This week we have been VERY busy. I have been pushing the boundaries with the kids to get school complete by the 21st. I have worked with Daniel, stretching him beyond anything I have done throughout the year. It is no wonder the poor guy is having a difficult time, BUT he is doing amazing and it is showing him just how much he can accomplish. Unfortunately, this week is packed with social extravaganza because my mom is in town.
It is good and unfortunate.
She originally, had planned on coming at the end of June, but she was able to get plane tickets $200 cheaper if she came this week. She just got them without talking to me. She had no idea that this would be “crunch time” for the end of school. However, the good thing is that my mom understands and she is staying with my grandma. Those two go on adventures of their own in the morning and then, we see them after school is finished for the day. I wish we were able to see more of her, but the truth is we ALL get socially exhausted. My mom can only spend a certain amount of time socializing before she starts to get cranky and lose her filters. (She is not the only one!)
Once again, I say it is good and unfortunate.
It is unfortunate that we cannot do as others do and squeeze every last bit of socializing out to try to make it last for another year, but we are not made that way. It’s ok! The good is that we ALL understand and it does not hurt anyone’s feelings. Yesterday, we went to the zoo. It was a perfect day. The weather was warm (finally) and there was a nice breeze. I noticed that on the website that they offer a discount if you are a resident, but I had no way to prove my residency because I still have not gotten my driver’s license and nothing is in my name. I was a little bummed because I like to take advantage of discounts as much as possible!
When we got to the window, I realized that I knew the girl.
I was so excited. I then, blurted out, “Oh! You know I live here right?” She said, “Yes” with a chuckle. I did not think anything of it until later. I knew her from my spin class. My aunt is also her personal trainer. Interestingly, she had not been to spin class for over a month, but the night before she had come back. She had an injury so she had to take time off. Monday night was the first night I actually had a conversation with her. It was not until we got home that mom started cracking jokes about me saying, “Oh! You know I live here right?” I looked at her confused and asked, “What? Did I say something wrong?”
She reassured me that I had done nothing wrong.
However, from another person’s perspective it could have seemed very odd. Apparently, I was very loud, excited, and went into detail of how I did not have a proof of residency. I did all of that and then, be-bopped away as if nothing had happened. So my grandma and mom had no idea how I knew this person and they found it amusing that I was so insistent on getting that discount. Later, my mom realized that I was starting to loop about my “odd” behavior and what I had said because they were making jokes about it. She told me, “Stop! We were just teasing you. You did nothing wrong. Do not loop!”
After she said that I said, “Well I am glad I did it with that girl because she is used to my aunt!”
My whole family does awkward social things. It has helped in social settings when meeting new people who also know my family members. We are all a bit unique (odd) in our own ways and when we tell people that we are related they seem to get an “understanding” type of look on their face. Whatever that means.
Back to the zoo.
We received a map for the zoo and I was taken aback at Daniel’s response. He was filled with excitement. Once he discovered the map was for whole zoo he requested to hold it. He watched for animal markers so he could know where we were at every moment. At first, he asked me why the animals did not move. I had to explain to him that the map was not interactive. He found great flaw in that and could not understand why the zoo would not make an interactive map. Lol!
It was the first time that I noticed Daniel truly able to enjoy himself.
There were moments when he was extremely anxious if Ariel and Joshua got too far away for him, or if mom and grandma lagged behind too far. He was afraid that we would lose them. I had to reassure him that we would not lose them and that I could see them with no problem. He ended up enjoying the map much more than the animals, except for the turtles because turtles are his “favorite ever!” He was calm and able to focus because he could gauge the distance between each place we were going. He knew what to look for and he knew the markers that showed us it was the end.
It did not occur to me that for him to have a map would help his anxieties.
I cannot believe I have not thought of it before! When we got home, he asked me all about the map and said that he wished that he had a map of our house. I told him that I could print off maps from the internet if he wanted me to and I asked him if that would help if I did every time, we were going somewhere. He squealed with excitement and said, “You can do that?” He asked me to print off a map for him that is from our house to the YMCA.
He has been carrying his maps with him around the house, studying them.
Earlier today, he asked me if he could do the iPad while he was on a break from school. I let him choose whatever he wants since it is his free time. Lately, it has been MAPS! Hello, me! He has been meandering on Google maps and Quake Viz. You can watch a demo here QuakeViz App Demo. I did not connect the dots until yesterday at the zoo that maps would make Daniel a very happy boy. I had not considered how it would greatly reduce his anxieties about where we are going and how long it will take. Google maps gives all the information that could help ease him. I do this for myself ALL the time, why had not I thought of it for him?
I am kind of kicking myself for not thinking of it before. (That is a funny literal image.)
Somehow, I just never did… well, now I know AND it can change our world. Today he requested that I print out a map to grandma’s house before we left. He was all giggles and ready to get into the car. Even though he has been to grandma’s on many occasions, he still has felt a bit anxious before going. He did not today; he looked for things that were on his map. He told me how long it would take to get there. He said, “We have made it to B on the map.” when we got to her house. He said, “We are back to A, which is our house.” when we arrived home.
I am SO excited about this; I think it is going to be a great thing.
He has liked maps for a long time, but he never made the connection that they actually show us where we are at he just enjoyed looking at them. The moment he saw our house on Google Earth it was something that stunned his mind. He sat there quietly at first then; he looked around with a great big smile while squealing with joy he said, “Oh my, goodness that is our house! It really is our house!” I am going to take advantage of his interest this summer and teach him how to make maps.
I will print them out for every place we go.
I will create a binder of maps with all of the places we go to and let him keep them for future use and for his studying fun. I have a feeling this is going to help him a great deal. He is going to be a happy fella with his clock that he keeps with him constantly that tells him the time, date, along with an alarm that we use as a timer and his maps. I think I may start doing it for me too! Kidding, well I do print out maps a lot. :-/ At the zoo, I learned so much and we all had a grand fabulous day.
Now for some pictures and some smiles for new adventures to come.