The vacation bible school theme is about the streets of Jerusalem. So far, they had the Palm entrance (Palm Sunday on the Christian Calendar) and today they were talking about the Seder and Passover meal, leading into the Last Supper and what communion is about. (I thought for a minute there they were going to actually serve communion, but thankfully they stopped short of that).
Every day they have market place tents set up showing different trades and skills of the day, with an activity the kids can participate in. (like pounding nails into wood at the carpenter shop, making a necklace with some beads at the merchant, smelling and touching the herbs (or grinding some with a mortar and pestle) at the food stand, etc) and almost everyone is in costume. It is pretty cool. They also have games outside that don’t really keep with the theme, but provide some much needed active time. They divide the kids up into groups named for the 12 tribes. I was hoping to be in Zebulon’s tribe (it was in consideration when we named Zane), but, alas, we are in Joseph’s. lol. When we have snack, they have a mezuzah and were explaining that it was used in Jesus’ time and you are supposed to kiss your fingers and touch it when you enter your home (Isn’t that still done? I was thinking that I had seen those at friend’s houses, but maybe I just have weird friends. ) and we pretended to enter and exit our “home” (blanket on the ground) where we ate.
The snack today was a large piece of matzo with cheddar cheese on it. I sort of giggled inside at the use of cheddar, but considering the weirded out reactions to the matzo cracker, I understand why they didn’t go with goat cheese or something like that. The funny thing was that I was the only person in the group that knew what it was. (and could pronounce it). I explained that it was unleavened bread (and then explained what that meant), but they were a little hesitant until I said it was basically a big cracker with cheese. lol. Zane, of course, dug right in. Matzo was not unfamiliar to him, although I don’t think I have ever put cheddar on it. (was good though).
The part that made me duck behind Zane to conceal my giggles though was when they were doing the story time. To set the scene a little…it wasn’t going well at all for Zane and I at this point. He had done really well in all of the other activities, but this was the last thing of the day and it is the story time. When they sat a big plate of food in front of him and he wasn’t allowed to eat it as he wanted, it wasn’t pretty. They were going through what each item was on the plate and it’s symbolic meaning. I wish the meat would have been sooner because that is what was causing the ruckus. (grunts and yells of protest, me wrapping myself around him to keep him from lunging at the meat, with him protesting loudly) and when they FINALLY got to the meat, she asked the kids what kind of meat they thought it was. A few kids offered “beef”, and after a “no”, a whole group of them yelled out “PORK! and PIG!”. Maybe it was because of the absurdity of trying to keep Zane from diving into the plate, but that just made me choke back laughter. None of them could come up with what it was, so I finally asked what the shepherds did in the bible, which finally lead to saying sheep/lamb. Finally, a right answer, so everyone could taste the meat and I could let go of Crazy Boy and he could have a bite. I was impressed that he only took a small bit instead of grabbing it all in his hand. I tell you what….THAT is progress my friends. The funny thing was that only one other boy (the one who bravely downed the horseradish) was willing to try it, so Zane got most of it any way. lol.
The rest of the day
Not great. (understatement)
We had time between bible school and speech therapy to eat and change diapers, and not much else. Zane wanted to play his Nintendo DS and was not listening when I gave him the warning countdown that he needed to save the game and close it up. Right before we were ready to go out the door, I had to change one more diaper while telling Zane that he needed to shut down the game NOW. Still not listening, so I took it out of his hand, closed it, and put it up high. (something I almost never do because it is not good for anybody…but I was hoping that the meltdown would resolve itself on the trip to ST so he had time to pull himself together before ST). Well, it didn’t go well. It was like a cartoon character trying to get through doorways. He was screaming, I was carrying, he was expanding his body and limbs so that it was a major feat to cross a threshold.
It wasn’t over when we pulled up to ST (late I might add, because of the drama of getting him out of the house and wedging him into the car and trying to snap the carseat straps shut with every ounce of strength I had). He wouldn’t get out of the car. Once out of the carseat he dived towards Zora’s side of the car and I had to drag him out of the car too (with the same uncanny ability to make himself too big to get out the door). As I carried the full blown meltdown to the door, I see the face of the student speech therapist who was waiting for him. (terror) I got him in the front door, told her I had to go get Zora out of the car and that if she needed to pick him up she had my permission. I went back to retrieve Zora and some change for vending machines (planning on a cookie bribe to get her to come into the observation room that she hates) and got back to the door…she hadn’t even made it halfway across the lobby with him. I told him that he needed to stand up and walk, or we were going to carry him. He refused, and she picked him up (I was carrying Zora). I went down the hall with her just in case she lost control and to open the door for her.
When I opened the door the clinical educator was wide eyed and commented that she couldn’t believe that was Zane (that she heard yelling all the way down the hallway) because he has never done that in the 2 years he has been going there. I knew she was going to be able to handle him just fine (and he did calm down fairly quickly), but I also knew I needed to let her know what sparked it all so that she had something to work with.
I was able to see most of the ST with the cookie bribe. I managed to miss the biggest dramatics though while getting another bag of cookies for Zora and then convincing her to come back into the room. (I almost never use bribes of any kind, but I was at that point today). Apparently, on the list of things to do today was to help him deal with losing a game. The poor ST student…can you imagine having a start like that and then finding out that you still have to let him lose the game if that is how it goes (he is playing another autistic girl and they are working on playing games and sportsmanship) and then seeing that he was, indeed, going to lose. She got a trial by fire today, but the Clinical Educator worked really closely with both of them to help pull out PECs cards to help him identify and express emotions a bit better. He still had a really rough time, but was able to pull it back together again.
I HATE HATE HATE days like this. I hate seeing him upset and it just hurts so badly to see him struggling so hard. He was smiling through more of the session than not, but it was still hard.
It was easier getting them back into the car than it was getting them out, but I knew there was no way I wanted a repeat scene of earlier and I had about the same window of time. I decided to go to downtown and stop by Exploration Place (we were wanting a family membership again anyway) since it was near where Zach was working. I got down there and look in the back seat to see both kids fast asleep in the carseats. Not a huge surprise with Zora, but seeing Zane asleep is a rarity these days. He was REALLY worn out. I parked under a tree, opened the windows, and dug Zane’s maze book out of his backpack and read it while they snoozed. Eventually they woke up and we still had about a half hour to kill, so we got a new membership and looked in one wing of the building and then went to get Zach from work.
better. Zach grilled some burgers, Zane is playing his Nintendo DS, Zora is playing independently. Robert stopped by after supper and we will watch a movie with him as soon as I get off the computer and get the kids to bed.