What defines me?

Cancer , A Dozen Kids , Life, Struggle

My son just turned 7 years old! My youngest, the baby of the bunch. If you have read some of my other postΒ you know he struggles with Autism. He has little control of his emotions. For his birthday his wish for our outing together to be Shedd Aquarium.

We had been to Shedd once before with all of the kids. About two years ago I would say it’s been since our visit. Myself I had gone once with Marc as well. Kind of an adult date trip. This trip being more recent I knew the lay of the land upon arrival.

The tripped was planned for us to take the two little boys. This is a difficult task for many reason’s.

A) They both have disabilities that can make being in crowds difficult!
B) Fighting between the two is like world war 3.
C) Neither can handle car rides more then about 15 mins.
D) The attention span is extremely limited for either of them.

So I thought I would plan it well and nip anything I could in the butt. Putting snacks in the car for a pass time activity. I brought a charger and a tablet. Making sure I could turn on my mobile hot spot on my cell phone for the tablets to use. I knew parking was close to the building but would cost $25. No biggie it was worth it to me. I even had planned to position myself between the two boys if the car ride got difficult.

The car ride to Chicago went smooth as silk. Paytyn slept the entire trip. Leaving Aaden access to the snacks and tablet and our time. So he was just fine. A few “are we there yet” comments came from him but not enough to be an annoyance.

Then we are attempting to park at Shedd to be told that was pretty much impossible. I picked a day that had a bears game at the same time. They sent us to a parking garage about a mile and a half from shedd! Pulling into that garage we determine the cost to park is $40. Yikes!Β  Having no alternative plan we have no choice but to fork out the dough.

This leaves me feeling like I have already screwed up. It sets the tone for me to start feeling at fault for all that will go wrong through the day. Marc feel stressed at the thought of me walking. Knowing the day before my pain was really high and this could not be good for it.

Now I realize Paytyn is dressed a bit warm for the outdoor unplanned walk and the three of us are all in flip flop type sandal’s. Again this rest on my shoulders. Marc gets what I perceive as upset on a few situations. This makes me just meltdown. In my head I am torturing myself for everything not going our way.

A large tunnel before us that we must walk through to get to the Shedd Aquarium. Through that tunnel I am pep talking myself in my head. Telling myself everything isn’t my fault. Trying to convince me that Marc isn’t angry at me. Things have been out of my control I keep repeating to myself. I even thought of this post I would make later. Writing it out in my head as we walked.

I told myself once we exited this never ending tunnel I would let go of any mistake I felt blame for and give myself a clean slate. We stepped out and into the light and I took in a deep breath and let go.

With the Shedd in sight I felt a bit relieved. The boys, Marc, and I eagerly climbed the stairs into the building. There was a line for checking in as we stood Paytyn and his no filter begun making comments of the other guest in line.

“Mom look at the lady with the black on her elbows. Why doesn’t her mom tell her to wash it!”

Oh my goodness, I begin trying to quite him. I can feel the anxiety rise as I start to worry about what others are thinking of my sweet boy.

Marc saves the day taking the boys to check out a statue made from recycled garbage. This leaves me to just focus on getting our tickets and picking our time for the 4d movie and dolphin show. He seriously is amazing and seems to know just when I need him to help provide a distraction. We work like a well oiled machine.

Once we have tickets in hand we are off. Things go well for the most part except Paytyn has no concept of personal space. Plowing through people when ever he saw fit. Marc and I offering apologies for his perceived as rude behavior.

A little girl sitting on the floor attraction Paytyn’s attention and he finds a seat next to her. She brings up her fear of spiders because they suck your blood. “Here we go”, I think to myself.

“Well that is a lie. Vampires suck human blood but spiders don’t!” Paytyn exclaims.

The mother chimes in saying that the spiders make a web and suck insects blood so she is partially right. I change the subject quickly so we can refrain from Paytyn elaborating on the vampires.

The walks between rooms or exhibits I must stop Paytyn from punching and hanging on his brother. He hangs from my limbs the entire day. Pulling my arm nearly out of it’s socket on more then one occasion. Aaden gets a bit ahead a few times and must be wrangled back in. For the most part it did go pretty smoothly.

My favorite parts were the Dolphin show and the 4d movie. The movie was a fish movie. The seats would shake and vibrate. There was air that blew out at you. Bubbles going off from every direction. Of course we were splashed with water which the boys loved. You could see the boys reaching to grab at the four d objects floating before us.

The Dolphin show had lights and sounds that I was a bit worried may upset Paytyn. We were sitting at the end of the isle in case we needed to exit. We were in the second row perfect for viewing but the people in front of us had the back of their heads in several of the pictures I took. Lol. The dolphins jumping was an incredible feat to watch. Simply blown away was I.

The boys enjoyed their time. A mcdonalds trip on the way home left them with full bellies to pass out the trip home. Making that a smooth ride. The pictures and moments were priceless. Each smile made the stress worth it!

41 thoughts on “Shedd Aquarium

  1. This was wonderful. It’s so worth it when children are satisfied. You did good! The pictures say it all.

  2. kumamonjeng says:

    Aquarium is the great place to spend for a whole afternoon. I also like how there are corners where children can touch and getting close up with the star fishes and other sea creatures. What a fun day to spend with the kids.

  3. Melissa says:

    My children love aquariums! What a fun day! And, McDonalds on the way home is always a huge hit too!! πŸ™‚

  4. Joanna says:

    It sounds like you did enjoyed the day and despite your worries, almost everything went smoothly. I haven’t been to an aquarium in years.

  5. Ally says:

    It is so helpful when you can try to plan and prepare for what will go wrong. My son loves aquariums, theres something about the lights and all the fish that just has eyes light up when he sees it all.

  6. Amber says:

    What a cool aquarium! My kids have always loved going to one. I always hate when the parking garage is overpriced though. We once had to pay $25 and I thought that was a lot. I was so miffed.

  7. The aquarium is the colossal place to spend for an entire evening. I additionally like how there are corners where kids can contact and draw near up with the starfishes and other ocean animals. What a fun day to go through with the children.

  8. Beautiful Mind Blog says:

    Ouch $40 for parking! And not even close parking! It sounds like you and your children will have lots of fun memories. Even if at the time it was stressful.

  9. It takes planning to visit and aquarium. I have been to Shedd and it is ginormous. Also, you should try using this app called Spot Hero. I used it all the time I was in Chicago for really cheap parking in closed garages. Like parking for 4 hours in John Hancock garage once cost me only $10. So it is very useful. All big cities have it.

  10. LaDonna says:

    You boys look happy and handsome. You’re doing a great job mom

  11. Kids say the darnest things. 😁 Sometimes it could be really embarrassing for us adults when they say things without filter. 😱 You seem to have enjoyed your trip though despite some β€œscenes”.

  12. Geraline Batarra says:

    Wow, that is really a nice place to go with our kids. Mine loves seeing sea creatures and I am sure they will like this place

  13. mdaisi says:

    I just took young ones to see an aquarium recently. I am happy that your kids had a great time. Looks really fun.

  14. Monidipa says:

    Besides some mess up in plans, everything went well and boys enjoyed. I can totally relate with Paytyn when he had the urge to correct the girl about spider sucking blood.

  15. I personally love aquarium. And It’s so worth it when children are satisfied.

  16. Olga Zak says:

    Wow..amazing.It looks you had a great funny time with your family. I love visiting aquariums.

  17. The M.D. says:

    What a touching story. Kids are extremely precious and while it can be difficult and challenging at times, its the moments you described that make it worth it.

  18. alison netzer says:

    Sounds like in the end you had a success of a trip. We always plan and things never go as planned, but you were able to handle it well. I am sorry for the stress, but working with your husband it seems you were able to handle the not so perfect moments

  19. Despite your stress about all the things that didn’t go according to your initial plan, it looks like the boys had a wonderful time. I hope you did too πŸ™‚ I’ve taken my nephews to the cinema a few times but haven’t attempted a trip to the aquarium yet and that sounds like a good idea to keep them occupied for most of the day.

  20. It is amazing how kids enjoy nature. I love to take mine as much as I can to places so they can learn more and more. Great trip to the aquarium.

  21. My oldest went to the aquarium for a field trip, last year and loved it. My oldest has ADHD . He and my youngest are 4 years apart with a sister right in the middle. They are always getting on each others nerves. We usually go to the Milwaukee or Brookfield zoo because my m-i-l gets passes. It definitely takes patience and I’m with you, when something doesn’t go as expected, I worry over it and it ends up being ok in the end.

  22. natalielovesbeauty says:

    Sounds like a memorable trip to the aquarium that the kids will remember for years to come. Gotta love family outings!

  23. I’m exhausted to reading about your day. Don’t know how you do it!

  24. Mary says:

    My grandson has autism and I have a difficult time taking him out by myself. I think he would love a family trip to an aquarium though. Glad you all had a nice visit!

  25. Man oh man, I have been in your shoes. Blaming myself for everything. I am so glad you were able to put it behind you and enjoy the trip! I know stuff with our special kiddos can be rough, but it’s worth it!

  26. jeanwaren says:

    I am glad to know that the day went well for his birthday. He is so lucky to have a mommy like you!

  27. vsudarsan says:

    Just looking at fish swim can be therapeutic for the mind. We used to be regular visitors to Monterrey Bay aquarium until recently.

  28. It looks like the kids had a lot of fun and great time touching the sea creatures and corals. I can’t imagine the stress you’re in but glad to hear that all ends well. Give yourself a pat on the back for doing a good job!

  29. Wow! Lovely place I’m pretty sure your son enjoy the aquarium field trip.

  30. I love aquarium! They are always such a wonder and a pleasure! so many animals to see and what a great place for kids to learn.

  31. The kids had so much fun at the Aquarium and it’s nice to see that you did proper planning before they’d get to the place and cause World War 3. Cheers to you mom!

  32. I’m so glad that you are your family had a great time at the aquarium! I love making plans and try to get everything just right before an activity but sometimes things don’t work out exactly the way I planned. And usually it is for the better.

  33. Elizabeth O says:

    It looks like you all had a great day out at the aquarium! I find watching sealife swim around so relaxing indeed.

  34. Terri Beaver says:

    wow, these pics are awesome! We would love to visit one day, my boys love aquariums. My youngest son has been carrying a fish guide book around pointing out fish he likes.

  35. We went to an aquarium in KC few weeks ago. Such an enriching experience for kids.

  36. Hannah Marie says:

    Glad to know you all had a great time! The boys look so happy and thrilled!

  37. Shedd Aquarium is a nice idea for bonding especially if you have kids. My little son loves fishes and I think he will love this too.

  38. My son was very similar when he was this age. Thankfully with medication and coping skills he is much more in tune with his emotions. It was a trial getting the right combination, but I am so glad he is finally good to go.

  39. It sounds like you really managed everything beautifully resulting in an enjoyable day without too many hiccups.

  40. The Shedd Aquarium is my girl favorite place to visit every time we are in Chicago. They truly love it.

  41. Pradnya says:

    Glad to know that in the end you guys were able to end the trip on a more relaxed note.

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