My son just turned 7 years old! My youngest, the baby of the bunch. If you have read some of my other post 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! 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!