Friday, 5 July 2013

I Love a Parade...

When I told my husband that I thought we should walk in the local 4th of July parade with the Cisco Center float he looked at me like I had gone mad.  We usually don't take our kids to parades, let alone ask them to participate.  But I thought they could benefit from having this experience and figured that if ever we were going to try it, the safest way to do it would be while surrounded by about 10 special needs childcare providers and about as many special needs families. 

To those of you with neurotypical kids I should explain that a parade is nothing short of a sensory nightmare.  Large crowds, unfamiliar faces, lots of waiting, people throwing or handing things to you, loud sirens, bands, flashing lights, and no clear escape route if things get to be too much.  Jack has had several meltdowns at parades. 

My thinking was that participating in a parade might actually be better than watching one.  At least this way, the faces surrounding the boys were familiar, they would have the same noises instead of constant changes- and we got lucky yesterday since a Christian band was on the float in front of us.  And they would be moving instead of sitting still.  So I packed like we were going off to war, slathered on the sunblock, put the wagon in the trunk and we gave it a go.

I would say the hardest part for the boys (all of us really) was waiting for the parade to start.  We were standing at the float for a good two hours before we actually moved.  That would be hard for any kid, let alone ours.  Jack was trying to eat everything in sight, and Nate, well he was just running.  Everywhere.  He did pause to dance to the band next to us at one point though, which was ridiculously cute...

Candy diving, but notice he has an apple too!

By the time we were ready to actually get moving, John and I decided it would be best to divide and conquer.  Jack was really wound up, so he and John went to sit in the back of the truck.  This helped Jack feel a bit more protected, and worked out pretty well, although he did apparently still have some trouble with all of the noises.

Nate and I pulled wagon duty.  I was concerned about him staying in the wagon for the whole 2 mile route, but he did pretty well.  I even had a little help...

Nate had quite a few of the bystanders cracking up- he was playing the role of contortionist in the wagon.  Lying on his back, his tummy, sitting up, and his favorite, as shown below was dangling his legs over one side or the other.  Also, most of the time he had one shoe off, which is his norm (always the right one), but I can't even tell you how many people helpfully pointed it out.  People were so nice.   He did pretty well, but was ready to be done by the time it was over- hey, me too!

So we made it all the way through!  We hitched a ride back to our car in the back of the truck (roads were still closed) and had a quiet afternoon.  Especially him...

Thanks Cisco Center for yet another great experience!

1 comment:

  1. I am so proud of all four of you! You guys did an amazing job and it would not have been the same without you! Thanks for giving the kids the experience- I hope you will come again next year! Just because I was sick doesn't mean I love your kids any less! :)