Joshua and I had a lovely day out with a friend and her son yesterday: we went to a children’s theme park with gentle rides and interactive displays where you pushed buttons to get noises or a response, silly mirrors and other such fun activities.Joshua began the outing well by dragging my friend around, rejecting his wheelchair, and eager to see everything. His highlight was when he pulled her into a cafe, he was not taking no for an answer, as he needed a sit down and a hot sausage roll.
After his brunch, he agreed to use the wheelchair as we continued to explore. As Joshua has such long legs now, we struggled to fit him into the childrens train and sledge rides as they were designed for smaller children. We encountered a new phrase relating to disability as some rides were deemed not to be suitabe for the ‘non-ambulant’ which is not an expression that either of us had met before! I questioned an embarrassed attendant about it and as he looked Joshua up and down to assess his abilities he explained ‘ Its for those that, you know, really can’t do anything at all!’ Although I enjoyed the old fashioned, quirky nature of the park, some staff training was required on customer service and how to address their disabled guests.
The highight of the outing was the Christmas Experience which involved a ride through a winter wonderland topped off with a visit to Father and Mother Christmas. Joshua was underwhelmed in the queue, as he dozed off, but it was Mother Christmas who caught his eye and made him smile! He posed for a photograph with Santa and reluctantly took his gift, but he beamed at his wife, which made us giggle.
The threatened rain held off until about 3pm when the heavens decided to open, Joshua and my friend sheltered under a tree as I was on a water ride with her son, getting doubly soaked! Oh my lord, the water was cold and our little boat looked so unstable that we felt as though we might have tipped in as both of our weights were on the same side as we huddled together. As the rain did not show any sign of stopping, we took this as our signal to leave and we had a very damp drive home, but we had enjoyed our visit very much. Joshua enjoys an outing but I have to say, the most excited that he was all day, was when he got back in the car to go home!