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Posts Tagged ‘sensory integration’

Monday Minute: The Shoes and the Sockless

After an intensely busy Monday the pressure is on to finish the Monday Minute on Monday. Let’s see how many more times I can fit Monday into a sentence, right?

I’m beginning to think that the Monday Minute series is really my therapy through comic relief. The following conversation, while somewhat humorous, is a painfully all-too-familiar routine 4+ mornings a week:

My responses are in bold italics. Ryan’s remarks are in bold. James is in italics.

————————————————

Setting: getting ready to go after breakfast – brushing teeth mercifully done.

Okay James go get your socks on. What? Get your socks on. Ohhhhhhhhh. Hurry up and put one on your foot. 

James, put your sock on your foot. (muttering in a soft voice):blahblah. What? James. socks. blahblahblah. James. blah. 1….blah….2…..blah…. 3……blah. Okay – strike 1 against Wii time. No. You need to stop talking back right now. Don’t get more strikes. I hate when you’re bothering me. What? I hate it. Get your shoes on.

(stomps over to hall and gets shoes, slams shoes down on the floor) Just boring. boring. boring.

(Ryan) Stop making unpleasant noises at your mother. (very quietly to self): not even doing anything. James. Mom, he said I’m doing something and I’m not.

(repeats in falsetto): Mom, he said I’m doing something and I’m not. Why are you talking like that? Are your shoes on?

I’m getting them on. (repeats in falsetto): I’m getting them on.

Are they on?

Are they on?

James – mm-hmm. Okay go get a jacket on. Can I bring Diary of A Wimpy Kid? Okay, but get a jacket. Diary of a Wimpy Kid? Ok. 

(flicking closet light on and off)

James – coat. backpack. go. 

2 minutes later

James, is your coat on? Yes. hi dad. Hi James. Hi dad. Hi James. Hi dad. Stop, okay. Oh good grief. gooood grief. good grief. goood.

Grief. Mom would you help me zip? Sure, come here. So I need a travel mug of coffee for the way. What? a travel mug. No. you just brushed your teeth. how about a big kiss then? Okay. Yuck. What? Your lotion is on your face. gross.

James put your backpack on and go down to the lobby. backpack backpack. backpack backpack backpack. (swishswishswishswish) Ryan: James, what are you doing? (to me): Is it the floppy sleeves? No, it’s the swishing noise. What? The swishing of the material – he’s freaking out. (James continues to spastically swish his sleeves together)

(to Ryan): Have fun walking to school with that jacket.

Okay, mom! 

Patience and Foortitude, Part 3: Just Foortitude This Time, With Special Guest Appearance By Windex

As I picked up pieces of mushroom from the bathroom floor, I noticed that my foot was bleeding ever so slightly – I must have missed another tiny sliver of glass. I silently (okay, not so silently) cursed Corelle, makers of the supposedly unbreakable dishware. The only thing that kept me from becoming hysterical was brainstorming potential titles for my post this evening, because I sure as hell had a story to tell.

It started off as a Medium kind of day. James had a medium morning, not thrilled to get up but not upset enough for any theatrics. My 2 year old discovered bras today, and spent the morning putting bras on herself, her head and every stuffed animal in sight. Only medium cute after she got two clasps stuck in her hair and bent them – I don’t have that many bras. My cranky, crying, screechy, teething 8 month old was having a not-so-great day, but one out of three isn’t that bad – it’s almost a given that at least several days a week, one of the three kids is going to have a not-so-great day.

So let’s fast-forward to see how things got from Medium to Extreme (see Patience and Foortitude Part 2: Extreme Parenting).

3:00pm

I picked James up from school and we paid our fifth trip in a row to Walgreens. The pharmacy had misplaced one of his prescriptions I had dropped off the week prior, and because I might sell Vyvanse on the black market we had to have a whole new prescription written and mailed in. The pharmacy called our neurologist (who for now shall remain nameless) last Tuesday, June 7th, but apparently they did not mail a new script until Friday, June 10th. Monday, June 13th rolled around – still no script, and now I had run out of Vyvanse for James. So, since Monday we had been making a daily pilgrimage to Walgreens to check for our prescription, and when it wasn’t there, pick up a single pill to tide us over.

Today was no different – the mail from “Friday” still had not arrived. We waited for 15 minutes for our single pill, and I left with a medium amount of frustration. Let’s be honest, 15 minutes in “Multiple Kid Time” really feels like at least an hour. I mentally added another 30 minutes because I had a fussy teething 8 month old baby strapped on.

3:30pm

On our way home James stops to stare at a beggar sitting outside of Duane Reade. The man calls over to him and James, instead of walking away or toward him, just kind of stands there and stares. I give him a little poke in the back to keep things moving (my 8 month old is still crying and my 2 yr old has stripped down in the stroller to her diaper at this point) and James, in his usual style, reacts as though I  have stabbed him.

He is still kind of grumbling about it as I carry the stroller into our building. An older woman is holding the door and as we walk through James explains to her, “It really hurt when my mom nailed me with a nail in my back.”

4:30pm

Homework done after only an hour of prodding. Baby still screaming – nursing, laying him in the crib, carrying him around, even the plastic cup of water is not distracting this guy. I can tell the noise is getting to James because he repeatedly claps his hands over his ears, none to gently. For those of you who have not had the pleasure, my 8 month old sounds eerily like an amplified tea kettle when he is screaming. It is truly an ear-shattering experience for anyone, let alone James and all of his noise issues.

5:00pm

Husband working late for the 6,893rd day in a row (in “Multiple Kid Time” this is not an exaggeration). Despite continued screaming, I try to make the best of things and let the kids help me cook dinner. James and my 2 yr old get into a fight over the pasta and spill the full strainer into the sink. I put some pasta on paper plates for them and set them up at the other counter. The sink looks clean enough – pasta goes back into the pot.

5:20pm

I walk into the kitchen where my 2 yr old is working on her second banana. She looks up with a guilty expression on her face. I see more pasta and half a peach on the counter. There are banana peels on the floor and banana juice everywhere. Banana juice? Wait a second… my daughter has already dashed from the kitchen as I realize what has really happened. There is a pair of pink underwear on the kitchen floor too. Banana juice, good grief – I must be losing it. I get the Windex out.

5:35pm

The baby is finally down for a nap. Kids are helping to set the table. My daughter grabs a stack of bowls and runs out of the kitchen. “Come back here,” I call. “We need to put food in those bowls!” She tears back into the kitchen and promptly drops the bowls on the floor, where they all shatter. In an effort to escape the situation, she runs back out of the kitchen, through the broken glass. Corelle, I am very disappointed in you.

Miraculously, her feet are untouched. I wish I could say the same for mine.

5:55pm

Glass cleaned up – I even re-Windexed the floor after sweeping to make sure I got all of the tiny pieces. Baby still napping – hooray! I feel bad about losing my temper over the bowls so we make Shirley Temples together for a special treat. We sit down for dinner – James and his sister fight over seats and the last remaining glass bowl. I eat from Bob the Builder plasticware.

6:15pm

I go to start the shower for James and stop dead when I open the bathroom door. There is poop on the floor in front of the toilet – ugh. I hear my 2 yr old running away as I call out,” Who had an accident?” (I would’ve run away too at this point.) Apparently she has decided to clean out her own potty chair and this is the result. I go back to the kitchen for some plastic  bags. And the Windex.

6:30pm

I am sudsing James up in the shower when tragedy strikes. Some water gets into James’s ear! He goes crazy and the shower now becomes a soap-crazed wrestling match. Shouts of “You’re getting me wet!” and “Don’t touch my ear – you’re hurting me!!” can be heard throughout the apartment, and there’s no telling which one of us is yelling what.

The baby is woken by the shower extravaganza.

6:31pm

I carry my 8 month old out to the dining room. My 2 yr old is sitting at the table with a bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels. The table is covered in pools of clear liquid. The bag of bread and tub of butter is covered in Windex. The mail is soaked through. The dishes are wet. I put my daughter into time out, put the baby down and get to work on the mess – they both immediately start screaming.

6:45pm

I grab the baby and go to get James out of the shower. James is happily standing in the shower coating himself in daily shower cleaning spray. He is pretending it is a gun of some sort, and seems kind of annoyed when I interrupt (very loudly) “What are you doing???!! Put that down!”

I re-shower James as my 2 yr old comes in to poop again. This time I am there to empty the potty chair for her. Or so I think. As I straighten up with the bowl in hand (and baby in the other), my daughter tackles me, screaming “I can do it my big girl self!” The bowl spills all over the floor. I put her back into time out, send James to his room to get dressed, and put the baby down again. Complaints all around. I go get the Windex.

7:15pm 

We are all seated back at the table, playing a makeshift version of Pictionary before bed (I am working on a post that explains the modifications I make to regular boardgames for James). James draws a great insect and my daughter makes four circles for “Four Eyes.” They both guess that my golfer is a woman sweeping. I fill two little cups with mini-marshmallows as a joint dessert/prize for kicking my butt. I feed the baby a late dinner of yogurt and pasta.

7:45pm

I am sweeping up the kitchen and dining room while my daughter follows me around whining, “Hold me, mommy, hold me.” I am already holding her brother. I compromise by singing all of the songs from The Little Mermaid as I sweep. James joins in – it is a sweeping success.

8:00pm

I give James his medicine and send him to wait in his room while I put the leftovers away. My 8 month old is quiet now, as long as I am holding him. As I silently congratulate myself on my one-handed mastery of packing food away, he casually swats the tupperware, sending it crashing to the floor below. Pasta, sausage, mushrooms, onions and tomato sauce are everywhere. I place him on the floor. He starts to cry while simultaneously eating as much pasta as he can get his hands on. I get out the Windex.

8:30pm

We are all camped out in James’s room while I read The Magician’s Nephew to him. Against direct orders, my daughter is repeatedly jumping off of James’s bed to make her little brother laugh, and is succeeding. She accidentally kicks him in the head. I put her in time out. I finally finish the chapter with two babies in my lap, sniffling.

8:35pm

I tuck James in and we all have an “air-kiss battle” for a few minutes, where we see who can smack who out of the room with the best air-kiss (think Mario meets Star Wars). James wins, much to my daughter’s dismay. One kid down. My mood lightens considerably.

9:00pm

I am laying in bed with the two babies, reading Goodnight Moon for the third time in a row. There is a light at the end of the tunnel – I’ll read this book sixteen more times if it means more peace and quiet followed by sleep. Thankfully, it takes only one more read.

9:45pm

I sneak out of my room and duck into the bathroom. I step on something soft and squishy. I take a deep breath and look down. It’s a mushroom. Huh? On further examination I can see at least half a dozen sliced mushrooms on the bathroom floor. I also notice a red smear on the floor and realize it’s coming from a piece of glass still stuck in my foot from earlier. I grab the Windex.

 

Are You Smarter Than a Fourth Grader: what the other kids are asking about your special needs child

As I made my way to James’s school on Friday afternoon I tried to imagine what magic spell I could recite to his classmates to make them all forget about Wednesday’s incident. Do you ever wonder what other kids think about your special needs child? This is not actually something I dwell on often, but standing in front of 22 very curious faces I wondered what questions were about to come my way, and hoped that I would be able to answer them both honestly and appropriately (I really didn’t want to say “poop” or “megacolon” in front of a bunch of fourth graders).

I started off by explaining why I was there – I told James’s class that he didn’t know I had come but that I was worried about sending James back to school after what happened on Wednesday and wanted to make sure it was safe for him to come back. I told the kids that I was concerned about  what might be said to James and that I didn’t want him to be made fun of for something that was outside of his control. I gave a brief explanation of James’s disability and related medical issues that led to Wednesday’s disaster, and also talked with them about James’s past surgeries and his history with intestinal issues. Then, I opened up the floor for questions – regarding Wednesday or James in general. Here are just a few of the questions I was asked:

Q. What happened Wednesday? Why did James not know what to do?

A. James may not have been able to tell you, but as his mom I know what was going on inside of him. James had an extremely busy week with you guys – NDI performances, field day, field trips, testing – and because of his crazy schedule his medication didn’t work properly and James was not able to go to the bathroom for nearly 2 weeks (there was a collective gasp at this pronouncement, especially from the boys). On Wednesday his body did not cooperate with him and James couldn’t make it to a bathroom in time. He didn’t know what to do because he was outside and far away from a bathroom.

Q. Is James upset at home?

A. Not really. Thankfully, James forgot about what happened by the time we got home – he forgets about things very quickly sometimes. I am hoping you will help him forget about it.

Q. Why does James make weird faces and tip his head sometimes?

A. James’s brain works differently than yours or mine and sometimes he is thinking about something and acting it out in his mind. You know how you can keep your thoughts secret from people if you want to? James can’t do that sometimes.

Q. What kind of surgery did James have?

A. He has had a lot of surgeries – on his eyes, stomach, teeth, legs.

Q. Did it hurt when they did surgery?

A. No because they gave him a shot that made him sleep through all of them, kind of like when you go to the dentist.

Q. Why does James spin in circles a lot?

A. Sometimes when it is really chaotic or loud James likes to spin in circles to deal with all of the noise. Other times he likes to spin because it feels good to him.

Q. I had that same kind of surgery and sometimes my eyes get tired and they go like “this.”

A. That’s what happens when James’s eyes get tired, too.

Q.  Why does James get mad when I say good job? Why does James get mad when I try to help him? 

A. James may have not been able to tell you, but as his mom I am pretty sure that he isn’t usually mad, even if he looks like he is. When James gets mad he is usually one of 3 things – scared, frustrated or embarrassed. Sometimes when you say good job James is feeling frustrated or embarrassed that he can’t do whatever you guys are doing – NDI, gym, math – as well as you, and he thinks you are teasing him or just feels upset that he can’t do those things. He is embarrassed to have you help him because he wants to do it himself.

Q. What can we do to make him not feel embarrassed?

A. Act like you don’t notice that he is not doing it the same as you – all he wants is to fit in with the group.

Q. Is it serious?

A. (after some clarification from the teacher) As long as James takes his medicine and sees his doctors he should be just fine.

Q. Why does James make noises like “this?”

A. James sometimes doesn’t realize he is making noises, and other times he can’t help it. Sometimes when he is stressed out or excited he makes noises – the noises help calm him down. It is better if you just ignore them.

Q.Why does James cry at popping noises?

A. This is a very serious thing I want to address (I spoke to the whole class but everyone knew I was really talking to a handful of kids in the class). I understand that there have been some popping incidents during lunch, where people are popping chip bags at James. This must stop. James’s ears are shaped differently on the inside and popping noises scare him because they really hurt his head on the inside. They hurt James like he is being hit (I made some good eye contact here). If James was given a million dollars inside of bubble wrap he would throw it in the garbage (there was a huge gasp from the class at this revelation) because popping is so horrible to him. We can’t have balloons or anything else that might pop in our house because we don’t want to hurt or scare him. When something pops near James it feels like he was hit in the head – that’s how much it hurts. So if you are popping chip bags at James, it is the same as if you hit him. Popping is hitting.

Q. How can we help James? What can we do when he is upset?

A. You can help him by being his friend, and by acting like he is just one of the group. You can pretend not to notice the ways he is different from you, the noises he makes, or the “weird faces.” Instead of asking what’s wrong you can act like you don’t know he’s about to cry and let him recover by himself so that he doesn’t feel embarrassed. You can protect him from other children at lunch and recess if he is having trouble understanding the rules to a game or if they are making fun of him for doing unusual things by inviting him to hang out with you.

Q. One time I fell off the stage and had an accident in front of everyone.

A. I bet you felt scared and embarrassed too. (Nod) So you especially know how James felt last week at recess. (Nod)

Q. Why couldn’t James walk to the bathroom on Wednesday? Was he paralyzed?

A. He wasn’t paralyzed but his insides kind of were. James couldn’t get to the bathroom because his stomach hurt so badly he couldn’t walk. You know how your insides hold everything inside for you so you have time to get to the bathroom without an accident? Sometimes James’s body doesn’t do that for him, and there is nothing he can do about it. Can you imagine how much it would hurt if you couldn’t go to the bathroom for 2 weeks? (Lots of nods)

Q. What can we do to help on Monday when he comes back? (This was asked about 15 different times and ways, and I answered the same way with slight variations each time)

A. The best thing you can do for James is to pretend like nothing ever happened, because James has already forgotten about it. All James needs to be happy is a bunch of good friends. James is not worried about coming back Monday because he doesn’t know what happened is such a big deal anymore. I am worried as his mom that he will be made fun of so I need your promise that you will not mention what happened on Wednesday and that you will tell a teacher if you hear anyone giving James a hard time, especially at lunch or recess. (A classroom full of thumbs up went into the air)

It was 3:00 and almost every child still had their hand in the air though I had been answering questions for an hour. The minute the session was “closed” I was swarmed by children who were eager to touch my 8 month old, who I had brought along for the meeting. Children were touching his cheeks and holding his hands, while others were bringing up classwork and pictures to show me. I could barely get out of the room for them to pack up – I must admit, I felt like the popular kid (it was probably the baby) and I hoped that I could pass off some of my popularity onto James.

Yesterday I sent James to school with one change of clothes and no small amount of anxiety. I felt that my meeting with the children had gone well. The teachers and administration had been nothing short of supportive, amazing, kind, helpful, wonderful, and amazing (seriously, this does not even begin to do justice to how amazing they were). BUT, James had not “gone to the bathroom” since the incident. Even with the new meds. Ugh.

Despite my worrying, there were no calls during the day, and when I came to get him after school he looked relaxed and happy. The teachers said he had a great day and James came up to inform me that “Kasia was his best friend today.” Other children said hi to the babies and all was well. I instantly felt about 10 pounds lighter.

It looks like I underestimated the kids. So, fourth graders everywhere but especially in class 318, please accept my apology for not giving you enough credit to take information and use it for good. I hope one of you gets to read this at some point a few years from now – no matter what else you have done up to that point, I hope that you will be able to find out what a difference you made in someone else’s life. James may not have been able to tell you, but as his mom I am telling you how grateful we both are for your help, support and kindness.

There are more balloon vendors in Central Park than Starbucks in Manhattan

Let me start off by saying that most of the weekend was great – beautiful weather, lots of outdoor time, picnics with friends, sprinklers, sand, tired but happy kids – overall a lot of fun and time together as a family. But, as often is the case on Monday holidays, my husband went to work yesterday and I decided to adventure out again with the kids. After all, Saturday and Sunday had been so pleasant and I was feeling optimistic with the sunny warm weather.

Below are the two emails that I sent upon my return from Central Park on Monday.

To my husband:

Subject: There are more balloon vendors in Central Park than Starbucks in Manhattan

Finally back from our hellacious trip. Amazingly hellacious. I never want to see a balloon again. But we made it to Heckscher park come hell or high water and played for 20 minutes to make the surrounding hours of misery seem more worth it. And I got a good workout with both babies strapped on in 90 degree heat. And the kids are exhausted so bedtime should be quick and painless tonight.

How is your day going? I’m making taco salad for dinner.
Love you,
M
To the woman I was meeting for a day at the CP zoo and playground:
Subject: today
Good evening,
Things have finally calmed down around here and I wanted to send you a note before bed. I’m sorry about earlier – I don’t know what I was thinking bringing the kids into such ridiculous crowds, heat and chaos by myself today!
It was really hard to stay in one place for too long with all three kids – each of them wanted to get moving to a new section of zoo at a different time and they were hot and hungry to top it off. Then getting something quick to eat at the cafe turned into a noisy mess thanks to some screaming, tantruming kids at the table next to us. After James was on edge about all of the noise (with his hands over his ears the entire meal instead of eating anything), we kept running into balloon vendors on our way to the playground, several who approached us and tried to get us to take free balloons. James totally lost it by the 3rd vendor, and there were at least a dozen more on our windy trip through Central Park. It took over an hour to navigate a way from the zoo to Heckscher that didn’t involve balloons and by that time the kids (and I) were sweaty, stressed messes – James from the balloons and the rest of us from James’s terrified screaming. We played at Heckscher in the water for 20 minutes to cool down, calm down and for me to rest my back since I was carrying both babies – plus, I wanted my hours of heavy labor to result in something pleasant for the poor kids at that point. Of course afterward it took another hour to walk to CPW and hail a cab – on the way M found a little balloon and she and James fought about it all the way out of the park. So, meeting you at the next playground wasn’t even a remote possibility, though I would’ve liked to visit and catch up!
Michaela
I spent the day alone – much of the trip very unpleasant though none of my kids were being “bad.” This may sound crazy to some of you, but I am actually glad I was by myself. Would it have been easier with my husband there for company, to help carry a kid or man children at the zoo or playground? Of course. Am I glad he was spared the stress of the “epic balloon frenzy?” You bet. Would it have been easier to seek help from the friends I was supposed to be hanging out with in the same park? Perhaps. Was I worried about offending my friends or making them uncomfortable with James’s behavior? Actually, no. By method of natural selection we tend not to have friends who are made easily uncomfortable by a disabled child. In fact, I was probably more likely to have offended them by leaving without any notice. But, as I always say, having kids is not just a way to be popular.
The truth is that James needed the smallest audience possible if we were to leave Central Park alive. Balloons, or anything that could potentially make a popping noise (bubble wrap, plastic bags, fireworks, bonfires), are the number one phobia on James’s rather extensive list. And they are number one by a landslide – in fact, this phobia seems to be getting worse as James gets older, though many other fears have gotten a lot better. Now I know some of you are probably wondering why I brought him to the zoo if there are so many freaking balloon vendors. I swear, I have never seen anything like it, and we go to the zoo all the time. Usually there are one or two guys at the south entrance of the zoo and one to the north – I know to move quickly while distracting James and my toddler, one from flipping out and one from wanting a balloon very much.
On Monday there were clusters of them, every 10 yards or so. Several of the balloon-wielding lunatics approached us despite my death stares (I guess I need to brush up on that) and offered us free ones, which just about killed my daughter every time I turned them down. In between vendors, there were all of the kids with balloons – squeezing them, hitting each other with them, wearing them, improperly holding them – James pointed each child out by crying, telling me loudly about the balloon crime taking place, or my personal favorite, yelling at the child holding the balloon to “get away from me with that balloon, you!” and then crying. Sometimes his scream would be so loud and sudden that he would scare one or both babies, and then they would join him in crying.
Two hours after the zoo and many, many, many windy paths later, I gave up and decided to get to a street, any street, and find a cab – there is truly no place like home. I felt so bad for my children that the day had so little fun in it for all of our effort, felt sorry for James, felt frustrated with James, felt exhausted and hot and sweaty, and felt no small amount of loathing toward those balloon-wielding, plotting, devious maniacs that seemed to be more present than Nuts for Nuts carts. This is of course when we walked by Heckscher playground, our original destination.
James perked up. “Oh, good, we found it,” he said tearily. My daughter was sleeping on my back. After a moment’s hesitation, I woke her up and sent her and James racing into the playground sprinklers. 20 minutes later, wet, dirty and happy, we headed for home.
When I heard James scream this time, I turned around just in time to see my daughter gleefully running down the path with, what else. It was a very small, squishy, half-deflated purple balloon that she had apparently picked up off the ground and in her effort to keep it she was squeezing it very hard, sending James into a total frenzy. But she wasn’t ready to give up her prize without a fight – ironically my daughter just loves balloons. I thought quickly about how to best diffuse the situation without one of the kids totally flipping out.
Thank goodness for vendors. Two ice creams later we finally made it out of the park and into a taxi, where James talked about the fun sprinklers and my daughter talked about the penguins all the way home.

Since we’re still here…

I’ll tell you about what we actually did this past weekend.

Friday I took all 3 kids to a party after James got out of school. It was at the kids’ club where my daughter takes ballet and gymnastics, some Friday Family fun night they have every other week. It was supposed to be for ages 6 months to 6 years but I explained my situation with James to the manager and very sweetly she said he could come too.

I was a little nervous bringing him, though I couldn’t put my finger on why. I am comfortable discussing James’s disability and am an open book re: his diagnosis and special needs. He is also very well behaved for the most part and loves to play with younger children – it should all work out, right?

I think it was the other kids. Adults have a filter when discussing your very tall, obviously way too old to be here, talkative, anxious, disabled child. Most of them know what to say, what is okay to ask about, and most importantly, what not to say (“Um, is there a reason your son is hiding behind the pillar crying while Roly Poly Guacamole plays the guitar and sings Baa Baa Black Sheep?” or “Hey, I think your son is crying again because that toddler threw a ball near him.”) Kids generally haven’t developed a filter yet, which can be refreshing until you’re at the NY Kids Club trying to “protect” your 10 yr old from some pipsqueak who is calling him mean because “he is playing with all of the red balls out of the ball pit and he won’t let me throw them back in the ball pit” and not using an indoor voice and his nanny is on her cell phone looking at you like “Hey, take care of it- your much older kid is the problem” and all you want is for the pipsqueak to stop talking so loudly and for James to stop whimpering about “he took my ball” so that you can make sure your toddler isn’t going to flip right off of the trampoline she is jumping on with reckless abandon across the room.

Then, Roly Poly Guacamole played. Two guys with a bass and a guitar singing lots of kids’ songs – my daughter adored them and sang and danced right up front the entire time. The lead singer reminded me of Jack Black from School of Rock, a movie James likes a lot, so I thought he would probably be okay for the “concert,” a.k.a. 30 minute rendition of childrens’ songs with 1 tiny little amp, 2 guys with guitars and about 20 kids and their caretakers. Not exactly Madison Square Garden.

Nope. One song in, I think it was “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” and I look over to see James silently but dramatically crying about 3 feet away from the bass guitarist and about 6 inches away from pipsqueak #2 who is pointing James out to his mom and drawing the attention of the performers as well. I whispered to James that he could sit in the back with a book (“No, that’s not allowed!”) or wait in the waiting room 10 feet away (“But Mom, it’s too far!”) if the music was upsetting him. James opted for taking the fetal position behind a pillar about 2 feet away and occasionally peeking out to make sure I knew he was still crying about each song, especially the ones where they had to jump up and yell “Yeehaw!” as loud as they could. My 2 year old remained blissfully oblivious to James’s distress and my 7 month old nursed and slept through the whole thing.

The second the music ended, James hopped up with a smile and said “That music was good. I had fun. I’m ready for pizza!” and walked to the pizza room with the other kids. In the pizza room, which serves as a dance studio during business hours, there were 3 tables set up with slices of pizza and tiny little chairs. Great, I thought, where is James going to sit without feeling awkward or nervous? Next to my daughter, of course. My gentle giant sat with all of the teeny tiny 1 and 2 year olds on a teeny tiny chair at a teeny tiny table and ate his slice of pizza, completely oblivious to the fact that he was the biggest by a solid 75 pounds and 7 years.

Saturday my husband was home, which is a rare occurrence lately, so we started the day off plus one for the good guys. We ended up at the “beach” at South Street. Here my toddler ran wild in the sand, trying to steal other children’s toys or share handfuls of sand with adults drinking very expensive drinks from clear plastic cups on those white “couches” on the “beach.” Here was James’s chance to shine! He lay in the sand with some modified sand toys – a plastic teething ring, a small rubber hippo, and a brio train with a tiny wooden bucket – and played contentedly for the entire time, only pausing from his bliss to tell us when his sister threw sand in his hair, twice. Wait, thrice. Later, we toured the Peking (the ship next to the mall) and then took James and Margaret to the Ice Cream Truck. I guess we haven’t gone very much this season, because James must have thanked Ryan and I about 30 times before his cone was gone.

Funny thing on Saturday: around 5:50pm we were headed home, coincidentally around The 6pm End of The World, when it suddenly got dark and windy. Did anyone else on the UWS notice that? I bet you were thinking hard about your lists right around then and wishing you had knocked off a few items. We didn’t do my list, but we did get some sand time and good food in there for good measure!

Sunday was baseball at Riverside and of course, the DMF concert I have been writing about for the last 2 months! The concert deserves its own post, and will get one with audio/video highlights as soon as I download “Hershey Love” on itunes and figure out how to share it with all of you. But, long story short for now, it was Awesome (no thanks to some very whiny babies). It was also awesome to see some friendly faces at the 4pm show! I also heard very good things about the 1pm show, especially “Luck Be a Lady” and the Wizard of Oz cast!

I hope you enjoyed some nice weather over the weekend! My blog got a much higher than usual number of hits this weekend, and I couldn’t figure out why until I saw the search terms – about 40 varieties of “end of the world” put into Google.

BounceU – Special Needs Bouncing Fun

There are also non-special needs activities here, so fun for the whole family. We plan to rent a zipcar and take all of our kids to one of the events, and I thought I would share the link below. This seems awesome for really active kids or special needs kids with sensory issues. I think it is every Sunday, though the 24th is the date listed below. This is a Farmingdale location, which is a driving activity, I think. However, there is another BounceU accessible by subway in Brooklyn, and I wonder if they would offer a special needs bounce session as well. Has anyone been to BounceU before? I will update this post once we go check it out – this looks like a great activity for our summer meeting group!

BounceU Events in Farmingdale:

04-24-11:   “Sense-ational Bounce (Special Needs)”

Time:  12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Event:

Join us for an Open Play Session in our NEW Sense-ational Play Room geared toward children with Special Needs.

$16.95/child

Please Call for Reservations: (631) 777-JUMP (5867)

Price: $16.95/child
Please call to reserve:  (631) 777-JUMP (5867)   or fill out a reservation request.