Chance had his first OT and speech therapy session
yesterday.  He really liked it.  There were games involved and lots of play
for about an hour and a half.  He
basically liked it so much he had a big screaming tantrum as we tried to leave.
That’s one of his biggest areas that could use improvement right
now.  We’ll be out doing something fun
and he doesn’t want to leave.  Sometimes
we won’t even be doing something all that fun (for example, the mattress store!); he just doesn’t
want to go back to the house.  (And I
can’t blame him, because I’m pretty bloody sick of being stuck in the house right
now with a toddler who misses preschool something fierce, too.)  He doesn’t have that level of tantrum at
home, only when we’re out (so yes, I am that
mom with that child).  Obviously this kid’s social life is not at
the activity level he would desire.  (I
can already imagine what high school will be like.  And the fights.  Oy, the fights!)

The option (just in case you thought I missed this) is to
let him play until he’s tired enough to go home with minimal fuss.  So I’ve been experimenting to find the magic
number of play time. As far as I can figure with this inexact science that
number is three hours minimum.  Three hours!  Three hours out somewhere, doing something
(but nothing TOO loud or TOO stimulating or we guarantee a freak out), before he is tuckered enough to head home
(and sometimes not even then). 

For example, we met another mom and toddler buddy at The
Jungle on Monday.  We spent two hours
there – and it was cool because it wasn’t crazy busy because so many kids were
already in school – then we all went across the parking lot and had lunch at
Red Robin (another hour).  I got him in
the car without a tantrum, but there was still some protest crying involved.

I actually think four hours would be ideal.  Then he might even fall asleep on the way to
the car.  (That would be so cool.)

However, do you know how trashed I am after three hours?  (I am old.)

He goes back to preschool October 1st.  I need to come up with somewhat social,
definitely active, not too over-stimulating, appropriately interesting activities
for another month.

So I start imagining… what if you had The Jungle but it only
piped in quiet classical music?  And it
had a full café attached.  Not a pizza
place, but a café.  With free WiFi.  And it could still have video games but they
wouldn’t steal your quarters and the sound would be turned way down so as not
to disturb the classical music.  And there
would be attendants!  Fully-trained
ex-daycare worker attendants to watch
the children.  And (for myself) all the
other parents are cool because all the
children are hyperactive.  The kids just
bounce off each other to their heart’s content (or until they fall asleep) while we sit and drink lattes.

I could spend 3-4 hours at that place.        – wg