Tag Archives: Natural History Museum

Air Pressure, Autism and How To Make A Perfect Arnold Palmer

Em has a cold.  When Em has a cold it’s stressful to her.  She repeatedly holds her nose and blows, despite being told this will not reduce the pressure she feels in her head, she does it anyway.  Maybe it momentarily does release the pressure and that’s why she keeps doing it.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that having a cold along with a change in air pressure causes her tremendous discomfort and pain.  A friend of mine, who is also Autistic told me her head feels as though it’s going to explode when the air pressure changes.  She told me it’s so excruciatingly painful she loses the ability to speak.

While I do not share in Em’s pain due to the barometric pressure, I did manage to throw my back out Friday afternoon.  No this is not going to be a “woe is me” post, I promise.  I could barely walk on Saturday and so Richard, being the all around amazing, wonderful, practically perfect guy that he is, took Em to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, ending with the Natural History Museum where they played an extended elevator game. (Emma rides the glass elevator in the biolife section where an enormous whale is suspended from the ceiling and a video plays on a massive screen showing the beauty of the ocean and the slow, march towards its inevitable death because of mankind’s negligence and refusal to take responsibility, while Richard pops into view and pretends to scream, and Emma, safely cocooned inside the moving glass elevator hysterically laughs.)  This game can go on for a very long time.  Thankfully Emma was NOT slowed down by her cold or the pain caused by the air pressure.

By the time they returned home I was able to hobble up to the roof with Em where she insisted on wearing this outfit.  It’s a new take on the standard knight costume, a kind of King Arthur’s knight meets one of the witches from Macbeth.  Personally I think it totally works and can we all take a moment and admire Emma’s pose.  (No.  I did not set this up.  She saw the camera and struck a pose unprompted..)

Last night, having spent yet another jam-packed day going to MOMA and (yes again) to the Natural History Museum with her awesome dad, Emma’s cold had worsened only slightly and my back had not improved.  “You two are quite the pair,” Richard observed as I hobbled over to Em’s bedroom, carrying my iPad, while making (almost inaudible) groaning noises.

“I’m going to read to her and then it’s zombie time,” I warned him.  Lest any of you conclude this is referring to some form of kinky foreplay specific to Richard and me, let me dispense with this notion.  It’s not.  We are catching up on season two of the series ‘The Walking Dead’, which Richard has tried to get me to watch for about six months.  Given my weakened state I finally gave in and found I rather enjoyed it.  Lots of zombies, end of the world as we know it, great non-zombie characters and it’s only while watching a zombie show that one can truly appreciate the following conversation: “That was totally unrealistic!  Zombies can’t move that quickly.”  Or “Gross.  How can a zombie have that much blood in their skull?”  Or  “So, wait… they eat humans?  But how are there so many of them?  I mean are the zombies basically left-overs?  Why would they just bite one human and devour another, seriously I don’t get it…”

And then, as though this might explain everything, Richard asked, “Want to go back and start from the first episode?  You’ve missed a lot.”

“No.  That’s okay.  Just keep filling me in.”

So when I was jolted awake at 3:45AM by a body (Emma’s) lying practically on top of me, I just rolled over in a zombie induced state of undead exhaustion.  I heard Richard get up and take her back to her bedroom and ten minutes after he returned to our bed, having immediately fallen back asleep, I heard Emma crying.

I grimaced in pain as I made my way to her bedroom where she had the lights on and was whimpering “Mommy come.  Ears popping.  Go see Mommy nurse.”

“Oh Emmy.  I’m sorry.  Want me to lie down with you for a little while?”

“Mommy stay.”

I promptly fell asleep only to be abruptly awoken, a few hours later when my face hit the floor, having fallen out of bed, either that or Emma pushed me in an attempt to gain a few more inches of room on her twin bed.  In a dazed state I slowly stood up and found, much to my surprise, my back felt fine!

“I think falling out of Em’s bed this morning made my back better,” I announced to Richard as we got breakfast for the children.

“Really?” he said.   Then he added, “Cheaper than a chiropractor.”

“And not as painful as a zombie bite.”

As an added plus, Emma seemed to feel much better this morning too!

Lest anyone accuse me of ‘making lemonade from lemons’, I need to add that I was voted, “Most Negative” in high school, a high school, by the way, of over 3,000 students.  Just sayin’… Plus, I don’t much care for lemonade, unless it’s in an Arnold Palmer and even then limeade is preferable.

The Perfect Arnold Palmer

Fill two-thirds of a glass with brewed, cooled English Breakfast Tea, add Limeade and a splash of Cran-Raspberry juice, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Voila! 

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The Art of Negotiating – Get Them to Beg

“Go to Natural History Museum with just Daddy,” Emma announced this morning.

Because of the Jewish New Year it’s a four-day weekend.  Richard took Em to the museum yesterday.  Today is my turn to hang out with Em, while Richard spends the day with Nic and his friend Masiah.

“I know you do love going to the Natural History Museum with Daddy,” Em said as I came over to her.

“But Em, I’m going to spend the day with you.  What do you want to do with me?”

“Emma loves Natural History Museum with Daddy.  But they wants Museum of Natural History with Mommy.  I love playing elevator game with Daddy.  Emma loves BioLife.  Emma loves…”

“Em, what do you want to do with me?  Daddy’s staying home today.  I can take you to the Natural History museum.  Is that what you want to do?”

“Go to Toys R Us with Mommy, then Natural History Museum with Daddy!”

“No Em.  It’s just you,” I pointed at her, “and me today,” I pointed to me.  “What should we do today?”

Emma whispered, “Go with Daddy!  Oh I know you want to go with Daddy.  Say bye-bye Mommy!”  Then Em made fish lips at me.  Meaning she puckered her lips together and pretended to be a fish.  This is what she does when she really, really wants us to acquiesce.

I began laughing.  “Em.  I will take you anywhere.  Anywhere you want to go.  I’ll ask Daddy to explain the elevator game so we can play it together.  Or you can show me how.”

“Go with Daddy,” Emma said very quickly and in a mischievous voice.  Then she whispered again, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, just Daddy!”

So I sidled up to her and whispered back, “Emmy.  Can I take you to the Natural History Museum?  Just you and me?  Please?”

Emma grinned and nodded her head.  “Okay, okay!”

When both the children were toddlers I took them to the Natural History Museum every single day, one memorable day we even went twice.  After a few years of this, I announced to Richard, “I hope never to set foot in that museum again.”

“Uh-huh,” Richard said.

“Ever.  Seriously.”

“Yeah.  Got it,” Richard answered.

“Never.  For the rest of my life.”

“OKAY!  I hear you,” Richard said with a touch of annoyance.

So for the last few years Richard has taken Em whenever she has asked to go.  I think I’ve gone once, maybe twice in the last several years.  That I now find myself  literally begging, BEGGING Emma to take her, is just another example of Emma’s brilliant negotiating skills.

If Emma ever loses interest in being a singer, I feel confident she will find any number of career options available to her… diplomat, anyone?

Emma – Autumnal Fairy

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