Well, there is.
After my post yesterday, our friend, Naomi, informed us of that.
We were so excited to take Sister there that we, on a whim, decided to go.
I know, I know, we have kids with Fragile X... you can't SPRING plans on them... so we told them in the morning about 10am and didn't leave until 4:30pm.
Maybe that wasn't enough time.
Or maybe it was because we went during traffic.
Or possibly that we drove past two pretty bad fender benders on the freeway that kind of freaked Sister out.
And by "kind of" freaked out, I mean "really freaked out by most 9-year-old girls' standards, but slightly on a lesser side for Sister's type of freak out," In other words, it wasn't good.
We muddled through by making sure to choose the right songs to be played on the radio and distracting her with the new road construction (at least some people find it exciting).
Then we came to the grand entrance of SLC's Chinatown. The whoops and hollers heard by all three children brought smiles to our once stress-creased faces and I exclaimed, "It was worth it! The love it!"
Why do I speak?
Why do I even think, that for a moment my life is "normal?"
After we got out of the excitement-packed van I assumed that a photo op in front of the grand entrance was a good idea... it kind of was...
Sister is proud, Baby is celebrating and Brother is... well, a teenager...
With excitement we entered the main store which was the largest Chinese Market in Utah... this was gonna be good...
It started off good...
Then it started...
The hyper-arousal, the overstimulation of this huge open space.
Brother was the first to wane.
I tried to distract him by getting a picture with the friendly Panda.
I was bound and determined to make this exciting.
I had read that there were fish tanks with the fish in them and took the kids straight to there so they could get all excited about the fish.
There weren't any fish... well, not in the tanks anyway, those were on ice... there were crabs in the tank.
Brother was melting because the crabs were scary and the smell of fish was overwhelming him.
We lost him.
Really, we did. While trying to entertain the girls with the creepy crabs, we realized Brother had disappeared.
I searched along every isle with Sister at my side because she didn't want to stay with Daddy who was watching over the crab-enamoured Baby.
I didn't want Sister to panic so I acted as if I was just casually looking for things down the isles.
Kids with Fragile X are really, really smart.
She sensed my panic and started yelling at me to hurry up and pick something so we could find Brother. She was not impressed with my ploy to fool her.
This added a new element of "fun" to the adventure because now Sister was screaming at me while I was searching for the missing Brother and then finally we found Brother only to have him run to me with complete meltiness and began to whine the Brother-wine which entails the sounds of a deer and a mule mixed with a low, yet high-pitched baby elephant.
... it wasn't pretty.
But, I was still determined to MAKE this a good experience.
When we found the candy and toys they all started to brighten a bit.
But it was the produce that got Brother and Sister all excited! They were now far enough away from the creepy crabs and the foul fish smells that I think they were able to concentrate on the weirdness of all the crazy fruits and vegetable they were seeing.
Then Brother saw the apples and the pears and he was in heaven.
We spent a few more minutes giggling at and teasing the produce and then we purchased a few items and left.
When we walked out the doors I felt a sense of relief and accomplishment.
I don't know why I can't remember the line, "Quit while you're ahead!" I just think, "Hey, lets keep pushing them as far as we can and see if we can push them that far... ya, lets do that..."
Will I ever learn. I should have just said "to Wendy's" and loaded into the car.
But, no, I had to make sure that Sister got all of China in she possibly could so I kept offering some of the other Chinese things that were there like the restaurants and the Kung Foo Palace... what? I think I had one too many popsicles today because I was a little off my rocker.
Marc knew it, but he just went along for the ride... bless his heart.
After enough whining and complaining we went no where else that was even remotely Chinese and we loaded in the car to head to a Wendy's.
Then, I see a Brazilian restaurant and I think to myself, "Self, Marc would love to go there and he has been so good with the kids and you today that we should go there. The kids will be fine. They need to learn to adjust."
Again, Rachael, with the thinking thing... don't think... just go to Wendy's.
But, my thinking won out and off we were to the Brazilian restaurant.
I'm going to keep this short: It was a really expensive way to try to keep 3 kids wrangled while we stuffed our faces and had our patience tried to the max.
The kicker was when the "tornado" came rolling in.
I put "tornado" in quotes because we all know there are no tornados in Utah, but no matter how many times you explain that to Sister, well, she knows better than you and she knows what tornado clouds look like. She made sure to let everyone within a 3 table radius knew that there was a tornado coming and that we, her parents were idiots and liars... no, I wasn't worried that they were thinking we were idiots and liars, Sister was telling us that loud enough for all to hear.
That's when we decided it really needed to come to an end.
Marc took Brother and Sister out into the "tornado" while I stayed back with Baby and paid the bill. I'm not sure which one of us won out there... trying to write out and figure a tip isn't easy with "Bob the Builder" blaring in your ear simultaneously with shouts of "put me down!"
The waitress smiled at me because she had to. I hope she read the note I took the time to write that thanked her for her patience and understanding with our three special needs children. She may have needed to know that before we started our meal...
It may have been a bit of a flop today—I failed in quite a few areas, but at least I looked good in the hat Marc bought me yesterday:
Ha ha! I feel like my dad, yet I love it at the same time. Go figure.
Anyway, my UPs for today were actually sitting and planning with Marc today because our time is rare when the kids aren't writing with markers on the walls or pulling tissues or wipies out one by one to heap onto the floor.
AND I am proud of us for trying to bring China to Utah today. It was hard, but it's the thought that counts.
Day 220 of 365 Days of Up