So trip 1 was to Chatters indoor playground. It's a giant indoor playground with a huge jungle gym and video games and stuff like that for kids. Jacob and my wife went there together on a class trip in May, so she ensured me that it would be fun. Then of course, she had something else to do, which turned out to be taking Chico to Petsmart for a hair cut. No problem, I can handle Jacob usually without much difficulty. And the whole grooming only takes 3 hours, so I should be fine right?
But right off the hop, I was at a disadvantage, because I had no way to leave while she was at Petsmart. So the old "smarten up or we're leaving!" line was out the window. And when Jacob is playing with about 40 other kids, having an emergency escape plan is beneficial. But luckily, Jacob was alright with the amount of noise and kids. And I felt a little at ease.
Then, of course, the place changed their layout, so it wasn't exactly how Jacob remembered it. Jacob quickly got over the layout change thankfully, so we were quickly back on track. Again, I couldn't believe how well Jacob did in accepting the new layout. I've personally seen him explode because someone moved his shoes in the front hallway. So I was able to breathe another sigh of relief at the fact that he didn't mind the changes.
Then Jacob got hungry. The menu said they sold hot dogs and fries and all the usual stuff for kids. But the lady behind the counter explained how the health inspector hadn't passed their kitchen, and therefore they couldn't cook anything. So Jacob had fishy crackers and water instead. Again, no problem as Jacob usually eats and drinks the same at home. I was surprised at how fast he was moving through normally difficult emotions. In years past, things like this would have caused a massive melt down too. But the stars must have been aligned and I was able to relax again.
Last night there was a huge thunder storm and many areas around Chatters were flooded. I should've called to ensure they were open, but they luckily were. But that didn't stop one of their drains from over flowing which wet the outdoor carpet in the gym area. It was only a small spot in the one section, so only a small portion of carpet was wet. Thanks to Jacob's law however, he stepped right in the wet spot with both feet. And did I mention that the place has a no shoe policy? Now his socks are wet and he's angry. So we went up to the front of the place where there's a huge carpet, and I made Jacob dry his feet by dancing on it. Again, we averted the crisis and Jacob got back to playing.
Now it's been 2.5 hours and his self control gauge is on empty. Jacob began yelling at me and other kids, so I made a quick call to Shannie to check her status. I didn't want to sound desperate, so I asked if she was almost done. She was getting in the car, so I quickly let Jacob go down one more slide and then we had to go. He huffed and puffed, but got his shoes on without much redirection and before you knew it, we were outside. It was only then when I saw Shannie's laughing face did I realise that I had been tricked by my beautiful wife.
"How was it?" Shannie asked with a big smile, already knowing what I was going to say. I answered with a mellowed "Great." And then we were on our way home.
Did I mention Jacob's car sickness and the fact that Chatters is 30 minutes away? We just get so used to bringing extra clothes, bags and puke bowls so it's not that big of a deal, but can throw a monkey wrench into things. Much like Jacob's Asperger's, his motion sickness has become more controllable over the years and as such, he didn't puke once.
So as I sit in the back seat with Jacob, totally exhausted from all the playing, thinking about how I was tricked into taking jacob to Chatters for 3 hours, alone, he looks at me and says;
"Chatters was so much fun dad. I can't wait to go to African Lion Safari and Marine land next!"
Then it was me who almost needed the puke bowl. I remember these trips being much more fun when I was a kid. And I never knew why my parents were so reluctant to go. But now I know why. And I can't wait for back to school so I can have a break from the Summer.
|Here's Jacob eating a sesame bagel with plain creamcheese.|
He's so tired, he had to force himself to smile.