Today my aim was to attempt to go to a supermarket. This does not sound a big deal but my planning had already started at 8am and I am wasn’t planning on leaving until 11am.
Normally I relay on Mr Tesco arriving at my door with food that I need. However this week, yet again, I did my order at 11 at night whilst in bed and half asleep. So Mr Tesco did not bring half of what i needed. Sadly as he does not actually know what I need each week (even if C is pretty convinced that he just turns up like magic with what he wants), I do actually need to order the correct food; rubbish! I confess Mr Tesco did come on Saturday morning, I know, I know it is only Tuesday and I still seem to have no food. I do also have T’s Aunt and Grandad coming to stay for a couple of nights which I had forgotten about so the pressure is also on to cook more than just a bowl of pasta.
So I have no choice but to risk the supermarket. I would normally never do this with G never-mind both boys together and on my own. This was not going to be fun.
Task number one and the most important was to check with C. Everything needs to be run past him before it happens or I might as well just not bother. I had managed to convince him that it was a good idea, it would not take long and afterwards we could go to McDonald’s for lunch. Well we would go through the drive through and eat it in the car. Did you think that I was that stupid or brave to risk walking into McDonalds with two children, at lunchtime in the middle of the school holidays. Not a chance!!
Task one completed and so the count down begun. C needs to not only know something is happening but when it is happening. My house in places looks more like a primary school classroom; timetables, clocks and sand timers among but a few.
I had my shopping list written down on two sheets of paper, one for each of the boys and another one in my phone. Surely one will survive until we are in the supermarket. I have both ipads on charge so we have entertainment for the whole 20 minutes in the car to said supermarket and I have the current favorite programmes downloading.
C is now on his 30 minute count down before we need to go and get in the car. G is dressed, I am dressed, C isn’t but this will be done 2 minutes before we walk out the door or I will have to start all over again.
I have two drinks made for the car (routine, routine, routine). I have C’s shoes on the stairs, G’s shoes are on, my handbag, shopping lists, ipads and drinks are in the car. Keys are in my pocket. We are all set to leave. I just need to get charlie dressed and into the car.
C will not get dressed. I firstly put his on his shirt. Stupid mummy! He always wants pants on, then shorts, then shirt. Well that was a bad start. He then announces he is far too tired to leave the house today and he is not going anywhere. Well that’s the end of my shopping for the day! Pasta for tea it is!!
I realise this might sound like him being difficult and me being super soft and to be honest up to a point I think sometimes it is. But C uses him being tired to control things. He is not tired, he is anxious about something.
Going to a supermarket is stressful for me, because it is stressful for C. Its a place where things cannot be controlled. We all have a fairly good idea what will happen. We try and park, get cross that someone had parked in the family spaces who certainly doesn’t need the space, we manage to get a trolley which has a wonky wheel. We manage to get 90% of whats on the list, if we haven’t lost it or a child hasn’t eaten it. We finally pay, pack and are back in the car. However for a child with autism a supermarket can be a place of nightmares.
Its full of people. Its deafening. It has horrid harsh lighting which hurts your eyes. Its a place which without doubt results in sensory overload.