Monday, June 22, 2009
Fun times and adaptive parenting
First off, the five winners of the $20 Subway vouchers are:
Colleen, Kiera Beth, Erin, Anonymous (commenter #6) and KathsMom. Congrats, and happy sub-ing! E-mail me at LoveThatMax@gmail.com and I will forward your info on to the lovely Subway Lady, who will be in touch.
This weekend, we road-tripped to The Crayola Factory in Easton, Pennsylvania. We'd been meaning to go for a long time, and when it rained on Saturday, off we went.
En route, we stopped at a diner. Max was grouchy and didn't want to eat lunch. We were in the back in a corner booth, with nobody around us, so I let him sit on the table—he could look out the window and watch cars going by— and fed him that way.
It got me thinking about adaptive parenting. When you have a kid with disabilities, you end up getting lots of adaptive equipment. Over the years we've had adaptive toys, an adaptive stroller, adaptive tricycle equipment, adaptive spoons, you name it. But perhaps the most helpful thing has been adaptive parenting.
Adaptive parenting means forgetting about the normal or typical way of doing things and adapting your parenting—and mindset— to the realities of your child. It's like going on a trip where you hit major traffic so you keep punching the navigator's "detour" button to find alternate routes. Same goes with parenting a kid with special needs: you're always finding other ways.
Our day at Crayola was all about adapting. Max started wailing when we walked into the lobby because of the din, so I asked a woman at the counter if she could let us pay for our tickets a.s.a.p. and whisk him inside. She did.
There were a ton of coloring and craft stations set up everywhere. Sabrina was in heaven.
I wished Max would sit down and make something, but that's not his cup of tea. Adapt!
I grabbed him and we went to The Canal Museum, an exhibit on the third floor, where Max floated boats through canals. He was fascinated.
Eventually, he got bolder and wandered around. He and Sabrina watched a model train.
He crawled through a tunnel.
Then he asked to go back to the canals.
He was also enchanted by the room-size elevator, and so we rode up and down that a bunch. He had a great day.
It's all about adapting, isn't it?