Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Great Expectations

with 12 comments

You know it wasn't a good day when this is the best photo I took of the whole experience.

Friday was Pudding’s school field trip to the pumpkin patch.  For those who aren’t familiar, a pumpkin patch is where a farm dedicates itself to Halloween and becomes a huge playground with hay rides (being pulled on a tractor), corn mazes, pony rides etc.  For me, a big way of alleviating homesickness is by indulging in experiences that are unique to  the place I’m living in.  We went to one last year, and she had a great time.  It was sensory heaven for my little seeker, and she got to ride a pony for the first time.  Back then we were still learning a lot about her needs and the way she reacted to certain experiences, so it was nice to put a tick in the “likes pumpkin patches” box.

Sadly, the field trip went less well.  Right before we set off, Cubby fell down the steps outside our house and cut his face.  We arrived before the school bus got there, and she skipped about in delight from attraction to attraction.  Of course, Cubby wanted to do the same, and without a second adult, it became a not-so-fun game of kid-herding.  We had the first meltdown when she didn’t want to leave something to find her classmates.  I think the real problem was that she was perplexed by the mix of people from school and home.  As soon as she saw the aides, she hid behind me and refused to speak.  Her teacher took her away, spent some time calming her down, and then had one-on-one time with her.  Unfortunately, this was a small pumpkin patch, so when I took Cubby to see the animals, she saw us and got upset all over again.  We joined back up, but she continued to be miserable unless left to do her own thing.  Her own thing was to wander to the exit, so that became the end of doing her own thing for that day.

Lesson learned- I won’t attend any more field trips for the time being.  She would have had a much better time without me there, much as I don’t like to admit it.  I really don’t like to admit it.

At least we got stickers!


I did keep expectations low in the afternoon.  We had a play date with her friend E., and hearing that the Disney Store was having a Halloween dress rehearsal, we decided to let the girls dress up in their princess dresses.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, so really I should have anticipated an overwhelming and unstructured frenzy of sensory overload.  Pudding couldn’t do any of the games, and kept pulling out of the throng of kids to touch all the shiny things that Disney has to offer a princess-obsessed girl.  I think we can safely say we won’t be trying that again, although I did get the phone number to see if they’d consider doing a sensory-friendly or special needs event some time.


I had great expectations for Friday, and they weren’t met, but I’m okay with that.  There are some things she just isn’t ready for yet, but I wouldn’t have known that without trying.  I continue to set my expectations higher for tomorrow than yesterday.  If we don’t get there today, we adapt, we accommodate, but we keep trying.  One day it will happen.  Something else happened in between these two events on Friday which reminded me that Pudding has a confidence in herself that I can only aspire to, and whatever she expects for herself, she’ll get.

I’d tell you about it now, but I’d rather leave you with great expectations for tomorrow.


Written by Spectrummy Mummy

October 26, 2010 at 9:19 am

12 Responses

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  1. I’m on the edge of my seat for tomorrow!
    I’m sorry the trip didn’t go as planned (best laid plans, right?) I learned the hard way to not go on any school trips with any of my kids. I’ve long had the excuse of another kid in tow, but the real reason is that my kids both act differently around me, and not for the better. It’s hard because all my friends chaperone the field trips, but I just know I can’t.
    The pictures are great though 🙂
    can’t wait for tomorrow’s post.


    October 26, 2010 at 9:41 am

    • Oh no don’t be, it isn’t that exciting! I just wanted to build up your expectations, but now I’m worried you’ll be let down!
      It is a hard thing to learn, especially when your kid needs you so much, but sometimes they’re just better off without us. We’ll do another pumpkin patch by ourselves instead.


      October 26, 2010 at 9:58 am

  2. I didn’t go on the field recently, and he did great without me there. It’s a hard one to swallow because we want to be there so badly, but right now, it’s better for him if I don’t go. So I know how you feel. We had both unsuccessful and successful field trips in preschool, and I went last year, but with the challenges we’ve been having lately–I knew better than to go! I look forward to reading tomorrow’s post!


    October 26, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    • It is a weird one isn’t it? It sort of goes against parenting instincts, but she would have been better off without me there. As it was all three of us had a miserable time.

      Sectrummy Mummy

      October 26, 2010 at 1:36 pm

  3. Hahaha…. kids herding is a GREAT description!

    That’s why we always take my mum on holidays with us so we have 3 adults for 3 children and why I avoid going to the shops by myself with them!!!

    Sorry that the day didn’t go as planned, it’s a h ard requisition that sometimes it’s better if we don’t go on field trips 😦

    I know that I can’t be a parent helper in Harleys classroom because it throws him out too much.

    Waiitng with great anticipation for tomorrows post 🙂


    October 26, 2010 at 5:35 pm

  4. Requisition????. Dumb iPad changed what should have read ” realization”


    October 26, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    • I tell you, Fi, I would make an awful sheep-dog! 🙂

      I’m totally jealous that you have an iPad. If Mr. Steve Jobs is reading this, I can be bribed into endorsing your product!

      Sectrummy Mummy

      October 26, 2010 at 6:40 pm

      • Actually, to be honest…..I struggle to blog from it…..I still used the Mac instead. It’s too fiddly for me….I’m SO hard to please aren’t I!


        October 26, 2010 at 9:00 pm

  5. […] not so wordless, as I left my regular readers with Great Expectations yesterday.  Anyway, I was going through the photos I took on Friday, and when I saw this one, I […]

  6. Boy, did this one pull my heartstrings. I have carefully avoid the subject of the “corn maze” for all the things that happened to you. You had the strength to go, and I applaud you for it! We’re still relatively new at this, and I am new to blogging about it, so I am thrilled to find you here!

    (Your children are adorable, adorable, adorable, by the way!)

    Take care!


    October 27, 2010 at 10:16 am

    • Whenever I think it will be fine, things go wrong. Whenever I’m prepared for the worst, I’m surprised by how well the day goes.
      We’re still learning too, it is a l-o-n-g learning curve. Thank you for stopping by- you’re most welcome here! You take care too.

      Sectrummy Mummy

      October 27, 2010 at 12:14 pm

  7. Yeah, I feel sad that I can’t go on my Autistic kid’s field trips, like I do with my other son’s. But the school (rightly) feels that parents are just too much of a distraction for SN kids. Also the fact that some kids would have parents along and some wouldn’t is a problem. While even with a class of “typical” kids this brings up feelings, with SN kids those feelings are much more volatile and difficult to manage, so… no parents. Sigh. At least the teachers take pictures and share them. Great post.

    Varda (SquashedMom)

    October 28, 2010 at 7:23 am

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