Finding the right "cocktail" to make every hour a "Happy Hour".

The Buddy had his first field trip today. The kindergarteners from his Autism class went to a Nature Center with 2 other general ed kindergarten classes. The parents of the special needs kids were invited to come. Now, The Buddy doesn’t always do well when I’m around at class functions but you can’t stop trying right? So, with the permission slip signed and delivered we were on the “big bus” to the nature center. So far so good! We got there and split up with one other class. We all sat outside and listened to our guide as we built our “habitat”. My Buddy was the only one from his Autism class to sit and listen through the entire section. Ok, he sat on my lap, but none the less, he was sitting! I was the proudest momma EVER! He even participated. Wow! My “supermommy inner self”, we’ll call her SIS, is even standing straight and tall with her cape and hands on her hips…Wonder Woman style. This is AWESOME! I am invincible! Ok, onto the next session…we can do this!

Next, exit the building back to where we started for another sit down. (Oh..oh…my SIS is a little concerned.) We try to sit again…not having it. Ok, that’s fine. We’ll just hang out and enjoy the beautiful day. Then starts the pulling…crying…anxiety. He wants to leave…NOW! Of course we can’t, we rode the bus! Ok, distractions…small walk, not working…swing, nope…standing on a picnic table…no way. Now about 20 minutes has passed, he’s not giving up. It’s only 11am and we’re going to be there for another 2 hours. What the hell am I gonna do??? The teachers try to help (they are AWESOME) but of course, he only wants to torture Mommy. More walking, pulling, crying, labored breathing, even his favorite Chex Mix could not distract him. The rest of the class has been hunting for worms and now they are going to read a story. CRAP! We need to move on…what is next? I decide to take him to the bathroom for fear he will pee his pants with all this tantruming. He is screaming as we enter but does go…ALL OVER THE WALL!!!! Ok, great, now I get to clean the wall while holding onto him as he’s trying to escape the bathroom.

Back outside. The class has now just started a very slow 45 minute hike. I feel bad for my kid (still crying) and trapped. I want to call the hubster to have him pick us up. Crap! He’s heading to the airport today. Should I call my friend? What do I do? I decide crying is the answer and here come the tears, my tears. Wonderful, right in front of his parapro. Ok, get it together girl!!! We are going on the hike…let’s go! We start on our way, which the Buddy is somewhat happy with since at least we are moving. The kids are going much too slow for him as he tries to barrel through them. I ask the guide if the trail loops around and she assures me it does. Great! Coming through everyone! We get ahead of the pack and start walking. Me, The Buddy and his para. We did well and he calmed down a bit. Then, we get back to where we started and the other class is merely halfway through. The Buddy is starting to escalate. We decide to hit the trail again. Reluctantly, The Buddy complies.

Round 2 is much more interesting. We see the group from our class coming back our way. “You have to turn around, there are yellow jackets that are starting to swarm that way.” Seriously? Turn around? Oh, that is not going to go well. I try to turn him around and he twists and turns his body like a contortionist. He WILL NOT turn around. Ok, we check out the bees. We see them but decide to head on through. We are all wearing jeans so should be ok. I pick up The Buddy and on we go. Whew, we made it unscathed. Next group, coming towards us. There’s a snake ahead! I hate snakes, but as we know, turning around is not an option. We see the snake, it’s small. What’s the worst it can do right? It’s just a little snake. I pick The Buddy up again and on we go. Just as we pass it the guide says “Yep, it’s a Copperhead.” Wonderful! Let’s hope Mommy and Daddy snake are not close by!

So, we’ve dodged a swarm of bees and a poisonous snake. I feel like Mario and I’m in a video game…but I’m not collecting any gold coins!!!! WTF! Out of the trail again we meet up with our class and it’s time to sit at a picnic table for lunch. (Ok, SIS is now wearing full body armour.) The Buddy does not eat well AND does not eat well in public or unfamiliar places. But, maybe he’s hungry from all the energy he expelled tantruming. No dice! We all sit and he starts kicking, screaming, trying to throw the food, etc. Not good. But, what can I do. I use all my strength to contain him. And the other 2 kiddos do not seem bothered by this at all. They are just happily eating. I hand him off to his teacher for a bit so I can eat half of my sandwich. Finally, he eats a couple of his para’s chips and he’s snacking a bit and calmer. After lunch, he starts to explore some sticks and still wants to leave, but is bearable.

Now, Thank the Lord, it’s time to get back on the bus to leave. He sits happily on the bus and I start to relax. The trip is over. We survived…

Lessons learned: Neither a swarm of bees or a poisonous snake are scarier to me than my son’s uncontrollable tantrums…hmmm…

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