This week was all about major discovery and attempting to go with the flow. First of all, we had to move our Thursday to Wednesday just this one time so that I could take Gemma to see Cirque Du Soleil on Thursday. We only had two tickets to Ovo and in light of one of this weeks major discoveries (keep reading), I am glad that we did not try to take Kieran. This was my first time seeing any Cirque show live (Gemma’s first as well) and it was jaw dropping. We were gasping and clapping and by the end, lost our voices while whooping during the standing ovation. I knew it would be amazing, but seeing it live exceeded all expectations.
For this week’s installment in our year of adventures, we visited Melbourne’s Scienceworks. Because we moved it to a Wednesday, we were able to go with Clover’s little bestie, Ella, who is now in prep. Preps get Wednesdays off for the first term of the school year!
The current exhibit in the changeable space at Scienceworks is Carnival Science. What fun it is to learn all about the tricks done with mirrors and the science behind beating the games. Next time a carnival rolls into town, you are going to want to go with me because I now know what to do to win the GIANT stuffed animals!
Below :: Super creepy moment right before I ran screaming from the cage.
There is so much to love on a regular basis at Scienceworks with the many permanent exhibitions like the Nitty Gritty Super City upstairs where the kids can learn about building, shipping, weather forecasting recycling and even cafe management while actively playing in these mini environments.
The pretend latte was a little weak, but that may have had something to do with the pretend barista.
The amazing miniature (mostly) Lego model of Melbourne was fascinating to Kieran this visit!
Downstairs there are many other things to do (great on a hot day where we just could not go out to the playground they have on site) like race against Cathy Freeman’s record or pretend to snowboard. The twins even took a boat trip down the Yarra without using much more than their imaginations and a few props.
We had all been there before, so I knew it would be something that the kids would enjoy. What I did not see coming was Kieran’s reaction to a surprise noise just as we entered the House Secrets section downstairs.
You see, Kieran gets afraid. Not just scared, but terrified. It is a bit unpredictable what is going to cause him to react. This reaction was totally out of the blue! Just when I think something is a trigger, he manages to deal and things that were never a problem before cause a panic attack. It is becoming a bit more than just your normal kid meltdown, this is moving into “time to see someone” territory…for his sake. I want to make sure that we are doing the best that we can to help Kieran grow up to be the awesome man I know he can be. I want to learn ways to help him conquer his fears of loud noises and flying insects (among other things). Once he gets scared, he is too far gone to just “get a grip”, so we need a bit of guidance for managing these sensory issues.
He gets that way when he gets upset, frustrated or angry as well as when he is frightened, so instead of writing in his journal about the trip to Scienceworks, he decided to write out his “plan” for when things get too much for him. I have been reading about the Tools program for preschool and kindergarten and thought it sounded just like what would work best for the twins. We are implementing some of their strategies at home and already, it is helping with self regulation. It is wonderful to see Kieran discover that he can help himself. That alone is enough to make a small step in the right direction for him.
He drew himself taking a deep breath. He also drew himself thinking and wrote “STOP”. Now if he is upset, I ask him if his reaction is part of his plan and he gets himself back on track.
Among some of the most important discoveries I have made from simply becoming a parent is that things are never how they seem. I am making my own plan for when I get frustrated and Gemma and Clover have plans for their challenges as well. Self regulation practice is something members of my family all could use help with.
And at Scienceworks I also discovered that I have a fellow American to thank for modern toilet paper. Gotta love “multitasking” while learning.
I would love to hear your tips on dealing with sensory issues and self regulation. Leave a comment below!