Friday, December 27, 2013

Autism Travel Log: Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Shove--Part 1

I've been a mom for eleven years, so I should know by now to keep my expectations low.  When Big Bro was born, I planned to breast feed.  I had images of serene bonding time with my angelic newborn.  Dressed in a white eyelet nightgown, with my hair cascading in long, flowing locks, I would relax in a white wicker rocker with my baby suckling contentedly, as the sun crept in through the gauzy curtains.  The reality was louder and messier.  He wouldn't latch on, neither of us could stop crying, and the whole thing ended with me standing topless in the kitchen, applying cold cabbage leaves to my tits.  (It's not as sexy as it sounds.)

So I've learned a thing or two about expectations versus reality.  But I really thought I wasn't crazy to imagine a fun and educational trip with my family.  After all, we'd had a very successful trip to DC six years earlier.  The boy cooed and giggled in the baby carrier and Big Bro was charmingly interested in everything.  Let's do it again!

Only now my adorable older son is eleven and turning into a surly tween, and his brother cannot be confined to a baby carrier.  But eff it, we're going anyway.  Philadelphia, here we come!

My husband was working in Atlantic City and would join us later, so I had to drive the three and a half hours with the kids by myself.  Three and a half hours of whining, seatbelt unbuckling, and fighting over leftover Halloween candy.  Three and a half hours of cursing my husband under my breath for getting to drink and gamble, while I dealt with the bitching and eye-rolling.  Three and a half hours to wonder if this was such a good idea.

Effin' tigers are so cool and nobody cares.

But I was determined.  The Philadelphia Zoo, you guys!  Check out all these amazing animals! 
Tigers!  Look at the tiger!  I said, look at the tiger!  It's right effin' there.  Will you look at the effin' tiger for eff's sake?  I did not drive all this way for you to look at pigeons.  French fries?  Are you kidding?  You just ate.  Fine, I'll buy you $6 french fries, but then we are looking at some effin' animals.  Ice cream?  It's freezing.

"I wanna go to Pennsylvania!" the boy wailed.
"We ARE in Pennsylvania," I insisted, but he was having none of it.

How about the carousel?  Yes, the carousel was good.  How about the train?  I bought train tickets before seeing the actual train, which was a glorified golf cart with some wagons attached to it.  It just went in circles.  Big Bro and I went with him, and made snarky comments about the scenery.  The boy made choo-choo sounds, so we thought he was liking it, until we disembarked and he made his next demand.

"I wanna go to Disney World!"  Translation:  This place is not cool.
"We're not going to Disney."
"I wanna go to Pennsylvania!"
"We're IN Pennsylvania!"  Effin' hell.  Time to meet my husband at the hotel.

After much hectic driving through city traffic and begging for some cooperation and/or quiet, I pulled the car up to the hotel, at which point the boy cheered, "Hooray!  Pennsylvania!" 

That's when I realized that Pennsylvania means hotel. 

(Note:  A whole lot of other crap happened, but nobody has the attention span for long posts, so I'll write a part 2.)


  1. I just adore you, anonymous ASD mom. Can you feel the adoration flowing out of my fingertips into these letters onto the comment box? Feel it, lady. Wait, that's starting to sound really creepy. Can't wait to read the rest...right now. Hey, btw, I'm not a creepy stalker. I have no privacy, you can visit my blog and google account and junk.

  2. I FEEL THE LOVE! Thanks, Victoria! (And after the week I've had, I really, really, really appreciate it.) :)