Shopping with Dinky.. and it doesnt all end in tears!

It seemed inevitable that I would have to take dinky into town at some point. This morning she was in quite a good mood. What better way to spoil it than to go to a crowded town centre on a Saturday afternoon!

Obviously that wasn’t my intention but I am pretty sure if Dinky understood or could verbalise her emotions and feelings, she would have said something of the sort.

Actually going out wasn’t nearly as painful as previous trips to the town centre. It is also something I had better build up a little as I will need to go into town during the 6 weeks holiday, which I am only too aware is looming.

I had been reading some advice aimed for other people but wondered if it could work for dinky. She has this little note book she found yesterday in her london eye bag, she has been writing little notes to tell herself what she is going to be doing. So I thought I would utilise this…

 I said that I was hopeless at remembering what we needed when we are in town. If only I had a very clever smallish person who could remind me. Although they might need something to remind them. Dinky piped up… I can come. I have a scrap book for lists! So together we worked out what we needed. Anything that wasn’t for her I put inbetween things for her or things that she wanted to choose. So our list was…

Drinks for mummy and sweets for Dinky

Swap Jeans for mummy

 New bag for dinky

Mc donalds for lunch- happy meal as it has despicable me 2 toy

Birthday badge for grandads 50th

Birthday present for A for his 5th birthday and a new ‘cheap’ toy for dinky for behaving


Once we finished the list she said she would cross the items off. She happily got ready as she was the one with the list! (and it had some pretty cool stuff for her on).

I spoke to my dad, we havent cleared the air properly but it is his 50th tomorrow and seeing as my brother is a selfish little <insert any horribe name for a good for nothing, money grabbing, lying little so and so here>, we are the only family he has, so I had to find out what he wanted to do so I can arrange it. So we are taking dinky to the cinema. He wanted to take her bowling and I had to rmind him that it is a weekend, the weather looks rubbish and there will be lotsof unfamiliar noise. Probably best not to take her bowling. Also rememebring the birthday party in March where she hid out under the table, with her hands over her ears until it was her go.

So I booked the tickets as dinky was checking she had everything she needed.

The bus stop is almost right outside our place, so it is never an issue. I have the live bus times on my phone and time it so that we never actually have to wait for the bus for more than 1 minute.

Today was one of Dinky’s funny days! Which I adore, as some of the things she comes out with are priceless. As the bus was on it’s way round the corner dinky was already making me laugh..

“This bus stop is cheap!

This bus pass is cheap…”

I pipe up… “The bus pass definitely is NOT cheap!” and get a cheeky smile…

Dinky seemed to be in the Mr. Grumpy persona from the Mr Men,

She carries on (in full mr grumpy accent and pronounciation!)…

“The road is cheap,

That shop is cheap!

This bus is cheap

Mummy is cheap….”

I am laughing covertly…. “keep going and I will be!”

Quite a few people who got on at the shop were laughing.

“The field is cheap

That house is cheap

That bus stop is cheap

Everything is cheap!”

It was at thins point that she realised that everyone was laughing at what she was saying. Dinky has this thing, and I have mentioned it a few times, but she thinks if anyone laughs they are laughing at her. She doesn’t realise how funny she can be. Any attempt to tell her ends up being punished by a head butt or punch.

She got really upset, went into hulk mode buried her head in my ribs and punched me in the upper arm because everyone was laughing. I tried to calm her down, but it can be difficult if she doesn’t understand why people are laughing. I did try to explain on this occasion that she found mr grumpy funny when he said it on tv and these people find it funny because you are saying it just like him so they are laughing at mr grumpy really.

I’m not sure if she understood, but needless to say the people had stopped laughing and were trying their best not to look at her. Which I was grateful of.

Once we got off the bus she Dinky saw some pictures and spotted one she would like in her room. (I decicided this morning that I am going to decorate dinky’s room next week). It was a 3D tiger picture, so we picked that up. We then went to the 1st shop to make sure I had enough energy drinks to last me until Monday. We hit a little snag in the first shop, she couldn’t decide what sweets she wanted, and kept picking things I knew she didn’t like. I had to pull her to one side and say that I did not want to say no to her, so, if I gave her 3 options would she pick one so that I can say yes? She agreed. So I picked 3 things I knew she liked. She picked one and off we went.

Till points are always the worst part in any shop. Dinky loves jumping on them and hanging from them, when she isnt doing that, she can not resist tidying their stock (to be fair I am the same!). Today she was stacking jars by the tills and removing products that shouldn’t be on there. I paid for our bits and we left.

The jeans shop was not so much fun, but no meltdown!

Although I did end up bright red after she pointed out how big the jeans were and she asked if I would be able to get my bum in them! Cheek!

At the till, the staff were effient, she was quick and we were out before we had till point trouble! I love next!

Next stop, new backpack! We went into a shop that I knew had a bag that she might like and they also do bedroom stuff. 2 birds one stone. She wouldn’t mind adding bedroom stuff to the list, as it is new stuff for her. We pick up a moshi monsters bag, a moshi monsters pillow, some animal safari wall stickers and some fairy lights. At the till she was jumping around and pulling herself up to hae a look behnd the till.
I have semi given up telling her to get down now unless she is being dangerous. She helps take my card out and marks of the things we have done.

Next stop… Mc donalds.

When we get in she heads straight for the display. I order our lunch and then as we have to wait I give her some coppers to put in the swirly coin bank. When I have the food we make our way upstairs. Dinky, who has already taken her box off the tray starts reading it…

Dinky: Happy meal, is this a happy meal?

Me: yes sweet

Dinky: Do they make sad meals too? I wouldn’t want a sad meal…

Me: hahahahahahaha

Dinky: grrrr stop laughing!


We sit down and eat. We go over what is left to do. Just grandad’s badge and card, and A’s present and card. And then a toy for Dinky.

We go to the card shop. Originally we were only going to get a badge, I don’t do cards for my dad as he doesn’t like them. He sees no point in wasting time, money and paper on a card that you only have for a day or a week. When I tried to explain this to dinky she seemed not to understand.

Dinky: But he has to have a card… it is his birthday

Me: yes, most people like cards, grandad doesn’t.

Dinky: silly grandad. I am gettign a card because it is his birthday and he needs a card!

Me: Ok.

So we find a card that says grandad on and buy a massive ‘THE BIG 50’ badge.

The queue was very long so I let dinky have one of the mini foil balloons on a stick to play with. She did ok. She kept touching everything, but as long as it wasn’t glass I wasn’t all that bothered. Cheeky and happy is better than being strict on her and having a meltdown!

Last stop… Present and toy. This I knew would be the most difficult as dinky tends to get carried away with the action toys, especially big ones like play houses or action centres that coe with little toys.

I had to kepp refocusing her on the task in hand.

Find toy for A, then it was her turn. She was adament she wanted to pick his present. She sat for a while with 2 things and couldn’t decide which. In the end I told her that we were running out of time to find a toy for her before they shut. (It was only 1.30pm, I am lucky she has no concept of time!). So she picked one. Then ran back to change it for the other toy!

We spent a little time choosing a toy for her. She settled on playdoh monsters university hair salon. Which I must admit looked pretty awesome!

Dinky wanted to go and play at the indoor play centre. I said no, and then she got upset. She threw herself on the floor. She told me to get away from her, that I was mean. I offered for her to hold her toy and that she could play with it when we got in, but I think that she had done very well up until this point, but it would be very noisy and very busy in the play place today. I promised to take her during inset day on the 1st. This did not settle her. As I said she has no concept of time, so telling her in a week is too much. The offer of a toy doesn’t distract from the idea she would like.

So, remebering how easy it was to get her to pick something in order to get her own toy, and something that was written on ‘pathological demand avoidance- an autistic spectum disorder’ (M, a child with PDA does not easily leave places but finds it easier if the place they are at is closing)

 I use the closed thing.

This she seemed to accept!!! Thank you Jane (author of the blog)!!!

Hmmm. I definitely will have to use the closing time if and when we go shoppping in future. Obviously it can not be overused otherwise she will suss it and ask the staff who never know whether to lie to a 5 year old or not!

We get the bus home and I entertain dinky by pretending to be asleep and she has to wake me up near home. However she likes doing it all the time and laughing her little head off because she tricked me!

At home she couldn’t get the box of her toy open fast enough. I helped her set it up and in no time she was giving playdoh hair cuts to the monsters!

I am hoping this has a good effect on her as I have to get her hair cut next week, so she has some hair cutting fun, and I get to make references to how it doesn’t hurt the monsters and how cool they look with their hair cut!

I will probably still have to buy a magzine as she has associated hair cuts with magazines, but she always kicks off on the way to or in the hairdressers as she is convinced it will hurt, despite knowing she has never been hurt with a hair cut. Her face is always the same. Like a deer caught in headlights!

She wanted to watch netflix for a bit so went into her room with her tablet device.

She came down for dinner, and we read a bit together, she brushed her teeth and then got ready for bed. Not as much demand avoidance as normal, still some, but not much, then again, I did say she could carry on watching netflix for a bit if she got dressed nicely.

So she is watching netflix in her room.


5 thoughts on “Shopping with Dinky.. and it doesnt all end in tears!

  1. well done on a successful shopping trip, the huge amount of background work in both planning and preparing for such a trip is something that is rarely seen or appreciated by others. I am glad the closing time theme worked but you are right and she will suss it out eventually lol. However it is still a great strategy to avoid been stuck in one place for the whole day by simply arriving at the activity either one or two hours before it closes, dependent on how long you want to be there of course. We still plan, for many things, like this for Mollie now and she understands and negotiates with us over arrival time in relation to closing time. You have done a fab job getting all of that done in one trip, well done !! You must have been exhausted by the time you got home, I just find the constant thinking on my feet and trying to avoid, deflect potential flashpoints for a duration of time, in public, absolutely and totally mentally and physically shattering.

    • Thanks Jane!
      I think sometimes it is hard to see just the amount of prep that goes into going out for 2 hours.
      Again it is the same when you are out. It becomes second nature to think ahead and then again on your toes, but then when you look at how much extra that is it seems a lot.
      I think one of the hardest things is being able to be creative with the de escalation or the strategies, formulating them over a period of time and then watching your child work them out after a few goes… Sure it proves they are bright but sometimes it makes you wish they were not too bright for their own good!
      Put it this way, as soon as I had set it up, dinky was in the dining area at her table happily cutting the playdoh hair while I had my feet up with a red bull and my iPad on Facebook! Lol

      I’m hoping tomorrow will be as successful, although I’m planning lunch, film, cab home. No poking the bear on a Sunday lol

      • I am sure that today will prove to be a little bit more restful for you. Even now we find that a trip to the cinema is one of the more peaceful events that we can successfully manage without too many issues cropping up. Have a good day 😀 xxx

Add your comment here...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s