Life On The B Side

Taking all that life throws at us one moment at a time

We Got A Membership July 29, 2015

Filed under: ADHD,Autism,Family,Life on the Jay train,Special Needs Kids — The B Side @ 11:06 am
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Two weekends ago we spent a day at the zoo.  It was a spur of the moment decision.  Luckily for me, “spur of the moment” actually works really well for Jay.  As long as I keep him in the loop as we go, he’s fine with whatever I throw at him.


I had wanted to spend the day at the beach but when we woke up it was clearly not beach weather.  We spent the morning being kinda lazy and watching TV as we tried to come up with a plan B.  Then the sun came out and the zoo idea was born.  Ace was surprisingly excited to go.  He’s not as much of an animal person as Jay is so that was cool.


The day turned out to be really nice.

The weather was great – The zoo wasn’t too crowded – We ran into old neighbours/friends – We went on a train ride which had a long line but the kids waited like champs – We fed goats and birds (The birds were super cool) – At Jay’s request, we took pictures in a photo booth.


After a couple of hours we knew it was time to wind down our day.  Collectively, we decided to leave the touch tank and the reptile exhibit, the butterfly walk and the merry-go-round for another day.


I had promised each kid that I would buy them something for being so well-behaved.  Before we stepped foot inside, Jay knew he wanted something from the zoo gift shop and Ace asked for something from Target.  No problem.  I was in a good and agreeable mood that day.


THEN we stepped foot inside the zoo gift shop and Jay couldn’t settle on just one thing.  He asked for two.  I stuck to my guns that he was to choose one only.

*Cue melt down*



I eventually had to physically take him outside where we sat on a wall and held each other tightly and I rubbed his back while he told me repeatedly that I didn’t understand and that he NEEDED both.  It was heart-breaking.


I kept quiet.  I know that my words won’t help him.  We’ve been down this road before.  I’m getting so much better at simply being there and giving him the time he needs to calm down.  Ace too, is getting so good about just waiting.  I know it’s hard for him sometimes when Jay is having a bad moment, but I’m really proud of him.  He didn’t try to rush me out of there or try to get my attention or try to talk to his brother.  He just gave us time and space.

After a while his breathing slowed and I felt his head lift from the crook of my neck.

I asked him if he was feeling better which he confirmed.  Then he asked if we could go back inside and he would pick just one thing.  I said sure.  Hand in hand, like the team we are, we walked back to the store where he chose a stuffed tiger.


Despite the gift shop issue, the day was good.  Really good.  We will be back for sure.  There’s so much still for us to check out.  Zip-lining, a rope tree top adventure course, miniature golf, paddle boats, ice-skating … So much!!!

And next time we won’t have to pay since I bought a family membership.


5 Responses to “We Got A Membership”

  1. Neil Says:

    I recognize the description of that zoo. And my kids just tackled that tree-top course (subject of a recent post). Glad you had fun. It’s a good spot. They’ve really fixed it up the last few years, and now they are getting giraffes.

    • 🙂
      The kids had been there before on school field trips but it was my 1st time going. I had no idea all that was there. Woo hoo for giraffes!

      • Neil Says:

        It used to be not much but they have sunk a ton of money into the complex. Refurbished the zoo. Added the mini-golf. Built a restaurant on the reservoir and installed a walking track around it that is beautiful. Built the ropes course and zip line. When my kids were young we went several times. My daughter loved the zoo. My son had no use for animals but he would ride that train forever. I still smile every time it goes by when I’m on the walking path. And Ryan plays hockey at that rink all the time.

  2. NickyB. Says:

    I love how you were able to work through everything. Excellent!

  3. loveonastick Says:

    I’d call that a REALLY successful day, you sound like an awesome mum😊

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