We are still adjusting to regular days here after our long road trip. J. typically has a difficult transition phase following our trips north to visit family – after lots of time in the car, eating different foods, sleeping different places, and being surrounded by the loud and touchy-feely bustle of a houseful of extended family members. The difference this time, is that this is the first trip we’ve taken since J.’s diagnosis and start of therapy.
During our trip, we had headphones with a regulating Listening Therapy CD at our disposal, plus a therapy brush. These weren’t used as consistently as they are at home, but they were used, and I believe it did make a difference in preventing J. reaching a point of no return. Some familiar, high-impact snack foods were kept on hand as well. Sleeping in a sleeping bag. And lots and lots and lots of outside time, getting in good sensory input and exercise.
Time in the car was probably the most challenging.
There was one stop, roughly 5-6 hours in, that J. completely lost it. We were not quite to the halfway point and actually considered turning around to drive back home. We even wondered if he needed to go to a hospital, because he was screaming about stomach pain. We forged onward, however, and I managed to get him calmed down by setting him up to listen to his bedtime music on his headphones, while I squished between his booster seat and B.’s carseat and gave him some itchy-rubs till he fell asleep. He would half wake up every now and then to briefly scream or yell or kick something, but then would go right back to sleep. We made it the rest of the night to our destination.
While we were there, J. had noticeable irritability at times, a few physical reactions…but there were no major outbursts or meltdowns. A big difference from our previous trip last December, prior to diagnosis and therapy. We were as lax as possible, letting him be free to play, trying not to push. His biggest issue was low tolerance for having to wait for things, but it never did escalate past being edgy. He did pretty good overall.
Highlights for the boys were the makings of numerous summer memories…
Playing “construction” in a big dirt pile with cousins, running free outside, riding a 4-wheeler, swimming in a lake, making s’mores and roasting hot dogs on a fire, dancing with sparklers, hiking in the mountains, finding and holding a snake, camping out in a tent in the backyard, going to a parade, sleeping over at both Nana and Pop-Pop’s house and Grammy and Papa’s house, riding a pedal car, watching fireworks, swimming in the pool with cousins, eating 428,265 icy pops, and going to a reptile zoo.
Mommy’s highlights? Watching my boys make numerous summer memories, seeing family and friends, hugging nieces and nephews, soaking up the peacefulness of the yard and gardens at my sister’s house while our children ran together laughing, getting to tell my grandparents I love them, seeing fireflies again, being licked by a puppy, sitting on the porch swing looking out at the trees…and then walking in my front door again at the end of the week after surviving, surviving!, all those miles in the car with three young children and a dog (it is no small feat, I tell you).
I most definitely want to do it again next year.