Monday, August 24, 2009

A Day Out With Thomas / Yum Pizza!

Today we went to the Illinois Railway Museum to experience A Day Out With Thomas, in Union, IL. It wasn't totally smooth, but it was enjoyable overall. This morning we tried to do what we could to leave on time (9:15) but on the way to the Creens for a [shifted] 9:45 meetup we had to turn around because I forgot Audrey's bottle. We lost about 8 minutes. When we got to the Creens, Denis realized he forgot his wallet. Another turnaround. Needless to say, we didn't quite meet our departure goals. The kids were in good spirits because we put in the Cars DVD. Nikko's eyes were fastened to the screen, and only when Denis accidentally turned it off did both boys protest loudly. Geez.

We used the triple stroller for this adventure. I used a beach towel to put under Nikko because the front seat of the stroller wasn't designed for a 38 pound boy and the seat was slumped inward. I had gotten some dogtags printed for Nikko and Ronin ( with contact info should they get separated from us, so I tagged Nikko. He didn't mind or even care about it on his belt loop. We met up with Pat, Anna, Jovy (who loves Thomas stuff), and the Creen family to enjoy the day. It was really busy/crowded and I let Nikko run around while we waited for the others to enjoy climbing onto some train cars, but it was a little unnerving watching him walk against the flow of traffic or pivot haphazardly in front of strangers. There was one instant where he took off for about 20 feet, but he did turn around when I called to him and stayed still. It was when we were waiting to get onto the Thomas train that Nikko was antsy and trying to free himself from my hand. He didn't go anywhere, but I wished that I had put the harness on him so that I wouldn't have to use a steely, sweaty grip on his hand. He didn't seem to mind me leading him by the hand earlier when we walked between some rail cars. I'm sure both boys were tired of being dragged around by the hand and the arm, so it was no wonder that Ronin had a big meltdown when we rode the trolley. But back to the Thomas train, this was in the earlier part of our visit so both boys were curious and behaved. Nikko was extremely quiet as he looked out the window, no jargoning either. Denis helped Nikko get a Thomas tattoo, and Nikko also didn't mind sporting it. We had lunch after the train ride and then went on the trolley after. I was wearing Audrey in the bjorn carrier the whole time so that we could easily get on and off trains as needed. Throughout the day, Nikko didn't seem to mind riding in the front seat of the stroller and rarely tried to get out of it. When we decided to go and walked toward the car, Ronin fell fast asleep (as did Audrey on the trolley) and later, Nikko fell asleep on the ride home.

During lunch, Nikko was sharing cheese pizza with Denis. Denis remarked to Nikko, "Good pizza, hmmm? Yummm pizza!" Nikko sounded like he mumbled something, but then Gail and Patrick looked at me and smiled. "Uh, what?" I asked.

"Didn't you hear him?" Gail asked. "He said Yum, Pizza."
"HE DID?" I asked. "He said Yum Pizza? For real? I totally didn't hear that! I can't believe I missed it!
Anna also agreed that Nikko said Pizza, Denis said he said something that sounded like Yum Pizza. In theory I didn't miss it, I just didn't hear it right. I can believe that this could happen; I read about it in one of the autism books that a mother brought her nonverbal son to a doctor and during the session the son said something like, "I like trains." The doctor pointed it out to the mother and the mother totally did not hear the words even though she was sitting right next to her son. I think I am used to hearing the jargoning and the real words probably squeaked in somehow. If so, that is so awesome for Nikko!!!

By the end of the night, Nikko had entered his giggly-laughing stage again. He was acting this way during our song time before prayers, and a little bird is making me worry that the chicken nuggets are doing it to him. Could it possibly be a chemical or wheat or gluten in the nuggets? I have NO idea. Or is this a phase that will just pass? I'll wait and see, but I don't want to wait too long. Anyway, I'm thrilled about the words, and I'm going to listen hard for new ones. Yea!

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