Some friends and I decided to brave the heat and humidity (and three kids with fragile temperaments) and take our first trip to Carowinds last Friday. To say I was less than thrilled at the prospect of this trip is an understatement. I was very hesitant (actually dreading) to go not knowing how Haley would handle it. Haley has been doing fairly well with her sensory processing issues until just recently. I’m not sure if it is just typical toddler skepticism about new things but she is rejecting things that she once enjoyed, such as the water, our pool, having her hair washed, some foods, certain toys etc. And if you have been to Carowinds, you know that this is a place that will send you into sensory overload.
The day started out pretty good. I got Haley a new pair of shades, more just for decoration :) than anything, but she really took to them and wore them the ENTIRE day!!!
Our plan was to hit the kiddie rides first while waiting for the water park to open. I thought we could start off with a seemingly harmless ride…the carousel. Ummm, not so harmless in Haley’s eyes. She wouldn’t even think about riding the horses and once the ride started all heck broke loose. Once the ride was over she clapped and smiled as if to say “thank God its over”. So then we tried riding the train. Same thing, super traumatic experience, no amounts of singing “The Wheels on the Bus” calmed her.
So then we venture over to the water park. Haley was quite skeptical at first but then decided it was ok to wade into the water, and she proceeded to walk me all over the entire splash park several time. There were several little water spout, splash type things that Haley wanted to watch, but didn’t want to play with. Just observing them was enough entertainment for her. And watching the other kids slide down the slide was hilarious to her. She just squealed with excitement with each kid kerplunking into the pool.
Once we had had enough of the water we decided to go back out the the kiddie rides. Most of the rides I knew Haley would not tolerate so we just watched the other kids ride. She was perfectly content just watching, and the other big roller coaster were near us and she got a kick out of watching them zoom by.
Then I thought I would try one last time to get her to ride a ride. Wish I hadn’t even tried, it was just more than she or I could take. It was a dinky little boat ride, but it was a total disaster. Notice Haley screaming her head off in the picture, we are in the boat behind the “happy” people
The next day Will and I took Haley to the Schiele Museum. Its a local science and nature museum. We thought she would enjoy seeing the animal exhibits. For the most part she did enjoy this excursion. There were a few exhibits she did not appreciate like the giant T-Rex in the foyer or the a life size elephant display. She really enjoyed the monkeys.
There was also a random pirate exhibit which she was very cautious about (rightfully so, it was pirates after all LOL). She would shy away from all the pirate mannequins and was perfectly content to head back to the look at the dead stuffed animals again.
Nice depiction of hanging dead man:
Yo ho ho and and a bottle of
So lessoned learned from our few outings last weekend…..
- STOP trying to push things on Haley that other “normal” kids are doing, she just isn’t ready for some things.
- But at the same time, don’t NOT do things for fear she will freak out. Fear of failure has held me back most of my adult life, I don’t want to pass this attribute on to Haley.
- Figure out the fine balance between trying new things and pushing new things. And face the fact that I will not always get this right.
- Haley will let us know in her own way what she can and can not handle and don’t be disappointed when she can’t handle things, and just be overjoyed when she can.
- Have FUN, enjoy this fleeting moment, she will not be a child forever.