Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Field Trip: Chicago Aquarium
One of the best things about a homeschooling group is that you can score awesome deals with group rates. Our homeschooling group managed to get a group rate of $7 per person to the Shedd aquarium in Chicago, IL. Normally tickets would have cost $26.95 for adults and $19.95 for children plus $2 extra for the dolphin show (which was included in our $7 ticket.) However, there are some things that I wish I knew before I got to the aquarium just so I would be a little more prepared.
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. What is the difference? I am not sure. Little BBQ was so excited to go to the aquarium that I was sure that he was going to love it, but he turned out to be paralyzed with fear. Upon entering the aquarium he informed me that he wanted to go home. Eventually after some coaxing from an older member of our homeschooling group he warmed up to the aquarium a little bit. His little sister Miss Bubbles got kicked out of her stroller so Little BBQ could watch the fish nestled in his little cocoon of safety in the stroller. Thankfully Miss Bubbles liked the fish and did not mind being carried everywhere.
I thought Little BBQ had finally warmed up to the whole aquarium experience because he finally out of the stroller and was free roaming around with the rest of the kids when it was time to attend the dolphin show. Little BBQ sat down with his best friend and prepared for the show with the rest of the kids. Then it happened. The blue lights came on as the dolphin show started. Little BBQ got up and bolted for the exit with tears filling his eyes. One of the dads in our group who can be equated to a giant teddy bear ran after him and gave him a giant bear hug until he calmed down. One of the other moms who also had a child who was sensitive at the preschool age was able to decipher what was bothering Little BBQ. He told the other mom that the blue lights were, “too loud.” So there you have it. Little BBQ hates blue lights. Instead of going to the dolphin show Little BBQ hung out at the gift shop with teddy bear dad.
Later that day we were walking around the polar exhibit having a great time. Little BBQ played in the hands on exhibit with the other kids; he had a blast. Then we decided to walk on to meet up with some other people in our group when we saw the dreaded blue lights again. Little BBQ immediately freaked out. At least he is consistent. I had to carry him for the rest of the trip to keep him calm. We were able to avoid the blue lights by going through the other side of the polar exhibit. Luckily, Miss Bubbles did not have a lot of anxiety that day and let someone else carry her while I carried Little BBQ.
On this trip I learned more about my sensitive son, and I was secretly happy that Little BBQ wanted me the second time that he got scared of the blue lights since he generally gravitates towards males for comforting (dad is the ultimate comforter for Little BBQ is this house.) I also was relieved to learn that I am not the only person with a sensitive child. I have read books on sensitive kids and read about other parents with sensitive kids, but I had not actually met anyone else with a sensitive child. Likewise, I am relieved that my friends with a sensitive child now have a teenager who is well adjusted and unique in his own right. It is also nice to have someone around who understands and can offer some good advice on ways to handle the situation. Most parents have told me, “just make him deal with it,” but for Little BBQ the things that he is sensitive to are very real for him even if they are not very real for us. All of our realities are unique. We each perceive the world around us differently. There is no well beaten path or a road less traveled. We all have own unique ever evolving path.