So what could be better than a bit of pumpkin picking with the family. Well, it turns out, quite a lot!
Venturing out to public places with our son with autism (I will affectionately call him Bojangles from the song Mr. Bojangles, as he loves all things musical) and his siblings can always be a challenge. Sometimes you win and sometimes you just want to run and hide.
Our recent visit to a cold, damp field turned out to be a run and hide day (almost). Bojangles was already a little anxious before we left and so we didn’t know what to expect. There were quite a few people there, which probably created a bit of tension in Bojangles and both parents.
Bojangles vocal stimming tends to match the volume of his siblings, in the sense that if the baby or toddler start crying or falling out, he will find a way to match it and then raise it tenfold.
It transpired Bojangles found the whole experience overwhelming and the decibels went through the roof.
Vicki (Mum) decided to go for a walk with Bojangles to calm him down and leave me with the remaining children. The only problem was the route taken, past two big groups. Bojangles proceeded to momentarily screech upon passing the first group and then repeat the noise past the second. This unfortunately, made the whole group jump in shock and left a child near to tears. Mum apologised and swiftly moved on!
It was at this point we decided the best course of action would be to leave, tails between our legs…promptly! So we rustled up the gang and headed off to pay. The intermittent shrieks continued at the makeshift checkout (money box and counter style).
It felt like one big disaster. We shot each other a glance that said ‘maybe we should have stayed at home’. Instead, it turned out fine! The day was rescued by the two absolutely wonderful people at the counter. They immediately got a grasp of the situation, told us not to worry and that there was no need to apologise! Those few nice words made the world ok again, it really made the difference and I saw a little tear in the corner of Mum’s eye. A big ‘thank you’ to the lovely people at Broomfields Farm, Meopham. (https://www.facebook.com/MeophamPumpkins/). It really made the difference to our day.
Mum took Bojangles to the car for a few minutes to calm down and to shed a tear in private. I was left with money and children, so we enjoyed pumpkin soup, sausage rolls and chocolate cake. They were all delicious. After a while, Mum and Bojangles came into the seating area in the field to share some food and we all went home happy and relieved. We didn’t stay long, as we weren’t brave enough. But hey, we left happy.
The message of the day…
Expect the unexpected.
Know your escape routes.
Consider calling ahead to check it is suitable.
Never underestimate people and the power of kindness.
Never take four kids pumpkin picking, as you end up with six pumpkins (go figure).
Maybe just send dad next time!
At the end of the day, no one was hurt in the making of this story and the siblings were happy and completely oblivious, as only siblings to a brother with autism can be.
Thanks for reading.
Co-Founder of Treezy.