Today J got to go with John & the Young Men and Young Women of our ward to the Logan Temple to do baptisms for the dead. Our Idaho Falls Temple is closed until October of 2016 for renovations. We feel this will be a great opportunity for the youth to visit other temples and to realize how blessed we really are to have a temple only 30 minutes away. Now, having our temple closed, the nearest one is Rexburg, an hour's drive away. Because of it's being next to BYU-Idaho, it is so busy they will not take appointments. It is just a come-and-take-a-chance-you-won't-wait-for-hours thing. So, the leaders think it is a great opportunity to visit other temples. Twin Falls is a 2-hour drive, Logan is nearly 2 hours, Brigham City is about 2 hours, Ogden a little farther, and Bountiful just a bit beyond that.
Anyway, it was J's first chance to participate in this activity since he turned 12. The youth must be 12 years old, and have an interview with the Bishop to be found worthy enough to receive their limited-use recommend to attend the temple. I tried to explain to him what would happen today, but he just had a hard time understanding. Combine the stress of not understanding with the anticipation of getting to go somewhere and we had a recipe of a quite stressful morning. When J gets overstimulated, he gets quite mouthy. Honestly, I would describe it as a teenager-type attitude. Only, with a normal teenager, a parent could let them know loud and clear that that kind of talk was totally unacceptable and do NOT talk to me like that any more. For the most part that will work. But not with J! I deal with this on nearly a daily basis. Sometimes it escalates to the point that he has to go to his room to calm down and improve his attitude. He is always sorry and apologetic, but does not get that when you say you're sorry, it means you won't do it again. It happens. Over and over and over again. Maybe one day we will get it.
So….we first had to go to town to gas up the van, wash it in the car wash, then go to Wal Mart to buy lunch stuff and snacks. We gassed up and I let J wash the front window. He loves washing the windows at the gas station. We pulled around to the car wash and discovered just minutes before they had closed it for cleaning. J loves going thru the car wash, so he was very disappointed we couldn't do it. We don't deal with disappointment well when our stimulation is already off the charts. Off to Wal Mart. That is a very overstimulating outing all in itself. It is hard for him to take in all the things on the shelves, and all the smells. He wanted to buy this, and that, and make sure he had enough for everyone in the car. I feel all I do is say "No, we can't get that." Or, 'Only pick one.' Having to pick one drink out of 20 can be almost too much. Needless to say, by the time we got home, we were both on edge and quite snippy. I finally threatened him with, 'You can stay home and not go at all.' (that sort of worked). He was able to have some time for down time while I got things ready to go and fixed the lunches. That helped a little, but I'm not gonna lie--I breathed quite a sigh of relief when they pulled out of the driveway. I sat down in the chair to peruse the computer for a bit and promptly fell asleep.
You would think that just a little excursion to town like we had this morning would not be a big deal. But it is. He loves going in to Wal Mart, but has to look at EVERYTHING! He has hyper senses so he can hear and smell things that we normally cannot, or do not pay attention to. Add the vision to that, and all that is on the shelves and racks is a lot for him. And it exhausts me trying to keep track of him and pay attention to what I need to get. A lot of times I try to time my trips to town to coincide when he is at therapy or out with his HI or HS worker. I know I need to take him more, but…..
They made it home about 6:30 this evening. He said he had a good time. John said he had a little trouble keeping his hands to himself in the car, with the other boys, and when he was done with his turn being baptized and confirmed, he couldn't just sit there and watch the other kids. He had to go walk around outside. He cannot sit still without having something to do with his hands. That is why, at church one will always see him with a lego toy or his paper, clip board and drawing things. He has to be doing something. John took him out and let him walk around the grounds. When everyone was all done in the temple, they loaded up the cars and headed up to Utah State University campus for some Aggie Ice Cream. It's really good stuff! The leaders treated the kids to a 2-scoop cone or cup. That was a big hit. Then home they came.
I will say--this is one of the faster nights he has fallen asleep when it was time for bed. He didn't even stir when I got up from laying by him. He didn't think he needed his oxygen tonight, so I am hoping he sleeps all night without it. We shall see how it goes. John discovered it is not an easy thing to drive a significant distance while keeping track of a car-load of kids, one of them being J. That can be quite exhausting. :)
I think it was a rather good day, all things considered. We are all learning!