AJ & I made a trip to the grocery store this afternoon. Only a few other people were in the store, which is odd for this time of day. While enjoy his ride in the cart, AJ kept himself occupied with Mommy's car keys, and of course, my shopping list. He also loves to watch me open and close the glass doors, watching me sign whatever item I've picked up, and then watches as I put the item in the basket.
When we reached the checkout, I unloaded our items onto the belt. While paying, the cashier greeted AJ and then said, "He's so quiet."
Yes, he was! I didn't take the comment how I would have months ago. Instead, I stopped my dead in my tracks and saw how much his behavior has changed-for the better.
For a sensory-kiddo, the grocery store is a nightmare. We took him to the store a few times when we first brought him home with no issues. But as we started therapy and noticed he began getting scared in new places, we became concerned. I always thought I was just being "chicken" until I brought the subject up with AJ's first OT. She told me I was absolutely right.
Whoda Thunk? (That's her saying by the way too)
Think about it. He's in a moving object, moving forward, backward, and turning in all directions. Mom disppears from right to left, forward and back. People walking away from him, people walking towards him. Items on the shelves stationary but then "moving" while walking down the aisles. Overhead lights, and about a million changes in "scenery." Stop and go constantly.
This past June, I decided we were going to face the the store. His OT had suggested starting small, picking up a few items and checking out. Gradually building to a full grocery shop. I placed him the cart and to my surprise, he loved it. He loves vestibular movement, so the cart ride makes sense. We got the items I had on my list in about oh, 1 minute, and I didn't know what to do. I was so shocked and excited he was enjoying himself, I started walking up and down the aisles. The juice aisle was especially exciting-just giggled and giggled. I realized I had my new phone (with a camera) in my purse and started snapping pictures and video of my kiddo in the grocery store. I am absolutely sure several people thought I was insane.
We checkout and I praised him all the way to the car. Again, who's that insane lady taking pictures while she's pushing her kid in the parking lot? I called AJ's OT right away and shared our accomplishment. She was thrilled and we celebrated this huge milestone for AJ.
We went through a few months of him pitching a fit whenever the cart would stop. At first it was only when loading items onto the checkout belt. Then when we paid. Then anytime the cart would stop in the aisles. He still has those moments when he lets us know needs that vestibular movement, but gone are the tantrums.
Today, I took AJ on a full grocery shop. He was happy. He was occupied. He did not fuss when the cart stopped. He was "ok" when I unloaded the groceries. He was fine when I paid. And yes, "He was so quiet."