Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Our sensory troubled dinosaur

Some of our friends and family members don't do this holiday and that's okay. I get it. But for us it's about friends and neighbors and community. We have some neighbors that go all out; they sit around a fire on the driveway, adults chatting while kids come by. They are very serious about community spirit. Some hand out pencils and erasers and all kinds of little goodies as well as the candy. The Good Doctor usually ends up talking more than walking and the kids get a bit exasperated. Shoun was just remembering the year it snowed and the kids froze while Dad talked.

We didn't think Victor would cooperate. His sensory issues mean that even putting on a sweatshirt as these days get colder means 10 minute tantrums, intermittently throughout the day, every time he remembers that I won the clothing wrestle challenge for the day. And winter coat? I tried that once. Next time it'll have to be someone bigger and stronger than me or else I'm just going to have to risk getting turned in for not putting the big, scary, abominable winter coat on my child. It's your choice - watching the kid bang his head into the wall, bite his own arm, and scratch my face to get the coat on, or skip it, warm up the van, and make a run for it.

So what to do about the kid and dressing up. Well, I had a costume that I found second hand that was just a zip-up sweatshirt. Well, not exactly just a sweatshirt. It does have a hood (horrors!) and dinosaur trappings sewn on; increasing the weight of the whole outfit (again - horrors!). I knew we needed a Plan B so I scrounged around in the dress-up box and found a duck costume someone else wore once-upon-a-time. Of course it, too, has weight and texture but at least it would be all-encompassing and my thought was that after the hissy fit he would calm down and resign himself to the get-up since there would be no easy way out. And if that didn't work? Plan C was to dress him as Carrie Ingalls to go along with HopeAnne (Laura Ingalls) and her friend (Mary Ingalls) and their time-warp buddy from Happy Days. The girls dress him up in dresses all the time and for some reason, that generates absolutely no reaction from him.

But surprise, surprise, after just a tiny bit of push-back (and a little bit of a candy bribe), we had it on and zipped. The hood took a bit more coaxing (and a little bit more candy), but it, too, went up.

Isaac had just come home from soccer practice and Shoun from swim team practice. They each attempted to convince me that they should go out Trick-or-Treating as they were. Isaac insisted he was authentic because he even smelled like a soccer player. I wasn't so easily swayed. I do have a problem with the older kids not putting any time or energy into a costume and then going out just for the candy. I think Shoun solved that problem for himself when he realized it was too cold to go out dressed as a swimmer. Especially considering the type of swimwear that swim team members wear. Just sayin'. So they stayed home and hassled all the other teens that showed up a the door without thought or creativity.

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