Gingerheaddad made me breakfast on Saturday morning. He made waffles using an amazing recipe he got from Multi-Testing Mommy. I love these waffles and I don’t get them very often, but what really blew the experience out of the water was topping them with Cherry Garcia ice cream. The sheer decadence! At that point I couldn’t imagine the day reaching even greater heights; when will I learn to never underestimate my children?
Jim and I decided that in the afternoon we would go out with Owen and Oliver. Oliver wanted to “go for coffee” which for him means going to a coffee shop – I get a coffee and he and Owen get cookies. We agreed that we would go for coffee, Jim and I would have lunch and the boys would have a cookie, we would then stop at a produce store to grab some mushrooms I needed for dinner and at that point we would walk to High Park and from there make our way back home.
We went to Oliver’s coffee shop of choice, Lit Espresso. It was busy but he handled it extremely well. He was getting fidgety towards the end of our visit but he mostly just ran around our table when he couldn’t sit down any longer. At one point he and I did an activity together on his iPad so he could relax a little and that worked out well. Right at the end he was pretty anxious about getting going and ran to the front door of the coffee shop. I had a chat with him and explained that I really wanted him to visit the washroom first and after that, we would all head out together.
Owen is generally laid back but can be very stubborn. He has a tough time when he feels that we’re heading in a direction not of his choosing. His typical way of expressing contempt for my decisions is to go boneless. He wasn’t over the moon about stopping to buy mushrooms and so his skeleton was doing its amazing disappearing act but when Jim and I asked him to please stand up and walk, he did, albeit slowly. He was annoyed but fell in with my stupid plans with surprisingly little effort. Oliver helped me select, bag and pay for mushrooms while Jim and Owen supervised. We then left and made our way to the park.
I offered Oliver the choice of either the zoo or the playground and he chose the latter. When I’m on my own with the boys I don’t take them to this particular playground for a variety of reasons. Firstly, it’s massive and as you may be able to tell from the picture above, it’s also a veritable rabbit warren. It would take me approximately 0.9 seconds to lose both boys, plus it’s not enclosed so when I say lose I mean it literally. On weekends it feels like every family in Toronto has brought their kids there to play so it’s also loud and packed full of strangers. You may be thinking that it’s pretty much an autism parent’s worse nightmare and you’d be right. However, it’s also a very fun playground that was designed by kids and built by the community. With one adult per kid, I felt we could give it a shot.
Despite all the noise and the crowds of strangers Oliver coped well. He wasn’t pleased to leave but he held himself together even when he really wanted to go to the zoo. I reminded him that he had chosen the playground and we didn’t have time for both. I was so proud of how well he handled everything.
The most precious moment for me however was spending time with Owen on the swings. He loves it when I catch and hold his seat before letting him go, so, as I usually do when we’re doing something fun together, I gave him an opportunity to try some language. Owen’s spoken syllables are typically both whispered and very tentative but not so yesterday. He was loud, emphatic and, well, I’ll let you see for yourself the examples I captured on my phone of him saying “Go”.