Most days, the term “special needs” means very little but today….today, I was wholly aware that I am a parent of a child with special needs.
I was super-duper excited to be going on a field trip with Ella’s preschool class to the Vancouver Aquarium. I love the aquarium. Jakob loves the aquarium. Ella…I thought loved the aquarium. Not so much. She was reluctant from the the time I parked the car and things just went downhill from there. First and foremost, she was not going to be caught dead in the neon green piny all the other children were wearing. Once inside you could tell that she was uncomfortable. The first gallery is full of the jelly fish feature tanks, so it is dark and it was very very busy.
Ella had to go to the bathroom… 15 minutes later, we came out of the bathroom and weren’t in the gallery for 5 minutes before she had to go again. The first time was very legitimate, but I think that she eventually realized that the bathroom was quiet and bright. I get it. I don’t like the dark. I find it disarming, it gives me a certain amount of anxiety but really, Ella? Within the first hour, we had spent at least 40 minutes in the bathroom and had gone through two pairs of panties. When we finally made it out of the first set of fish tanks, Ella spotted the door to the outdoor tanks and there we sat… and sat…and sat… until she decided she had to go to the bathroom again. We finally found the rest of her class again, but that was no comfort and after three more trips to the bathroom I convinced Ella to go outside. She enjoyed this much better. She liked watching the Belugas, and playing on all the steps.
But friends, today, it is snowing in Vancouver and it is cold! After about a half hour, she was seeming much more relaxed so I decided to give the inside another try.
She wouldn’t have it, not even the shark tank…we couldn’t even get to the shark tank because at every suggestion of looking at something she would flop lifeless on the floor…so I gave into her many pleas to go home and we left. The class is still there…I hope they are having fun.
I’m not so much sad, or mad, just disappointed. We have gone to the aquarium many times before and Ella has been fine, but I think the combination of busyness and no Jakob made the whole situation a little overwhelming.
That being said, ALL was redeemed when I arrived home and checked my email. I won something. Yes, I want to shout it from the rooftops because I. NEVER. WIN. ANYTHING until today!
4 Tickets to Raffi’s Beluga Grad Concert thanks to Family Fun Vancouver. Fitting isn’t it?