My wife’s been preparing for a few weeks to be in a production of Rapunzel in a local community theater, and this weekend, we took the kids to go see her performance. The biggest issue, of course, is preparing for the idea of the kids being out where the Monster’s behaviors can be a problem.
Now, we’ve tackled a movie on the sensory days, and we’ve been to a few things where his being quiet has not been an urgent matter. On this occasion, though, it was more important for him to be quiet, so he wouldn’t disturb the other patrons.
So planning ahead, we brought his headphones to help reduce the sensory inputs, and I brought a bag full of snacks.
And remarkably, it was really almost a non-issue. There was a brief bit of trouble with the fact that he saw someone else having cookies and wanted them – I did not bring any with me, so we had to nip that one in the bud. And he did have a giggle fit for a little bit… but by and large, he was quiet and seemed to be watching the play with a good amount of attention. It probably helped that there was a playground outside the church for afterwards, and we gave the kids some time to work off energy when they were done.
On the other hand, dinner was a disaster. (My in-laws had joined us for the afternoon, so since the SiL and her family were in town, we went out to dinner at a Chinese buffet around the corner from their home that has some American food as well that the kids’ll eat.) The Monster ended up having several accidents while we were at dinner, and did not want to eat very much… and between him and R (who did not have a nap), it was getting late for them. I ended up cutting things short and bringing the Monster home to clean him up and get him into bed…
But it just goes to show that we shouldn’t sell the Monster short on what he’s willing to sit through if I have enough snacks to ply him with. I don’t know what we’ll test it with next, but at least it’s something that should keep us from shying away from taking him to quieter events.