Put them to Work

Kids can be very enthusiastic about helping their parents at a young age.  

I think it’s important to encourage this as it will slowly grow out of them if you don’t reinforce their behavior.  

Always give them praise and an occasional reward.  

Another “Inexpensive Silencer”…ice cream

$.99 life boat : Surviving Autism Tantrums In Public

Sometimes parents who have children with behavioral disabilities shield them from the outside world as much as possible.  They don’t want to deal with the glaring eyes and judging looks when their child has a meltdown.  

Even worse, in some cases they even shut  in themselves from the outside world as well.  Ordering takeout and shopping with Amazon Pantry. 

I can’t say this wasn’t true about myself to some extent.  I wouldn’t go to a restaurant with Liam for almost a whole year after  my 30th birthday dinner,  where he caused such a scene that many tables left or asked to be moved.  

This year I refused to live that kind of life.  We expose Liam to everything.  Movie theaters, grocery stores, the Ocean, Restaurants, even Hiking.  

There are some times that meltdowns are eminent.  Usually when we have to leave somewhere fun.  He hates hates hates any store.  When it becomes too much to bare we turn to the “.99 cent life boat.” Every kid has them.   “Inexpensive silencers” I call them.  

For Liam they are M&Ms(“Yems”), lollipops “suckers”, and those little balloons on a stick conveniently placed at the check out.  

For those who roll your eyes and say “you just give him everything he wants” you are the same people rolling your eyes wishing my kid would just be quiet.  He doesn’t get them every time nor does he need them.  But when you are in that kind of situation they can be a life saver.  

Shelf Life

Shelf Life : “the length of time for which an item remains usable, fit for consumption, or saleable.”

As I’m sliding quarters into the parking meter I am thinking to myself, ” What is Liam’s shelf life today?”  Referring to the amount of time I can confine him to the stroller before he gets bored and has a full-blown meltdown.

It’s the same question I ask myself or my wife before we undertake any activity with him and it’s also the reason we stopped going to restaurants unless it’s a special occasion.

I don’t blame him.  I’m the same way when it comes to being confined.  I’m  also the same way when it comes to any interaction with other people.

I will make one thing clear about myself, as well as most introverts.  It doesn’t matter who you are.  Whether I have a close relationship or you are a complete stranger, you wear me out.

The speed in which you drain my batteries has to do which how much of a connection you have with me.  But don’t flatter yourself if I give you the time of day, the time will come where I need to get away from you.

Don’t take it personal but we need that alone time to re-charge.

My shelf life in any big social setting, oh by the way that’s any activity with more than 4 people, is about 2 hours.  Cut that in half…twice if I have nothing in common with you or I don’t know you.    When the internal hour-glass runs dry…it’s time to disappear.

When I go away on my company’s annual convention my colleagues wonder why I slink away for a private few minutes / 2 hours whenever I get a chance.  I’m not trying to be rude but it’s required for my own mental health.

Cut us some slack and give us space.

If you are trying to build a connection with an introvert,  I would suggest an activity with some sort of stimulation that can reduce that amount of talking the introvert has to do.

Go to a movie, play a sport, play video games.  Meet them on thier “turf”.  Whatever that is.  Respect thier introversion and they will let you in.  Slowly.  We are attracted to those who make the effort to make us feel comfortable.


Make It To The Top : Watkins Glen

We head back into the Southern Tier to one of my personal favorite, Watkins Glen

There is where having a hyperactive toddler comes in handy.  He is tireless.  Hiking up a mile in a half of slippery gorges was quick work for the mighty one.  

I love Watkins Glen.  It’s so beautiful that you have to stop and take it in.  

Once you reach the top you can let the kids hit the playground while the grown-ups grab refreshments.  

I suggest taking the Indian Trail down  for a quicker and easier decent.

Family Fun For Everyone : Utica Zoo

Another Utica episode from my visit last week.  

My travel buddy, Liam and I are heading to another stable of my children, the Utica Zoo.

I have to hand it to the directors there.  They had done a great job turning the zoo from a dirty run down joke  into something really enjoyable.  

There is so much to see in such a small space. 

Liam went nuts for the snakes…the only way I could get him to leave was to buy him a rubber one. 

Afterward, we had lunch at Sicilian Delight at Sangertown Square.  Been eating there for well over twenty years. 

The Wild : Chittenango

I had a real break through with Liam when I took him to the home turned into exotic petting zoo called The Wild, located on Lakeport road in Chittenango

Though he was super excited to see the all the animals he actually WALKED next to me and would repeat the animals names as I said them to him.  

Normally he would be running through the park, going every which way, and throwing a temper tantrum.  

I was so happy with him.  He did get a little upset when I didn’t let him go on the bounce house but I was able to distract him with the monkeys. 

Some days he can be so great that you just wanna squeeze his face.  

Not very amused by me in this picture. 

Treated him to dinner for be so good…he had ice cream.

Strawberry Picking with Liam

“Right now I just want to chill for a while. Take a hiatus from all the craziness. To clean my house, see my family. Just see some movies and pick some strawberries.” Lauren Ambrose

One thing I always wanted to do was go berry picking.  Strawberries and blueberries are my favorite.  

I’ve been so busy lately that I almost completely missed 🍓 picking season.    I still was able to catch the last batch at Navarino Orchard, south of Syracuse on RT 20.  

I had a great time.   Feeling like a kid again, picking 2 and eating 1 before placing the other in my basket.  

Liam might not have shared my enjoyment but he was more than content roaming through the fields and playing with the 🐕 at the barn.  

Mark this one off the bucket list.  Be back for blueberries near the end of the summer.

Introduced him to rock candy.