Stupid Expectations and No Perspective

I like to write these lovely, thoughtful blog posts about my experiences and the perspective I gain from them about my kids, my life, myself.

I got nothin’ today.

Mostly, I just feel really irritated right now.

I do it to  myself, I know I do. I make plans and I build up these little day dreams–expectations–in my mind of how my plans will turn out, the fun we will have, the memories we will make.
And 9/10 it never works out (I would say 10/10 but I am trying to fight my own pessimism right now).

I signed our family up for The Compassion Experience a few weeks ago. It is an interactive walking exhibit where you hear the story of a child from a developing country–their home life, their school, their families, their struggles, hopes and dreams. The stories are based on real people.

I was excited to share this experience with the boys and was hoping that it would open their world up a little bit to the lives of children around the world and also help them to gain compassion for others and gratefulness for what they have.

Good Lord. Right there ^^ Those were my expectations. When will I learn?

We arrived in time for our preregistered time slot. I don’t know why I even bothered to register because the line was almost out the door. We had to wait a long time.

Waiting and my boys do not work well together. They were falling all over each other and trying to use the barricades straps like a sling shot. Benji was determined to unhook the ropes.

Then–

“I do want to do this!”
“It will be fun! You get to wear ear phones–”
“No! I do not want to wear ear phones. I hate ear phones!”
“I know this is new. Can we try something new?”
“No!”
“Let’s try.”
“No! NO NO NO!
“Ok, buddy. If you don’t want to wear the earphones, you don’t have to. I’ll tell you what the story says.”

^^This is life with an 8 year old with sensory issues.

By the time we got to the front of the line, he wanted to wear the earphones. Lots of angst for nothing. That is the story of my life.
We had to wait some more.
More trying to unhook ropes.
Benji asked at least 10 time if if was our turn yet.
The earphones kept slipping off Silas’ head.
I was holding Eli in the wrap, while he flirted with the college girls and tried to eat the cord from my ear phones.

Finally we went in.

You are supposed to push play on your personal ipod and listen to each section in a assigned room of the exhibit.
Benji flung curtains aside and rushed through room after room. We had to chase him down and pull him back to room 1.
In room two, he started touching everything and holding up things he found around room.

“What’s this?”
“Put it down. This is look-only”
“What’s this?”
“Stop touching! STOP!”

Meanwhile, Silas’ earphones continue to fall off every 12 seconds.

We finally reach the end. Thank God. We had to get out of there.

There were 3 more exhibits.

I realized another one of my expectations was to visit all the exhibits and have a discussion with boys, comparing the lives of all the children and then talking about our own home, family and school.

Micah and Benji were pumped up.

“Can we do Jonathan?”
“I wanna do another one! Please? Please please?”

Aaron and I were maxed out. It had been 40 minutes of pure stress.
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We said no.

Our children were understanding and walked calmly to the car.  The boys pitched a fit. Benji started to run away and I ended up holding on to the sleeve of his coat (he pulled his arm out of his sleeve so I couldn’t hold his hand) in order to deliver him to the car safely.

“What did you guys think?”
“It was AWESOME!”
“Well, great! What did you learn?”
“Kiwi lived in China!”
“It was actually the Philippines.”
“Would you like to live in a bamboo house?”
“No.”

The end.

On the way home, we stopped to wash all the salt and dirt of the car at a car wash. The boys begged to try the “New Car Wash” on Wards Road.

We gave in.

This car wash is like the Disney World of car washes. It had lights, graphics, colored soaps, smells, huge brushes.

Benji was in sensory heaven.

“This is the BEST DAY EVER!”

#FirstWorldDelights

All I could do was shake my head, my eyes wide and my mouth shut as we drove home, comparing the Compassion Experiences, which was a huge, fat fail, and the psychedelic car wash, which was a huge hit.

This is my life.

So, the moral of the story is, don’t build up expectations, especially if your kids have unpredictable sensory issues, who hate to try new things, or who are really too small to wear earphones.

We’re planning our next family outing to the Car Wash. At least everyone was strapped down, we didn’t have to wait, and there were no ear phones involved.