The end of the school year is filled with anxiety of the future. What will happen this summer and what will happen august 1st to start middle school. We are fortunate to celebrate Sammy’s birthday May 26th, right after school ends. It is a positive and happy transition to the summer with sammy as the focus.
This year we had a fun friend filled bbq and birthday cake for sammy as we waited for May 31st trip to San Diego for SeaWorld fun! The roadtrip is always a challenge but we have learned what works for both girls and that it is ok to stop 3 or 4 times just to stretch. And routine locations are key however this trip we chose to go to cracker barrel in yuma instead of Denny’s. 20 minutes of screaming until the realization could sink in to Sammy that she does like cracker barrel. Instead of the hotel room being ready early we had to kill some time. We chose to drive to Coronado Island. Some yells and crying until we crossed the bridge and saw the ocean. We played and headed to the hotel which was ready at least a little early and then we hung out for surprise of their aunt angie and uncle chris joining us. It was quite the first day. Overall… fun!
As we made our way to SeaWorld the next morning we find out their entry routine had changed. Th entry used to be open to the touch pools 15 minutes before opening. Lucky we had bubbles for line entertainment for her as well as kids all around. The guest line is mine and Sammy’s task asap. We waited to get her pass and as she waited and repeated “I get to ride the Rapids right?” We found out that her innocent statement about her tonsillectomy in January resulted in a pass only good for sky tower (apparently SeaWorld has a 6 month post anesthesia policy for ride limitatuons). Sammy got so upset she just kept asking about the Rapids, raising her voice and flapping her hands. Tears in her eyes as she pleaded with me. She heard the lady telling us the limits but tried to ignore it. Then the paper was handed and she lost it. The lady doing her job tried explaining she could still ride it but that flared things more. I had text my husband right before the full meltdown that I needed help and he came to assist as i had to move sammy from the service desk and reached for all calming tools. Tears in my own eyes as she bit her fingers and screamed. J promised to take her to the Rapids first thing and she obliged by getting up and clapping as we made our way to the rest of the group. We had angie tell sammy the surprise of lunch with the orcas. It helped a little as sammy obsessed on Rapids and ran off to be briefly lost and then found.
When calm returned and her voice and body language relaxed we had a very lovely time of fun and family and rides. She got a special sight of the orcas for a lunch buffet and we got a little splash as the whales came to the side of our table.
We had a great weekend and for our family it was overall a huge success. But I think we all felt good to get home and start our summer weekly routines of groups and lists and friend fun times scheduled.
as we hit mid June Sammy tells me she likes her schedule. I figure she means her morning group 3 days a week and 2 days a week with cousin Sophia. What we got figured out was she meant her checklist for electronics time. She had resisted its creation but it gave structure to the rest of her day and although she lost electronic time one day for her behavior (meltdown about lunch) she overall appreciates the routine of things and her sister follows with her own schedule too.
And sister is good for other things too. Knowing they will always have sibling rivalry 8 also know that Johnna has Sammy’s back and support her when she can. Part of turning 11 and heading to middle school means 2 more vaccines. Shots are hard for most kids but with sammy it has taken 2 nurses and 30 minutes to do just one. The doctor’s office wanted to get 2 done at one appointment. Johnna said she would go to help sammy and sammy asked for a pill to help too (she has one for procedures and labs). With the help from both and a very patient nurse, Sammy was able to get both shots and only took 25 minutes.
As we near the end of month 1 of summer vacation we see challenges overcome and the importance of family. It will be a whole new transition the last week of July but for now we can enjoy swim parties and friends, air conditioning and movies. The routines are in place and filled with chances for fun fun fun. So often I will say OVERALL it was great and that’s what we are hoping for… an overall good time to be had by all.