Me and my girl and boy, raising awareness and acceptance of autism

Early November last year, we went to a wedding blessing in Stratford-upon-Avon. Stayed in a stately home-type hotel where the blessing was also due to take place in a Norman chapel in the grounds.

T & D had time off school to attend and obviously bearing in mind routines and eating habits, I probably packed for a weekend rather than just an overnight stay:
Wedding attire plus spare clothes in case D wouldn’t wear them.
Melatonin for bedtime.
Packed lunch, tea and lots of sandwiches & snacks in case she wouldn’t eat the wedding breakfast.
Jar of Bovril.
Her own water bottle and plate.
Her towel etc.
Favourite toys, book for bedtime
Nintendo DS.

Hubbie had wanted to go by train but logistically it was easier on nerves if we went by car.

Journey went well and the hotel was amazing, I had asked for a room in a quiet location and they put us near to the swimming pool, which closed at 8pm so we were guaranteed a quiet night.

All was going really well, D got changed into her outfit & we walked to the chapel (Hubbie had refused to bring her buggy – comfort zone – on the grounds that we wouldn’t need it)

The chapel was beautiful inside, very small & intimate and that was the problem. She refused to go in (had we had the buggy, she could have sat in there for the service and felt safe and secure).

So, in the end, I sat in the chapel for the blessing (probably ten minutes max) trying to ignore the sounds of my daughter outside with Hubbie. The wedding was on “my side” so…

After the service I dashed back outside, before the bride & groom. Harassed Hubbie, D had been running around, not scared of him, but anxieties had taken over.

She refused to appear in any photographs so none of us are in them!

Drinks inside the hotel and by this time, Hubbie and I are completely drained and embarrassed. Positioning ourselves well away from the other guests, we did have a few people come over and chat but on the whole we were isolated. I spent most of the time rearranging her dress as she was a bit bouncy even when seated. A few looks directed our way too.

Surprisingly and because there was food, D behaved very well during the wedding breakfast! A little bit loud at times and hugging the waiting staff when they brought her food! T got to play with the other children there too so he let off some steam.

Once the meal was over, D was straight off back to the room so again no interaction.

Nerves completely and utterly frazzled by then, we decided to order breakfast in the room for the next morning.

A restless night – as you can imagine. Not her bed, not her nightlight etc.

The next day was also T’s birthday so we had present opening & then breakfast. In D’s case, cocoa pops and toast, with the packed Bovril.

Journey back uneventful, all very pleased to get home. Lit some candles and sang to the Birthday Boy!

I talked about it to D recently, obviously we have no visual prompts because we weren’t in any photos nor could I take photos at the time as I had a very anxious daughter to take care off.

She doesn’t remember the hotel, or the chapel, or running around the fields, or the meal, or anyone there BUT she does remember having cocoa pops for breakfast!

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