Monday, September 16, 2013

An Overnighter With the X-Men

My grandma turned 85 on Friday.  We were invited to a surprise birthday party for her in Kentucky at my cousin's house.  We've been busy and didn't put a lot of time into preparing the boys for the trip.

Telling them about events too far in advance causes anxiety and perseveration, so I told Drew and Blake about the trip on Friday after school.  Blake didn't seem to care at all, but Drew started crying right away, saying, "No hotel!  No shower!"  He has difficulty with showers at home where things are familiar, so showering at a hotel is even harder for him.  I told him that he'd take a shower at home on Saturday and he didn't have to shower at the hotel on Saturday.  I never mentioned Sunday, but he obviously caught onto my nuance, because this comes into play again later.

The plan was that Kelly and Tony would follow us.  We were running about fifteen minutes late, after realizing we didn't have The Incredibles for Drew's DVD player and having to go back home.  I texted Kelly and she said Kyle was doing fine, so it wasn't a problem.

We got going and things were relatively calm, with a small snafu about stopping for a bathroom break.  We intended to stop at a McDonald's so Kyle could get something to eat and the rest of us could use the restroom.  The McDonald's was closed for renovation, despite signs that said "Open During Renovation" The only other places nearby were Gold Star Chili, which was closed and the gas station.  So, we stopped at the gas station.  This was upsetting to Drew because we had already announced that we were going to McDonald's.  Flexibility is not his forte'.  Anyway, we got it accomplished and were on the road again.

We got to my cousin Jill's house and unloaded the van.  My parents were there already, which made the transition go more easily for the boys.  Blake actually went in the house right away with two of his cousins.  I saw very little of him the rest of the day.  Thankfully, he has been around the one cousin several times, and the other has an uncle with Fragile X, and dealt well with Blake.

 My cousin Robbie with Fragile X entertained us with doing jumping jacks.

Grandma was really surprised.  All her grandkids (minus one) and her brothers and sisters were there. 

Drew occupied himself with wandering around and playing Temple Run.

But we stayed about an hour too long.  I went out to the van to get something, and Drew and Blake walked with me.  Only, once I got to the van, they thought it was time to go home or something.  And Drew didn't want to go back to the party.  And Blake thought it would be a good idea to help me out  by grabbing Drew and giving him a shove in the right direction.  For the record, we don't do that, but when Blake does this, he usually gives us a thumbs up and says, "Got it!" as though he was helping.
Anyway, we went to the hotel, where Eric parked and checked us in.  Drew started crying and saying, "No shower!"  I reminded him that he took a shower before we left and he didn't have to shower when we got there.  We got to the room and Blake wanted a bath.  And Eric took a shower.

We made plans with my cousins Keri and Gail and my sister and their families.  We ended up at Chili's.  It went okay until near the end of the meal when Drew got upset and I could see anxiety kicking in.  We went back to the room, where Drew cried and whined about taking a shower.  I again assured him that he didn't have to take a shower.  We saw my dad who was visiting with his brother.  Dad came in our room and gave Drew "The Claw" which usually makes him happy.  It seemed to help some and Drew was able to go to sleep.

Unfortunately, he woke up in the morning and started crying.  We decided it was probably best to take a shower and get it over with, so I put him in the shower.  It was very quick, but the transformation afterward was amazing!  He was so happy!  I think he was just relieved to be done worrying about it.

We went to breakfast down the hall.  Blake was so excited about it for some reason.  He greeted everyone we passed on the way.  He opened the door to the kitchen before I could stop him and said good morning to the hotel employee making breakfast.  She was surprised, but smiled at him and said hi.

He enjoyed watching some guy make his waffle and told him "Two minutes!"  The guy agreed that it was probably about right.  When he had trouble getting the waffle out of the maker, Blake told him, "Easy does it," and offered to help.  lol.

We visited with my aunt Mary and Uncle Mike while eating our breakfast.  Later other relatives came downstairs and it was sort of another family reunion in the breakfast room.  It was really nice.  And it also made me realize once again how nice it is to spend time with our family.

We got our stuff together and headed home.  We stopped at Frisch's Big Boy and had a very nice and relaxed lunch.  I am calling it a success, despite a couple glitches with the shower.  In the end, we accomplished out goal of going to the party and staying overnight.  It was a nice weekend.