This week we have been going on outings for the kids’ mid-winter break from school. Philip requested the Aquarium this morning. We had never been there before so it would be a new adventure for all of us. However, when we finally got there, upon hearing the water from the outdoor seal fountain, Philip became anxious and ran back to the car. We tried to coax him to go back so we could go inside but the more he cried. We did finally make it in. Here is Philip’s account of our outing.
I enjoyed the aquarium. At first I listed the reasons I didn’t want to go. They were crowds, yelling, the waterfall outside was terrifyingly loud. I was afraid of making others stare at me. I am of age of being more independent but I need tons of redirecting. I was each day timing an interest to when there would be less people to annoy. I am not trying to be one to bother people but end up not being able to help it. My body has a mind of its own. I wish I could control it better. I am getting better intelligence in public places. I am each day anxious about lots of things. It is each day hard to flee things that cause anxiety. I think of ways to calm myself so I can have fun too. Today I was having a hard time getting down from the car to go to the aquarium. I was crying a lot because I was tense and petulant (mom wasn’t sure what that word meant so I substituted ‘stubborn.’ Petulant is actually a better fit because it means unreasonably irritable or ill-tempered). Came so far to see aquarium and I understood Lia would be disappointed. My mom helped by not getting mad because it would have made it worse. She responded by playing Beatles to calm me. Then we ate at McDonald’s. I felt better so we went back. Each day I want to conquer my fears like I did today. Each day I want to enjoy everything to learn because there are tons of cool ideas to think. I enjoyed the aquarium. I liked the seals the best. They swam so peacefully, gliding like planes underwater. I like the anemone too. It is pretty. I liked the penguins. They are cute. I think the needed thing missing is a walrus. Each day I like the people too. I pretend to be a normal kid at public places. It is good practice. I am having more fun out in the world. You are a good mom for bringing me places. Thank you.
*Mom’s note- I am proud of Philip this week for being able to go on all our outings this week. Philip has been desiring more and more to do things like typical kids. Though he has many challenges, he is taking his own initiative to cope and adapt so he can participate. I am also proud of myself for learning to handle Philip’s challenges better now. In the past I would have yelled and tried to force Philip to go in screaming. Or I would have given up too soon, driving home steaming mad about a wasted trip. I am finding that a combination of patience, kindness, and understanding is the best for everyone.