Caden was up really late last night due to a combination of stressors and routine changes. An hour into his first therapy this morning, his seasoned therapist knew he was not going to make it for the second session and called that off and promised a trip to the park if they could just get 2 more things accomplished on their list. I had absolutely no idea what that meant for the rest of the day, other than the fact it was going to be a l-o-n-g day requiring a lot of caffeine to counteract our lack of sleep.
We went out on the porch and watered our various plants and discovered a few strawberries. That led us to a discussion of strawberry shortcake and the decision to make some. We put the necessary flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar into different bowls and then felt and tasted each one. Eventually we mixed them together and added the liquids and talked about how the mixture looked now and what we thought it would look like later. Kinda crazy how much we managed to work in about liquids, solids, textures, and measurements while we were mixing and baking. He decided to watch some Spongebob while it baked, which gave me the needed time to fix his lunch.
I delivered his lunch to him and let him eat in our bed with the covers pulled up, propped up on a pillow. He was giggly with the novelty and delight of this new lunch-in-bed experience when he wasn’t even sick. Then we watched some more SpongeBob together while we ate our strawberry creation. I had to laugh as he put the whipped cream in one pile, the strawberries in another, and the cake itself in a third pile before he ate each one individually. If I’m honest I did the exact same thing since I detest my foods to be mixed.
We snuggled for a while before attempting our own pattern for Mario and Luigi sock puppets. They won’t win any ribbons, but he was able to design and decorate them exactly the way he wanted and learned a few sewing tips along the way. We also covered some basic fine motor skills, although I doubt he would have called the activity anything but fun.
After playing tag with the dogs we decided to find some yard sales. When I told him I didn’t know where any were at he suggested I look them up on my phone, and you know he was right. We found some and put them into our GPS and then figured out what we needed to take with us. As we drove around he explained various words to me (like yard sales are called that because they are a sale in a yard and a bedroom is called that because it has a bed in the room…duh). At our first yard sale he found a few SpongeBob treasures and practiced saying hi, bye, I’d like to buy these please, and thank you while counting out his own money and carrying out his own transaction. We drove around some more and found another yard sale that had lots and lots of toy trucks for sale. This one was much busier so I let him take the lead and simply followed him. What I discovered is that he always gets where he wants to go; he just didn’t always take the most direct path in an attempt to avoid crowds or noisy areas. He got where he needed and wanted to go and was generally happy not being forced into overly uncomfortable situations.
We came home, played with the new toys, ate dinner and watered the garden. I “accidentally” watered him and then we got ready for bed.
There are so many aspects of today that stand out to me. A few of the bigger ones though are that we need to follow Caden more and lead less. He is highly capable, but he is going to do things at Caden’s pace and Caden’s way. His way isn’t better or worse; it’s just different. Social skills, speech, sensory challenges, etc. are easier to work on when you don’t realize you are working on them. No amount of therapy is going to replace the value of the natural setting.
I guess by all regards we really didn’t do anything today but yet when I compare it to an actual trip we took a few weeks ago it was cheaper as well as physically and mentally easier. He was for the most part in a setting that he was comfortable in so he just had to focus on having fun. We were interacting at his level with his interests and we accomplished a lot “accidentally” that way. All in all the day was surprisingly a success: maybe doing nothing is really the something that we need to do more often.