Friday, March 22, 2013

Wreck It Zack

We tried something new today.  We went to play at The Works, a children's science and learning play center in Bloomington.  I stacked the deck in our favor as much as I could;

1.  I made sure the boys had had all their morning meds.
2.  I made sure we got there first thing in the morning so it wasn't busy.  We were the first ones in the door and actually had the place to ourselves for the first 8 minutes or so.
3.  I packed the backpack tightly, but keeping things I'd need quickly easily accessible.  Only the backpack - no purse for me.  I needed to keep my hands as free as possible.
4.  I had a talk with Aliza before leaving.  She was in charge of AJ.  If he ran off, I needed her to follow him.  I would have all I could handle with Zack.

For the first 15 minutes it was a breeze; because the boys just did this.


*All photos are overexposed and blurry phone shots, because there's no way I was going to juggle a camera around there while I tried to keep both boys within reach.

But within a few minutes, they decided to help Aliza with the building blocks.  Or, rather, AJ helped a little, while Tyranosaurus Zack destroyed everything she built.

We played that Zack was Wreck it Ralph, and Aliza was Fix it Felix, and we laughed and laughed when Zack would kick over her towers.  I kept trying to get Zack to holler "I'm gonna wreck it!" like Ralph (which he hollers repeatedly throughout the movie, if you haven't seen it) but Zack wasn't humoring us.  He just wanted to wreck stuff.  And because we made it fun and pretended like it was one of her favorite movies, Aliza didn't mind at all that Zack kept destroying everything she tried to build.



People are forever congratulating me for being brave and bringing the kids to places like this by myself, but I don't think of it that way.  If you tried to stay in the confines of our house with these kids for more than a 24 hour period, you'd see why it's worth the effort to get out and about.  And there are only a few places we can go.

And actually, early in the morning I was having second thoughts.  I started to lose my nerve.  But I knew Aliza would be disappointed if we didn't go, so I figured, what the heck.  Let's see what happens.  And I mentally and physically steeled myself for Zack to roll around on the floor, to try to dash off, to get in other kids' personal space, to wreck other kids buildings and things, and basically rush around like the Tasmanian Devil.  After we'd been there a half hour or so, a couple of boys came in and started working together on a structure of some sort, and I headed Zack off numerous times as he tried to kick over their building.  Finally, one time, he got around me and he knocked down one of their walls.  I told Zack "no" and I apologized to the boys, and they weren't too upset about it.  They had seen him knock over Aliza's structures several times, and from the way he darts around randomly, with his monkey toy hanging out of his mouth, making odd sounds, it's not like at any point they might have been under the impression Zack was an ordinary boy who was just being mean.  I'm sure they recognized autism.

I really, really don't care if people stare, and I dare anyone to make a derogatory comment.  I'm ready to lash out at all times about our right to play in these places as much as anyone else.  Nobody ever says anything, though, probably because I'm so ready for it.  I'm on defense from the moment we walk into a place like this.  I follow Zack like a shadow, and I'm fairly good at grabbing his shirt and keeping him from tearing off or wrecking other kids' stuff.  I make an effort to tell him what proper behavior would be, to redirect, but mostly he's so overstimulated in a place like that, no matter how much I prepare him, that it's all I can do to follow him around and play defense.

It's exhausting, though.  Every mom is alert when out in public with their kids, but in a place like this, I'm hyper vigilant.  I have to be.  I can't drop my guard for even a split second.  I can't sit down.  I can't look at my phone.  I'm ready to pounce on that kid (or AJ even, if he decides to be out of control) at all times.  So our outings tend to be short, for Zack's and my benefit.

I'm not sure what else we'll do during spring break next week, but I won't be sad to send them back to school the week after that, and to go back to work myself and get some rest!

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Labels

#youmightbeanautismparentif 2012 in review 9/11 memories ABA therapy Acceptance acronyms advocacy affection aggression AJ Aliza Aliza the playwright All I really need to know... Alphabitty Moments American Girl Ann Coulter antibullying anxiety anxiety in parents of children with special needs apple orchard apps for autism AppSmitten Arbaclofen Arbitrary Thoughts ARC autism autism brushing autism portrayed in TV shows Autism Shines awareness backyard band baseball bath toys beds behavior problems being tall Birthday Boys biting blog change blog hop blogging books bottles brushing bubbles Burnsville Fire Muster bus Cabin Fever in Minnesota candy Carly Fleischmann Carly's Voice cats cats and dogs chewys Chicago childcare for special needs children childhood Children's Museum chocolate Christmas Church circumin clinical trials Clonidine CNN Hero of 2011 coffee communication comparisons computer Conference cost of special education Courage Center Curcumin daddy dance dance competition dance moms Dental surgery dentist developmental milestones diagnosis diapers Diego Disability Day dogs Dolphin Tale Doomsday Preparation Dora Doritos drug trials DVD player early intervention earrings Easter ECSE Parent Retreat electronic gadgets electronics Everything I need to know... Evil Overlord fall falling asleep at school families family fashion fear Featured Feel Good Friday field trip fireworks first day of school Flash Gordon Food Chronicles food issues in Fragile X and autistic children forms forts Fragile Face of God Fragile X Fragile X advocate Fragile X and autism Fragile X Awareness Day Fragile X carriers Fragile X in the news Fragile X presentation Fragile X statistics Fragile X Writers friends fundraiser for Fragile X funniest Funny Gabrielle Giffords Galveston games getting carsick Girls' Night Out Giving Spirit glasses global warming going home Good Morning Great Quotes guest blogs guest post haircuts Halloween hearing test Heaven is for Real hippotherapy holidays Holland Holly home life homework hotel hugging human behavior hyperactivity IEP Meeting IEPs in the news inclusion inspiration integration iPad iPad apps iPad apps for autism IQ testing Jack Jablonski January First Joke journal entry kids with Fragile X and animals Kindergarten Kindle kisses language study learning to talk leaves lemonade stand Lily Little Einsteins losing teeth Mad Gab makeup mall Mall of America marcia braden McDonalds media sensationalization medications Melatonin Miami MIND Institute Minnesota Bloggers Conference minocycline Miracle League monkeys mosquito bites Mother's Day movies MVMOM Used Clothing and Equipment Sale nail trimming names naughtiness neighbors nicknames nightmares normal off topic one thing leads to another online dating Operation Beautiful oral sensory orphan drug act other bloggers Our Wedding outside overstimulation panic attacks parade parental stress Parenthood park Partners in Policymaking penicillin people with disabilities pets pharmacy fun photography Photoshop picnic Pictures pinching pink shirt Pinterest playing outside playing with toys poem politics poop potty training Presents protecting autistic children rash reading to kids research Retreat riding a bike Robin Williams Roger Ebert routine RSS feed RUSH University San Diego Sandy Hook Elementary Santa schedules school school bus school notes school pictures screaming self image self-checkouts sensory Seroquel siblings with developmental delays sick kids sippy cups sleep smile snow pictures Snowstorm social situations speaking of the unspeakable special education special education evaluation special needs kids special needs parents Special Needs Ryan Gosling Special Olympics spelling spoon feeding spring break staying positive stimming Strep STX209 Stylish Blog Award suicide summer Sunday School Sundays sunshine survival mode swimming talking talking to kindergarteners Target teacher's aides Teeth brushing Tegretol Temple Grandin Ten Commandments textbook case of Fragile X thankful thanksgiving that window/mirror thing The Autism Store The R Word the rapid passage of time The Right Things to say to parents of special needs children The Santa Experience the Shedd Aquarium The Twin Thing The Wiggles therapeutic horseback riding therapy This is Autism topless trampoline traveling with special needs children TV twins with special needs Twitter typical Fragile X characteristics typical kids typing vacation Vacation Bible School video games videos volunteering Waisman Center water play way-back-Wednesday What I've Learned What's your song? when a special needs parent dies Wiggles Wii games Winner Winner Chicken Dinner winter wonder Wonder Pets Wordful Wednesday Wordless Wednesday Words of Wisdom World Autism Awareness Day YMCA You Tube Zack Zoloft zoo animals

Fragile X Blogs