More Playing

henry, Down Syndrome, beauty, eyes, special needs
With pictures. With the kids. With my blog. It’s all about the playing, people. That’s how you learn. Or, at least, that’s how *I* learn.
henry, Down Syndrome, beauty, eyes, special needs henry, Down Syndrome, beauty, eyes, special needs henry, Down Syndrome, beauty, eyes, special needs henry, Down Syndrome, beauty, eyes, special needs
It’s been such a busy weekend! For some crazy reason, I’ve felt the urge to do fun things with the kids. Probably because they spend every. single. weekend. Stuck in the house with us because we’re busy or tired and just don’t feel like doing anything. Or because Steve is busy and I feel incapable of going somewhere with all 4 kids by myself. Because, y’all?? That is hard.
Today I decided we’d go to the Children’s Museum. We weren’t able to try the new church we wanted to try because while I will venture into a museum alone with 4 kids, I will NOT try out a new church under those same circumstances. I gotta have Steve with me to figure out where the kids go and get them settled and to have a backup if/when Henry terrorizes whatever room he’s in. Hopefully we’ll be able to check it out next weekend.
Anyway, trying to come up with somewhere to go is really hard. Where we used to live, there were tons of choices all between 20 minutes and 1 hour away. Museums, zoos, parks – even downtown Chicago. Here, however, there’s nothing close at all. It’s all over an hour away, so you really have to commit. You don’t want to drive an hour and a half to the zoo only to stay for an hour because you’re tired or somebody melts down or they’re closing. Today, however, I didn’t really care. We drove to the DuPage Children’s Museum which took 1.5 hours. We stayed for 1.25 hours. Then took 2 hours to get home, so I could stop and get Outback to go for dinner.
We really love it there, though Maggie’s starting to age out of it. For the first time, I decided to let Henry have some free reign. He was quite overwhelmed and did quite a bit of running aimlessly. His first favorite place was a little room with cool mosaic tiles, colorful lighting and music. He thought that was great and started to remove his shoes for throwing before I stopped him. We moved around and he just laid his hands on everything. They had a cool xylophone room that he loved. Once he got his hands on some sticks, he really, really enjoyed it. It was cool to watch him – he did not like the metal drum-type instruments, but the wooden xylophone/vibraphone types were wonderful to him. One kid came in and started banging the crap out of the metal drum things and Henry started screaming, “QUIET!” It’s a sensory thing, I’m sure. He played nicely, enjoying the sound and the silence and then followed instructions to hang his sticks back on the wall. Then it was over to the water.
Once again, I noticed how too many people were just looking at Henry – even before he did anything to attract attention. Like they were surprised at his existence. I know, I’m sensitive and need to get over it. Let me just say that when Henry discovered the water area, he discovered Mecca. His interpretation of what to do in the water area is quite different from the other kids’, though. While they’re all putting pipes together to divert water and doing experimenty things, he just starts slapping that water like the tail of a whale. And soaking everyone near him. He wanted to grab all the toys and whip them, so I tried to put the kibosh on that. Not coincidentally, I noticed that people had started moving away from us because who wants to get soaked? Not I, said the duck. When he picked up one of those big sand & water toys where you pour the water in the top and it goes down & makes the gears move as it runs out and threw it, I had to end the fun and strap him back in the stroller. We checked out the wind area and he was not amused with that at all. We went upstairs to the area that used to be mostly about art, but now is all about math. They also had an area for putting on plays and a tiny kids area. Henry moved in there and found books to read and squishy things to throw. Steven took up residence in the theatrical section with a clown fish puppet. He set up shop behind a lemonade stand thing and started hawking insurance. No, literally. He’s making the puppet say, “Insurance! Get your insurance here!” Which….WHAT?!? Is there any kid in the history of ever who’s done a puppet show about insurance sales? That’s hysterical.
When Henry got done in the tiny kids section, I asked him if he wanted to drive a car. They had a car-type thing in front of where Steven’s playing “Progressive” and I walked him over to sit behind the wheel. He looked at that for a minute and got out, got a book off the shelf and climbed into the back seat of the car to sit quietly and read while the others drove him around. Dude knows how NOT to work.
So that was fun. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, so it’s worthwhile, you know?
Oh! OH! I have to tell you this funny thing. Funny and embarrassing to me, but funny nonetheless. We got Steak & Shake for lunch. I ate my burger and was drinking my Diet Coke with cherry syrup (yum!) . I let out what I thought was going to be a small, simple, regular belch. Instead, some random demon from the depths of hell came roaring out of my mouth – letting loose a belch that was, at once, horrifying and amazing. I immediately began apologizing to the kids, while laughing, as Maggie cringed against her car door – perhaps to avoid the shock waves. We all dissolved into laughter (mine was more on the mortified side) and she says, “I actually expected your lips to go all flappy like in a cartoon!” Which made me laugh so hard I thought I might have a heart attack right there. That was a truly unbelievable bonding moment right there.
Oh, and I saw a new restaurant on the drive home called Tilted Kilt. Best. Name. Ever.

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