Going out in public 

It’s hard to go out. Both with all my kids and without. Generally leaving with an infant is hard wether it’s your first or third. Unless you catch them between feedings, you’re gonna be making a bottle or grabbing a nursing cover. This is especially hard with two other children that still need partial assistance with food. Plus now that we’re a family of 5 seating is trickier next because of the awesomeness of my family we are judged and stared at. I know this will increase as J gets older. 

J is autistic. He is starting to get to an age where people stare more. He’s the size of a 5.5 year old. High chairs were awesome cause he couldn’t get out of them or move too much. He’s now too big. He’s getting better about sitting, but it has to be a booth to contain him. J cannot help the fact that he has to move. That he cannot sit for long periods. His body won’t let him. We do not attempt restaurants without the iPad. It focuses him. More recently it’s become very stimulating in public. He’s more vocal. Since he is nonverbal they’re loud happy sounds, but they are loud. People do not understand and when they don’t understand, they whisper and stare. That’s fine. J can be vocal. I don’t mind. We are working on understanding our quiet voice when we’re out of the house. That we don’t have to yell but it’s ok to talk. His vocalizations give me hope that maybe one day he’ll have a few words. That maybe he’ll say mommy. I will not shut him away because it makes others uncomfortable. That’s not my problem. It’s yours. J usually always gets a hot dog or hanburger and fries. He’s all about consistency. He drinks his water out of his cup. He can use a straw but prefers his specific style cup. That’s fine. It’s not a battle I find that important at this juncture. I will make sure he experiences things because I don’t know what will interest him. I’d rather people ask questions than stare. J is smart. J is stuck in a body that doesn’t quite do what he wants it to do. Imagine that for yourself. How frustrating. Everyday I watch him grow and learn. 

A is a threenager. An overachiever. She loves to be out and about, on the go all the time. She’s my child that has tantrums when you say no. When she doesn’t get her way. We leave stores frequently because of that. She has embraced her age wholeheartedly and sometimes all I can do is laugh. It’s karma for when I was a toddler. My parents get a good laugh sometimes. She can be fun too. She’s my kid who colors with the crayons on the kids menu at restaurants. She doesn’t need electronics when we’re out to make her happy. She also likes drinking her milk out of the straw like we do. She’s my adventurous eater too. She’ll try new things and loves condiments. If she can dip stuff into it she likes it. She eats clam chowder with me. I’ve had to start buying her her own so I can eat some. It’s crazy. She’s generally pretty good when we’re out to eat. She was out of a high chair before J was cause she could sit still. A is a fun date to go out to eat with. 

E is a baby. Babies are hard to take out. They require stuff. 

Date nights. Yeah. Date nights are really hard. First we have to find the time and then we have to find someone who is not 16 because our kids will not be easy. J will probably be the easiest to watch. He’s pretty low maintenance considering he’s non verbal. A will probably be the most demanding and her speech, though much better, is still a work in progress and E is a baby. Babies are demanding. My sisters been out visiting and we haven’t utilized her like we should. It’s hard to coordinate some time where not all 3 children are awake. I wouldn’t leave all 3 kids awake with anyone but myself. I do owe my husband some date nights though. With so much going on those have become important. 

I think people think that because J is different or A is a diva threenager or we have an infant that we shouldn’t leave the house. That we’ll ruin their day with our awesomeness.  I will not keep my kids from being kids because you have problems. That’s not their fault. J needs to learn to eat in a restaurant. Ride rides at an amusement park. Go new places to experience new things. I won’t know what interests him without taking him out. A needs to learn patience and the word no. I will not close my kids up because my family does not fit into your box. J is so smart. My husband had the perfect analogy this morning, “J’s brain is roadmapped like Massachusetts and everyone else’s is on a NYC grid. He’ll get to his destination eventually, it’s just not a straight road”. 

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