It’s been another bad day. We all went to the zoo and it didn’t work out so well. Perhaps I should have learnt my lesson at the aquarium last week, but when I saw it was a sunny day, I suggested we all go out again. We’ve visited the zoo before, and although it has involved lots of running after Duncan and some crying from him about buying ice-cream from the shop, it was OK. Not so today.
Firstly, it was very crowded and then there was a bloody ice-cream van right by the playground. We decided right away to split up, I was to stay with Duncan for half an hour while Gordon went with Lady and Thomas, then we were to swap. But it was all I could do to keep my boy away from the ice-cream van. I didn’t want to buy one right away (I didn’t have any money left either) but so many other people were eating ice-cream that he just couldn’t get it out of his mind. He wasn’t interested in the playground or the animals. When we all met up again, we walked about together for a bit. Duncan was unhappy and I had to carry him on my back most of the time. Then Thomas was in a really whiney mood too and I didn’t have the physical or emotional energy to help him while dealing with Duncan. So we split up again. I was going to just go back to the car with Duncan and let Gordon take the others around to see the animals. Then Duncan started to notice what was around him and was really enjoying the animals. We spent ages looking at the sea-lions and penguins. He kept running from one enclosure to the other; they’re adjacent and there’s quite a steep slope on the path between them. I marvelled at his energy as he raced up and down this path. He was singing a penguin song he’d heard on the computer. He splashed about for a bit in a mucky puddle (before I caught up with him) and was saying ‘Dr Foster went to Gloucester’! We saw the bears next; there was Daddy bear, Mummy bear and baby bear, so he was looking in the enclosure to find Goldilocks! After a while we went back to the car to wait for the others. I was exhausted as I was always either running after him or carrying him on my back and the zoo is very hilly, and he’s getting heavier. He’s skinny, but not that skinny!
Lady had a wonderful time and Gordon told me they’d seen so much together and he was really impressed at how much she knew about the different animals. Duncan cried and shouted the whole way home for ice-cream. Gordon was really fed up and wanted to ask about my ‘plans’ for Duncan, now that I’ve decided to educate him myself. He thinks I give in to Duncan’s crying requests too easily. I probably do. He said that I’ve become too accepting of Duncan’s condition and says I need to train him up somehow to cope better in more situations. He reckons that Duncan is a virtual prisoner and he’s just getting worse and he doesn’t know how to react to anyone but me- and the same for Thomas.
He suggested again that Lady and Thomas would be better off at school getting an ‘ordinary’ education. We have this same talk all the time. I have to talk about the benefits of what we’re doing for everyone so many times. He has always concluded by agreeing with me.
But perhaps ordinary will have to do.