Today I wave the white flag. I toss in the towel. I concede, I come to the final realization that I need to accept a certain truth, at least as it currently stands. I know I said last week that I really didn't have too much to blog about, no issues to discuss, etc., but yesterday I realized that I need to revisit a topic I've brought up several times before.
Haha, actually, I didn't mean to make it sound like such a huge deal, because in the grand scheme of things, it really isn't. I just think that it's now time to stop thinking that having an aide, like noise-muffling headphones for Samantha, is not perpetuating a behavior, that if she's exposed to situations enough she'll get over it. I just can't put her through it anymore.
Not like we are in those kinds of environments all that often, but knowing that we won't have issues would be comforting, for all of us. Especially Samantha, of course. Sheesh, even in public restrooms with loud flushers and jet-engine hand dryers!
Better safe than sorry.
So here's the deal. Friday night and through to Saturday morning, Samantha was sick with a stomach virus of some sort. (She tested positive for strep on Saturday morning, but that's nothing new. I suspect she's a carrier, so we may need to address that at some point in the not-too-distant future.) Sadly, we had to scuttle our plans of spending the weekend with my parents, which was a real disappointment - we were both looking forward to it. Sunday she was feeling back to her old self again, so on the spur of the moment, I ordered tickets to the circus, which happened to be on its last day in a location less than a mile from our house. Wow! How much more convenient could it have possibly been? I was actually really excited at the thought of having something so fun and random for Samantha to do, knowing she'd love it. She'd been to the circus before, when she was 3, and enjoyed parts of it before falling asleep in my arms.
True to our usual situation, we had a couple of things going against us - Sammi was getting over being sick, and she had been super cranky and whiny all morning. HELLOOOOOO, MOMMY...RED FLAGS!!!!!!!
When we walked onto the property, I saw that they were giving elephant rides, something I've never done, but thought might be an opportunity too good to pass up. I mean, when, ever, would we likely get that chance again? I asked her if she wanted to do it, and she surprised me by saying yes. Then I tried to talk her out of it, worried that she'd balk at the last second and we'd be out $16. But no, she was insistent. And she surprised me even more by hopping up on the elephant's back, uncomplaining. The mother of the children sitting in front of us kindly texted me the photo below, taken from her phone. Can someone please remind me what we did before camera phones and text messaging?
Sammi was a little bit nonplus about it afterwards, but hey, she did it, right? And the awkward, uncomfortable 3 minute ride was well-worth the money, for sure!
After that, and the purchase of two hot dogs for us for lunch (both of which I, regretfully, ended up eating myself), we went into the tent. I won't go on about the cheap seats we were in, but I will say an upgrade would have been worth it, unless you actually like sitting behind everything. Looking out at all the empty seats in front of the action. And cheap seats, when you add all the online purchase fees, are still not very cheap. And considering we were only there for half an hour, I'm glad I didn't upgrade. Thankfully, children were free. :-)
Yes, I said half an hour. And yes, Samantha screamed and cried pretty much the whole time, terrified of the noise from the amplified voice of the Ringmaster over the loudspeakers. I had even had the presence of mind to grab my winter earmuffs as we ran out the door earlier, and with those on her ears, and her hands insistently pressing my hands over her earmuffs, over her ears, the sound was still too intense. She quieted down during the tiger act, but her peace was short-lived.
Then we left, and went to the library.
I felt horrible for her, horrible that I had not yet gotten noise-muffling headphones, as others had recommended on occasions too numerous to recount. She gave me a long hug outside, and said she was sorry she was scared. Once again, it broke my heart as I insisted that she had absolutely no reason to apologize, that it was I that was sorry she was so scared. I promised her we'd get her some headphones to make things quiet, and that made her happy. But I wasn't emotionally wrecked this time as I was on the occasion I posted about a while back (here and here), I was more prepared, more reflective, more accepting, more ready to do something about it.
I understand from many other parents of older children that our kids will usually outgrow this. My fingers are crossed...I'm counting on you guys to be right about it!!
But I feel that I needed to have this experience with her. This wake-up call. I don't think she has any other sensory issues, other than this auditory sensitivity, and for that I am grateful. This is an easy one to get around. I've lost the link to the headphones that someone had sent to me a while back. I know a quick Google search should turn it up easily, but if any of you have ones that you've seen or that you use and like, can you please include the link in your comment?