Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Countdown Jar

We have planned a trip to DisneyWorld. I've ordered everything free there is, as far as brochures, DVDs and maps. I've googled, Youtubed and surfed, looking for even more footage of the parks to show Calder. He's not overjoyed about it yet. He will get bright eyed when he sees a favorite character but mostly so far, suspicious is the word to describe his "enthusiasm". He avoids the Disneyworld videos I casually pop in the DVD player while he is in the room.... It's not that he isn't interested but rather it all must be just a bit incomprehensible. He doesn't like seeing people out of context: like a teacher or therapist we may run into at the grocery store for example. So can you imagine seeing the REAL Mickey Mouse after knowing him to only be a TV character? It's like hero and boogeyman all in one.

Today we received a homemade planning package from a friend. Inside is a countdown jar that you fill with candy. You then eat a candy each day until the jar is empty and you're off to Disneyworld. Knowing that he does not like candy, I asked him what was the yummiest food in the world and with huge eyes and overjoyed body language he tells me Hexagon crackers! This is an edamamme gluten free rice cracker. I don't really believe him. He eats these crackers every day. I would even say it is his number one staple. So I decided to give him some ideas. "Think of something really special: Ritz crackers, sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, Maw Maw's cookies". The light bulb went off over his head, he had found the answer. A food so very coveted, so very special and rare. Something so simple. He shouts out loud, "saltines!". I couldn't believe it, but it makes sense. When someone offers him a saltine I can feel like a pretty crummy mother, denying my kid gluten-y saltines. What kid begs and pleads for a saltine? Mine does. And I always give in, but nevertheless, it remains the holy grail of sacred snackdom.

So tomorrow we fill our treat jar with saltines. We'll count down the days. We'll prepare like no one else. We'll make Disneyworld as predictable as possible, as impossible as that sounds. Well watch the firework show at a comfortable quiet distance. We'll write down the order of transportation: first the car, then a monorail, perhaps a boat before we even arrive at the entrance. I've ruled out the Bose noise cancelling earphones. I've ruled out the handicapped parking. Is this crazy? Yes, it is. Will he have fun? Probably he will. Will it be too much? Will he have more anxiety than fun? Will he feel like a train wreck inside, filled with uncomfortable novelty? Maybe. Will the sheer awsomeness prevail over his fears? I explained to him that the characters don't talk, much to his relief. He doesn't want to be talked to or touched. I really do believe there is something there for everyone. And not all things are for everyone. He may like the hotel elevator best, who knows. We'll see.