Would you rather? Have you ever played that game? Well, here’s one for all of you who parent special needs kiddos. Would you rather cram needles up under your fingernails? All of them. Simultaneously. OR take your child who has special needs on a road trip? It’s a toss up, right? I mean, oh my Lord, the transitions. The bathroom pitstops alone are enough to rattle a panic attack or two. Sure, there’s a chance the public bathroom will have a couple of clean stalls. There’s even a chance that your child will happily agree to utilize one of those two clean stalls.
BUT (you knew there had to be a ‘but’ coming in here somewhere),
Is there a chance he won’t touch the toilet paper dispenser with both hands? Is there a chance he won’t promptly sit his fanny upon the toilet seat BEFORE you get it covered completely with toilet paper? And what if he pulls used paper towels from the trash and wipes his face with them before you can scream STOPPPPP???
Wouldn’t the needles be quicker and less painful?
Today marked the first day of a quick road trip with my two cutie bugs who happen to sport an extra chromosome, and for the most part, we succeeded. It’s only Day One, though, so there’s still plenty of time to crumble. After eleven years of being called a special needs mom, I still don’t have all the answers to this unique journey. Two things, however, I do know for sure.
- My kiddos are far smarter than most people give them credit for, including me. Behind those sweet smiles and innocent looking eyes are conspiring little hooligans who have no real use for clothing, rules, or social graces. And if given the chance, they will outplay me. Nudity…even partial nudity… is not going to fly. Ever. Especially in public. The rest, for the record, is just a daily crap shoot.
- My kiddos want to succeed. Even more, they want me to see them succeed. If I plan activities that are going to be too challenging or time consuming, I could be setting them up to fail. As a result, I’ve learned to keep it simple. It’s better for them to win with something small than to fail, because with each success, they become bolder and more confident. That’s a good thing.
As you’ll see in the video below, we spent our day in Louisville, Kentucky. And we kept it super simple. The first part of the day, it rained. Lucky for me, my kids love the rain. We found Cherokee Park and they played in mud puddles, took on the playground, and explored. Cherokee Park is huge, more than 400 acres, so there is plenty of room to roam. It’s also off the beaten path, filled with towering trees and secret winding paths, so it felt like an adventure. Hope and Charlie loved it.
After Cherokee Park, we cleaned up and found a Moe’s Southwest Grill. It’s familiar. Enough said. And with your meal, you get a full bag of chips, which makes momma happy. It’s familiar for the kiddos. Momma’s happy. Win. Win.
Finally, we spent the evening at Waterfront Park where we were entertained by street performers, gently rocked by two person swings, and mesmerized by a magnificent pedestrian bridge that lights up like a rainbow when the night creeps in. This was our favorite part of the day. Downtown Louisville is not only a perfect fit for families, it is beautiful.
Here is a peek into our day. It begins and ends with country music, because life is just better with country music. haha. Enjoy:
Tomorrow is another adventure. Day two, here we come!