The Land of Make Believe

This past Wednesday, we took Nicholas to the Land of Make Believe, which is a local amusement park with a train, carnival rides and a wading pool filled with slides, a huge pirate ship for them to play on/slide off of, lazy rivers, and more.

Nicholas was fantastic! He had such a good day – and a fun time – he did not want to leave despite the park closing.

When walking up to the front entrance, you walk over train tracks – so he knew right away that there was a train. So, as soon as we entered the park, we went on the train. When the train ride was over, he asked to go again, so we did – he got such a thrill out of going through the train tunnel. He just loved it.

I thought that we would have a problem getting him off the train, but once again, he surprised me and we left the train to do other things. He went on the dinosaur ride with Mommy and Grandpa, the canoes, the space shuttles, etc. After going on several rides, he decided he was hungry and went and sat down at one of the tables by a food stand and started a conversation up with the people who were sitting at that table. Yep, Nicholas has no problem walking up to new people and starting a conversation with them. There was a child sitting there with his parents and the mom said, “thomas, say hello” – to which Nicholas said “hi thomas” and then turned around and said he was hungry. So, we had to leave this area because of everything being cooked in peanut oil – we had to go find the pizza which was a hike from where we were. In the past, Nicholas sitting because he is hungry could have resulted in a child who would not budge from his spot. He got up and went to go find the pizza place with no problem whatsoever.

After we ate, he said he wanted to go on the water slides. So, we went to the water area, got a locker, put our stuff in and Nicholas did beautifully the whole time. We had to wait for others to be done with their lockers before we could get to ours, it was no problem. He told me he had to potty, so we went. Then we had to wait for Grandma and Grandpa and he was patient until they found us.

At first he walked around the wading pool, but did not want to go down the slides. Then he decided he wanted to go down the slide, but there is a spray of water at the top of each one and he did not like that. So, grandpa put him on the slide from the other side and he saw how much fun it was, he forgot about the spray of water and went down the slide more times than you could count.

We went to check out the big pirate ship (which has bigger slides coming off of it into slightly deeper water) and he loved that. You have to climb up a rope ladder to get on it and he did that quite well. He didn’t seem to mind much with being almost submerged the one time he almost went under completely when coming down the slide.

We went to check out another area of the water park which has a huge dumping basket which fills with water and then dumps out on top of everything. It has lots of water stuff to play with and do – but without realizing Nicholas and grandpa got drenched by the bucket, so Nicholas was done with that area.

We almost got him on the lazy river and he would have gotten on- he really wanted to too. But I’m sure you’ve encountered your share of teenagers running rides who don’t know how to work rides and be efficient — there was so much commotion and confusion that it was too much for even me. (and it was all so pointless) So, Nicholas walked away to the exit where he saw plenty of tubes going by and wanted to get on that way. By then, the line we had gotten out of was huge and we suggested the slides again and he was happy with that.

They have high balance beams there – and Nicholas did something I had not seen him do correctly. He walked the balance beam, walking forward on the beam – putting one foot in front of the other correctly. On balance beams, he walked sideways and we could not get him to walk straight forward.

He wanted to go on the train again, so we dried off, got dressed and headed back there. He was not in a mad rush like he was driven like he would have been in the past. He was patient and cooperative. Got out of his wet clothes, dried off and into dry clothes. Went potty, returned locker key, waited for mommy to change, etc. Then we headed towards the train. Since the park was reaching closing time, we stayed on for a 2nd ride. When that was over, Nicholas said “one last ride” – so we obliged. When we got off of the train, Nicholas wanted to go on the frog ride, but it had already closed. I thought we were going to hit tantrum-ville, but he was mad, but quickly got over it.

We stopped for some popcorn on our way out and headed towards the car. He fell asleep in no time and slept the whole way home. When we got home, he had started waking up on his own and wanted to go back.

He ran around like he was one of the pack, he waited patiently in line behind other kids, he was excited watching other kids come down the slide. When he was the only one left on that slide, he wanted to know where all the kids went. It was a great day – I was so happy with his progress – days like this truly show us just how far we have come.

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