At 42 Degrees

At 42 Degrees

Monday, February 24, 2014

On Occasion

On occasion,...we have the occasion to visit Memphis, Tennessee,'s a four hour drive for us and Isaac usually sleeps on the way up,...which is quite convenient,...although he travels well and is usually quite happy to sit in his carseat playing with his toys, reading books, watching a DVD,....or looking out the window to points of interest, and it's easy to know what interest Isaac cause he'll usually articulate, "Oooooh," - or for more specific sites, "There it is!" - which tells us he's spotted a playground, or at least a fast food restaurant with a play-place,...especially one he's played in,...and he NEVER forgets!!!!

And while in Memphis we NEVER forget to eat at Corky's,...the barbecue is fantastic, so are the homemade potato chips,...although Isaac likes the fried catfish best. The restaurant is always crazy crowded, and we have eaten in the dining room a time or two and Isaac did fine, via Mickey Mouse on a smart phone,...but we usually just go through the drive thru,...and picnic in our hotel room,...just as fun and less waiting in a crowded parking lot!

Weather permitting we also NEVER miss the opportunity to visit Shelby Farms in Memphis,...the playground is not only state-of-the-art and absolutely gorgeous, is FUN, FUN, FUN,...according to Isaac, who spent a happy Saturday afternoon with just about every other child in Memphis for the playground was also crazy crowded,...but such a nice crazy crowded,...because what is nicer than the sound children's laughter, they squeal with delight on the uber-cool slides?

Isaac squealed plenty too! When he wasn't signing to my husband or myself as we monitored from the top of the slide pit,...and having sign language was very handy because as you can imagine the playground was slightly noisy,...but we could understand perfectly when Isaac was signing: fun, more and again....

Other parents and children also learned how to sign: turn and share,...because Isaac like any other four year old was learning how to take turns and share on the slides,...and as always people are usually fascinated by Isaac's signing and are delighted to learn a sign or two,...themselves!!!

Very independent, Isaac was, least  bottled in the bottom of the sliding pit,...and he only had one accident,...not his fault,...because the woman who was sliding down the slide and collided with him: one: shouldn't have been sliding down the children's slide, and two: should have seen Isaac and avoided barreling into him.

Fortunately Isaac was more startled and frightened than hurt,...although he was crying and frantically signing: hurt and help!!!!!

Quite a scene Isaac created with anxious adults surrounding him while my husband and I hasten into the pit,...and there it really hit home that Isaac has Apraxia,...because all those adults were only being kind and caring as they questioned him,...if he was OK,..and where was he hurt,...and where was Mommy and Daddy,...but of course,...Isaac couldn't answer a single question,...and could only tell me when I got him into my arms, "OW!!!!"

While my husband explained Isaac's lack of means of communication to those involved, I checked over our little guy,...who rapidly recovered from the incident with no significant 'owie' -- although afterwards he did keep closer tabs on us,...

And we kept closer too, only a few feet away with the camera aimed at Isaac,...and my husband: shadowing our little guy,...because Isaac is precious to us,...and his lack of communication skills makes him vulnerable,...which is a hard point of view to accept for our little guy,...but it's a reality of our lives,...for now at least,...we do hope that as he progresses Isaac will be able to communicate readily in any situation,...but now he can't,...

While in Memphis we were also able to go to the zoo,...and here's progress because for the first time we didn't rent a stroller,...instead Isaac walked,....

 Or rather ran,...and he ONLY had to have two time-outs,...which are VERY effective redirection methods with our little guy when his hyper-activity gets a tad too hyper or his tendency to wander becomes too tempting,...

So,...was Isaac excited about the zoo? 

Not really,...the zoo has a playground,...and Isaac is ALL about running and jumping and climbing and sliding, he liked that,...but look at animals? Nah,...Isaac spent more time exploring the different textures on the fences,...sensory-seeking,...then getting excited about the elephants, or lions, or bears. But then maybe Isaac was just taking a cue from the animals,...because they all seemed pretty bored too....

Venues like the zoo is where you have to take a perspective break,...because Isaac is Isaac and he experiences the world in a different way,...and he makes sure you do too!!! And if the bamboo fences were more interesting to him - than real live elephants - then so be it,...Isaac was having fun and that's the MAIN REASON we took him to the zoo,...for fun, at least the fence architect should know - that one little guy - was really WOWED by that bamboo fence,...smooth as silk, bumpy and round, and such a nice clacking noise when your hand runs across it. Oh, and the elephants in the back ground were a nice touch too,...makes the bamboo seem more realistic....

Quite a hike we had checking out all the fences and the staircase in the Wilderness Lodge at the very far end of the zoo property. Best of all, Isaac had fun, and he willingly held hands, and was smiling when we walked back to the car,...or rather while Daddy carried him for the last little bit,...because he's still a very little guy and all that jumping and climbing and sliding and walking and exploring wore him out!

Before we even left the zoo parking lot,...Isaac was already settling into a nice long nap,....he was ZONKED!!!!

Long ride home,...but after his nap,...Isaac found plenty to do,...such catching up on his reading.

On the ride home, husband and I discussed how easy it is of us to take for granted Isaac's communication,...because to us, it is leaps and bound from two years ago when the only functional word that Isaac had was "Go."  Yet, we well know that our little guy is not readily functional in his communication abilities with his severe Apraxia. It's difficult that Apraxia is so rare and resources are not readily available for the treatment,'s just a reality we live with,...but we have hope for Isaac,...he's an intrepid little guy, full of life and laughter and sheer joy that finds excitement even in a mundane bamboo fence,...forget elephants,...Isaac takes every occasion to make his own brand of fun,...and it is always unexpected and unique,...and that's pretty wonderful!!!

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

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