Our son Tristan is 16 years old but developmentally a toddler in most areas. Some days I wonder why God gifted me with a forever toddler! Other days, I am grateful. I am thankful because toddlers are fairly easy to entertain. I know toddlers need many activities to occupy their day. However, they do not necessarily require a lot of money.
On Sunday we took our son, Tristan, to the Indianapolis Zoo. We love spending time with him and seeing what catches his attention. Having a non-verbal child means we watch the subtle cues of his face for expressions to discern if he likes something.
This is what he liked about the zoo…
All the lockson the gates! If you look at the picture, you can see him trying to figure out the lock. Never mind we were trying to point out the tiger!!! We couldn’t get him to look at the tiger.
The bird aviary experience gave us a good laugh. Tristan thought opening and closing the doors was the best part. We stepped in one door and had to wait for it to close completely before going into the center where the birds were. Then he raced through to the next door. We stopped him and tried to get him to notice the birds, but he only paused for a mere second. Once at the exit, we waited for that door to shut before we could exit the aviary.
The birds did not get his attention, only the challenge of entering and exiting the aviary!
There was a low- level shark touch pool. Tristan leaned over to touch the water. Then he sat on the edge Then he looked at Brian wanting approval to get in the water! Brian immediately said, “No let’s go find something else to look at.” Tristan didn’t care about the sharks in the water he thought it might be nice to swim.
Tristan’s top 3 favorite things at the zoo: locks, doors, and water!
Enjoy another healthy dose of laughter from our home!
The other week I dropped Tristan off at his group home. I chatted with one of his group home staff, Benny. I told him Tristan had a great weekend. I asked how Tristan has been for him. He filled me in on one of Tristan’s antics.
Benny said, “I went into the bathroom one day and there were 3 lightbulbs sitting on the bathroom sink counter!”
I chuckled as he said this. That is definitely a Tristan thing. Over the years, Tristan has been fixated with light bulbs at home. This is a phase that comes and goes. Apparently, it is back!
This conversation made me think of some of the other light bulb stories tucked in the back of my mind.
At one point he wouldn’t stop unscrewing the lightbulbs in his bedroom ceiling light fixture. I actually had to tell a new respite worker, “When it gets dark outside Tristan’s room will be dark because he has lost the privilege of having light bulbs.” I thought to myself “Who say’s that?” (Parents like me who work 24/7 to keep their special need child safe!)
Thankfully, the worker said “I understand and I don’t judge.” Inside I was thinkging. Whew! And a quick arrow prayer: Thank you Jesus.
For a period of time….
He would unscrew the light bulbs from the front and back porch lights. We would wait until he was sleeping and the we would put a light bulb back into the socket. Then in a day or two the light bulb would be gone! When we looked over the porch railing we would find it on the ground. Broke from the fall into the mulch, but not shattered. After replacing the porch lights a couple of dozen times with no further success, we gave up. He won!
We finally had to tell visitors ” Wait there’s no porch light” and quickly install a lightbulb. If company was on the way we would install a light bulb 5 minutes before the arrival time. Seriously I am not making this up.
I wish I could ask Tristan “why?” Instead I am left wondering what is his hidden message. We know he does a lot of things for attention. Does he do this to say “Look you didn’t pay attention to me for 3 minutes so this is what I can do?” Or is trying to complete his own personal challenge like “Let’s see if I can do this before someone catches me.” Sometimes, I like to believe these are little love notes that he leaves. Like “Hey I’m thinking of you and I want you to know it.”
Like I often say to him, “Tristan when we get to heaven I have a lot of questions for you.”
I hope you enjoyed another healthy dose of laughter from our home!