me clarify that, he loves cake, balloons, and the people he is closest to which tend to be a big part of all occasions. There are factors he may not cope with too well such as changes to his routine or loud noises but as his mom, I have learnt to handle this and how to neutralise (I’m not sure if this is the word I’m looking for) William’s discomfort and make situations more comfortable for him. However, it is not my responsibility to make other people more comfortable around him when they make no effort to understand him.

Your children will not catch William’s disabilities, in fact your child would learn to understand them and be accepting of all others and potentially have an understanding that I myself as a child did not have, in fact I didn’t have it up until my late 20’s. How brilliant would it be if this generation of children had a broader understanding of all disabilities, of people’s neurological differences and a better level of acceptance. Why would we not want our children to be better than we were?

Williams needs do not impact other children, William has needs in which are destructive to himself, not anyone else. I may have taken on occasion, a foot to the face, bite to the shoulder or thigh, but I am doing things in which he struggles with, administering medicine, changing his continence wear, stopping him from eating unsuitable items or restraining him to prevent him causing injury to himself. A child around William would never be in that position as there is no reason for them to be doing those things to him. Yet neurotypical children in the past have bitten or smacked William purely because he had a toy they wanted, or he wouldn’t play with them in a certain way or just because they could, but I do not judge those children based on this… Maybe I should? Maybe I should judge the parents?

William can be a handful, I can’t lie about that, nor would I want to but as he has grown, my ability and knowledge of his needs have too. Although there are a handful of people who know how to tend to his needs, the majority of the time, I am more than capable of doing this myself and its frankly downright insulting that people may think otherwise but don’t get me wrong, I do need a break sometimes but doesn’t any parent?

Having my child in your child’s life would not negatively impact your child in any way shape or form. William doesn’t show love as often as a neurotypical child or in the same ways, but he loves with all his heart and is hurt in the same manor in which other children may be hurt and I’m not talking physically.

I have spent time with neurotypical children who can be more of a handful than William due to things such as separation anxiety, over tiredness, being generally naughty or having tantrums because they can’t get their own way but let me translate these things into William’s versions.

He have never suffered from separation anxiety, as long as his needs are met, he is happy to be with his dad, myself or any other caregiver, no issue there because when he was younger, we made sure that he spent adequate time with everyone and didn’t solely rely on a single person as that would have created a straw for our own backs.

Over-tiredness? What is that? My kid can sleep through a tornado or have a house dropped on him and he would remain asleep. When he is tired, he will literally just go and lay down and go to sleep. Sometimes he doesn’t even make it to a bed or sofa and will sleep anywhere. Even if he has done this during the day he will happily be in his room from bedtime until he is tired. No fuss, no crying, no demands for attention or toys etc, although sometimes he gets both.

William can be naughty, all children can. He will touch the TV and laugh when he is told no. I will take his toy from him because its bedtime and he will duck under my arms and go back to grab it, but he doesn’t hit, scratch, nip or bite when he is naughty or mischievous like some other children do. I’m not saying it won’t happen in the future but in over 5 years it hasn’t happened yet.

Tantrums again fall into the category in which all kids can have them, William’s tantrums last seconds, when he realises, he isn’t immediately getting what he wants, he gets bored and walks away. Tantrum over. I have been around neurotypical children who can have a tantrum that can last hours. When I say tantrum, I mean tantrum. A meltdown is something completely different. A tantrum is purposeful behaviour in children and therefore can be shaped by rewarding desired behaviours, a bit like how you train a dog 🤣 whereas a meltdown is involuntary and cannot be stopped by rewarding the child or giving into demands because a meltdown doesn’t happen because he can’t get what he wants. Tantrums slowly go away as a child grows up (although some of my ex’s prove otherwise 😂), but meltdowns may never go away. If my child is having a meltdown, it is because he is pain, either physically or mentally not because he wants an ice-pop or something of the like.

Looking at these things in comparison, which child needs more attention? Should I be concerned about the neurotypical children in William’s life? Should I restrict access? There is only one answer, no. why? Because I’m not a cunt.

I don’t judge children based on their behaviour but maybe I should judge their parents? If that’s what people deem acceptable maybe I should jump on the bandwagon?

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Posted in school

Sports day

When I think about sports days when I was a child, I think about playing football, buying tickets on the tombola, a table selling sweets, having a ticket to get my pre-chosen burger or hotdog 🌭 and running races against my classmates. As the token fat kid, I never came first but apparently according to Miss Daybell it was the taking part that counted 🙄

Liam and I went to the same primary school so this week as we have counted down to Williams first sports day, we have enjoyed reminiscing about our childhood and our sports days, our favourite teachers and activities. Sadly Williams dad and his partner couldn’t make it but there will always be next year.

I’m not sure what I expected Williams sports day to be like. I only had my own to compare it to and it wasn’t like that at all. I guess comparing sports day from a mainstream 90s primary and a specialist modern primary wasn’t a good idea but I do find it hard to stop myself. I guess I just expected more structure.

Now don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it and it was lovely to be able to spend sometime with him in his school environment and see all the children in his class. I wanted to get to know the kids he spends 5 days a week with and hopefully understand more about William and how he interacts with them but sadly William showed me that he doesn’t really interact with them at all. He showed no interest in any of his peers at all. In fact he wasn’t really interested in me and was more interested in rough and tumble play with Liam.

Sports day dance session.

The kids moved from activity to activity and each one was utter carnage but in the best way. They were just being themselves, William collected the cones (In lieu of a net) during Volleyball, other children were pulling the curtains back and forth, one kept turning out the lights and it was great to see that they have that freedom to enjoy themselves rather than restrained by curriculum or harsh rules.

Playing Volleyball aka collecting cones 🤣

I guess the one thing that hasn’t changed since the sports days of my youth is that the heavens opened up and the remainder of the sports day was cancelled 🌧

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