Saturday, September 25, 2010

Enchanted Castle

9/24/10 Bathroom notes - Nikko has been doing well going to the bathroom this week. Today he was dry and went right into the bathroom without a prompt.

Maria came over to do an evaluation of Nikko before our Monday 8am meeting. She said that Nikko has really improved since the beginning of the summer and that he showed mastery of many skills. He still had some bouts of whining but overall he did great. The kids had lunch and went to school. I took Audrey with me to meet up with an old high school friend who did the play Anne Frank with me. We breezed past Target to get a birthday present for a party the next day, made it back home to wait for the boys, fed them snack, and then got loaded up into the Pilot to go to the in-laws for dinner.

On Saturday we had a full day planned. We were going to a birthday party for 8 year-old Ozzie, held at an entertainment center called The Enchanted Castle. Prior to that, we attempted to stop by the local Mount Prospect Fire Station because they were having an open house. Ronin seemed really intimidated by the fire trucks and didn't cooperate. A demonstration was about to take place but we would be really late to the party so we opted to leave after a few pictures with a fire truck. Nikko was in a good mood, walking next to us without bolting and without holding onto anyone's hand. I had to direct him closer to us while crossing the parking lot but overall he didn't stray like he used to. We arrived at The Enchanted Castle on time and I braced myself for the sensory overloaded experience we were about to have, ensconced in the flashing lights from arcade games and kids running around galore. There were so many interesting things to look at and Ronin was becoming overwhelmed. Nikko was excited and surprisingly didn't get obsessed with one particular location. Our destination was a bounce area. The kids quickly warmed up to the bouncy houses, the smaller one for toddlers and then the bigger one, and finally the one with a huge slide that had Audrey flying down and flipping onto her face while I stood at the bottom ready to catch her should she bounce off the slide. Nikko easily maneuvered himself through the mazes and sea of kids, and I was proud of Ronin for overcoming any fears he had by climbing through all the obstacles his little body could handle -- with a push from me to help him up. There were toddler-sized rides that were a perfect fit for Audrey and Ronin. Nikko found this video game called Jet Rider that had a wide headrest and screen. He laid back and watched the scenes of riding in a mine shaft or simulating a roller coaster. And he was totally ok with it, looking almost serene. When Denis put a token in to try the simulator, Nikko covered his ears because the sound was slightly amplified. When the ride was over and the volume went back down, Nikko relaxed again and would have sat there all day if we let him.

We got back home and had only a little time left before I had to go to a function at St. Lambert's. Ronin had been coughing throughout the day and was being temperamental so I decided that he should stay with Denis while I took Audrey and Nikko. It was another opportunity for Nikko to experience being in a crowd of people but in a controlled environment. We sat at some round tables along with Pat and his family. Nikko didn't eat much, if any, of the dinner in front of him while Audrey went to town on the watermelon and the pancit noodles. During the dance program, there was an ice cream cart featured where they gave out real ice cream. The other church members ran around the room giving ice cream bars to the kids. Nikko and Audrey lucked out while I handed the sticky mess, and realized that it was a good thing Ronin wasn't there in case he got upset that he couldn't have any ice cream. The day ended with baths and bed.

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