My daughter missed me this week and asked me why I have to go to work. And why she has to sit at home with a babysitter.
A babysitter that doesn’t take her anywhere.
And I’m honest with Ally, I told her it is because I said no.
Today I made time to have a day with my child. To give her memories and do something fun together so she could remember this next time she misses me while I am at work.
We went to the sensory viewing of The Lion King this morning. Since she sat through most of Toy Story 4 last month, I felt more comfortable going with her alone.
She tried movie theater popcorn for the first time and was probably the first kid ever to tell me she did not like her blue slushy.
The first half of the movie went as perfect as it could go. She laughed at the funny parts and cried when Mustafa died.
But a few minutes after that she was lost.
She giggled uncontrollably, kept getting out of her seat, scripted, danced in the aisle and we took a few walks to calm down. But that was to be expected and was exactly why we went to the sensory showing.
She spent the last fifteen minutes playing with another child and they danced in the aisles together but overall, we made it through another movie without too much of a scene.
The mom of the other child complimented Ally afterward for how sweet she was for hugging her daughter and how impressive her language skills were. I have that kid where people ask me confused,
“Is she on the spectrum?”
I always nod and wish they knew more about our life to see there is a lot going on beneath the surface here.
As we left, Ally remembered that I told her we could get haircuts together and then go shopping. She said she wanted to go and so I drove across the street to the mall and they just happened to have two stylists available to cut our hair. Thankfully we got someone with patience who didn’t mind Ally talking in voices and counting and babbling about random things.
At that point, we had been out for about three hours and I probably should have taken her home, but she seemed fine.
At Old Navy, she picked out “Lion King” dresses for both of us; she loved trying them on in the dressing room. She cried briefly in the bathroom when someone used the hand dryers but I felt like we were passed that. she covered her ears and seemed fine once we left.
As we headed towards the line she started hiding in the clothing racks and its starter, as it always does. She kicked me in the line and told me she was going to send a stampede to get me like Mustafa if I didn’t buy her a candy bar. Out of nowhere. I absolutely was not rewarding this behavior and said no.
She started running and I had to and chase her. We left the store and she cried because we forgot her dress. I told her when she calmed down we could go back and buy it. And I really wanted to buy it because the memory of us picking them out was so precious.
On the second round, she started in again while we were in line and I had to hold her wrists to prevent her from leaving. She kept twisting her body and asked me what would happen if she twisted her wrist and I told her she would break her wrist and we would need to go to the hospital. I had two people in line ahead of me and she started screaming and throwing herself on the floor. The glares and looks started because my child was being a brat, or so it looked. I let her cry on the floor and she slapped herself in the face while I paid for the dresses.
We rushed out of the store and passed the jungle gym area where she threw herself on the floor. She wanted to play. But there were toddlers and babies in there and I was already horrified and on flight mode.
She kept trying to run ahead until I found myself carrying my unruly 5-year-old to the car. Thank god I found a close parking spot this time.
She kicked, screamed and threw her shoes at me while I tried to get the car and her to cool down. I played her favorite Taylor Swift songs and got her somewhat settled. And at that moment, I felt reassured of my decision and why babysitters are not allowed to take her to public places like the mall. This is why.
I struggled to carry her and soothe her and I’m her mother, the person who knows her best. Outsiders don’t realize what a burden and responsibility this could be. How in the blink of an eye, she could be gone.
Many don’t realize that when you turn your head for one second she could run. And she does not always run, it’s like she knows when to do it when I least expect it but since I have to be Ready to Run all the time.
On my way home I wondered if we are ever going to get to have a mother-daughter date that doesn’t end like this.
I wish for simple things like this. Simple things typical families take for granted.