We had a birthday party to go to today. It was at one of those places that has inflatable castles, obstacle courses, slides, and games for the kids. We were so excited to get up early and get the boy out with other kids. His social anxieties have improved so much, and he has always loved a good bouncy castle. Hell, so do I. I once played in one for almost two days straight, and that was just 3 years ago.
The boy sleeps in today, which is not like him in the least. He is all about routine, this one. And today he ignored said routine and opted for a sleep in. I should have known that the rest of the day would not be as peachy as I had imagined it. But hope, much like hemorrhoids, springs eternal. So I put on my best smile and we headed out to the door.
We get there and there are tons of kids, lots of balloons, and of course, inflatables everywhere. But who needs inflatables when you have doors? Awesome doors abundant like milk and honey. For every 5 minutes he spent playing and bouncing, we spent 15 minutes prying him from a door. Given that he is now asserting himself a bit better, he throws a tantrum every time you whisk him away to greener bouncier pastures.
I tried to maintain Zen about it. To allow him to just kind of be who he is. But he just kept running outside, crying, hitting, squealing, and crying some more. At one point I threw him over my shoulder and tossed him into a castle and almost demanded that he have fun. I went into a quiet spot and cried a bit out of frustration. I looked at the kids there who were younger than him who grasped the concept of climbing, bouncing and running back and forth. They all yelled “mommy, watch me!”. Mine squealed and ran out the door.
Daddy came and got him from me and took him around the room. That didn’t work, so he came back to me. He climbed up on my lap and he put his cheek to my chest and I covered his other ear and rocked back and forth. He sighed with relief and we stayed there for about 20 minutes. My dear friend came around and sat next to me and rubbed my leg. She shared her problems with her youngest son, who has severe allergies and asthma. He had similar problems with speech and being behind like our boy. But his were medical in nature and medication has changed his life. But she had been there and she knew I was hurting and she simply came and rubbed my leg.
After about 20 minutes I was starting to see why the boy was so overwhelmed with the place. It’s an open warehouse but strangely so claustophobic at the same time. He kept yawning and was most comfortable when I had his ears covered. It was chilly in there and there was a lot of screaming, white noise coming from the air conditioners and the air compressors, and loud music. No wonder he wasn’t having any fun. I wouldn’t have either if I were him.
He got up and walked over to this enormous slide. I mean, enormous. You climb through this tube and climb up this wall and then slide down. I decided to go in with him knowing he wouldn’t be able to do it alone even if he did grasp the concept of it all, which he didn’t. But I saw other parents doing so I said what the hell. Let’s go, kid.
So first off, let me explain that I am about 5 feet tall and I am shaped like a beach ball with feet. I have been doing a lot of random sweating lately, and my hair was sticking up all over the place from static and bad hair. I plucked my fat ass through the tube opening, thinking that on the inside of this giant contraption would be a little walking around, some stairs and at the very least, an escape route. No problem, right?
HA! It was impossible! The boy was crying, then laughing, then crying. I had to throw myself down little tubes, giant holes, curved hills and then through an area of giant upright cylinders. By this time word got around that I went for it, so all of my husbands friends and their wives all stragetically set themselves up to view what could have been the most hilarious sight in the world. The wives, most of whom I love dearly, set themselves up at the bottom of the slide. The husbands walked around the perimeter of the slide and yelled at me from the open areas. They followed me like one would follow a golf game, only they were laughing hysterically.
Kids were running past us, the boy was exhilerated but terrified. I looked for an escape route. None! I let another mom go past me. I just kept breathing and I kept trying to keep the boy calm. I was sweating and laughing at myself for doing this. I wanted to turn around but even if he wasn’t going to understand it at the time, I wasn’t going to let my kid down and turn around go back. Not for him, or for me. He could cry it out, I could make a fool of myself and get laughed at, but that bitch was going to get tamed. And we were the two people to tame it.
Then, I get to….the wall. Yes, the wall that went straight up about 10 feet I think. The wall with little ass square pegs to climb on, and a couple of handles here and there to grab. The wall to the top of the slide. To the top of my pride, my son’s anxieties, and the top of the giant freefall below. I honestly didn’t think we could do it. The boy weighs 35 pounds. And I weight much more. Muchhhhhh more. I wouldn’t have been able to do that wall at the age of 15, let alone at the age of 35 with a 35 pound Forrest Gump on my hip!
Then I remembered my mother in law bringing in a fucking pizza to Thanksgiving dinner. One step. All of the therapy my son has to take and how trapped he must feel sometimes. Two steps. How I sometimes just feel queasy living in my own skin and work soooo hard to change that almost every second of every day. Three steps. My husband not working for two years straight but still holding on the best we can. Four steps. My husband and our friends behind me giggling their fat asses off, yelling for the little girl up on the top of slide to grab the boy and yank him up. Five steps.
As corny as this is going to sound, and believe me, it’s corny. I took a deep breath and said out loud to my son “Life is always going to be hard for people like us. Let’s finish.” Six steps.
Then, there we are. He is crying and confused. I am holding off having a heart attack, and I can’t feel my fingers. I sit my fat ass down at the top of the slide and put him on my lap. He instantly stops crying and holds on to my hands. I could actually feel him smiling even though I couldn’t see him in front of me. I take a deep breath and yell “CANNONBALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL” and down we go. About mid-way through I feel how fast we are going, and see all of our friends at the bottom of the slide waiting for us. Flashing lights from the cameras, slow motion clapping. I scream. We hit the bottom and the boy giggles his heart out. I block traffic at the bottom because I can’t move. All of these little kids start piling on top of me.
My husband helps me roll off the bottom of the slide. My son may be slow, and I may be fat. And we both had a hell of a time getting up that bitch of a slide, but we did it. We have a picture of it and everything. We scored one for fat moms and slow kids everywhere. I hope he is glad we followed through. I am.