Super Fun at the County Fair with Sensory Processing Disorder

The Rock and I took Pebbles to the county fair recently. Pebbles loves the fair.

She’s a total daredevil. She loves rides that make The Rock and me lose our lunch.

Like this horrendous thing.

photo of Zero Gravity carnival ride

That’s Pebbles in the striped shirt and the painted dog face. She rode this atrocity 8 or 10 times. And loved every second. Ugh.

Pebbles was having a blast when I took this photo, and for most of the day at the fair.

But Pebbles has an annoying little condition called Sensory Processing Disorder. SPD has the ability to intrude upon EVERY. SINGLE. THING. IN. YOUR. LIFE. and destroy all the fun.

Notice I said “has the ability to.” Which means that it doesn’t always, at least now that Pebbles is taking medication that somehow pharmagically tones down her over-reaction to soooo many things.

It also means that it can, and still does, appear out-of-nowhere. Just sneaks right up when we aren’t looking and slaps us in the face. And by slaps us in the face I mean Pebbles has an unexpected, out-of-the-blue, catches-us-unaware, screaming meltdown when her sensory bucket reaches the overload point.

You can read more about how delightful Pebbles’ screaming has been here and here. Here’s a preview.

Life with Pebbles

Life with Pebbles

Everything at the fair was going along like a peachy-keen smoothie. Pebbles rode lots of rides, we ate lots of delicious-but-unhealthy food, watched some bands perform.

Then IT happened.

A highly-trained carnival ride operator, otherwise known as a carnie, told Pebbles she wasn’t tall enough to ride, without an adult, this one ride she really wanted to ride.

It was one of the rides that would make The Rock and me lose our previously consumed delicious-but-unhealthy food. And we were the only adults available for Pebbles to ride with…..sooooo she went into an all-out screaming freak-out meltdown.

In addition to screaming she threw herself down, butt-first, on the ground.

When Pebbles was a toddler she used to do this every time she melted down. It was an important part of the meltdown protocol, which went like this:

  1. Pebbles couldn’t find something, or have something, or communicate something. Or some thing.
  2. She started to panic, began to breath heavily, her pulse quickened, and she went temporarily deaf and blind. I only assume the deafness and blindness part because she couldn’t see what she was looking for even if it was in her hand. She also couldn’t hear a word of help we tried to offer.
  3. The deafening screaming began.
  4. Although she’d gone deaf and blind at that point she somehow always managed to run, screaming, to wherever we were.
  5. As soon as her non-sight-and-hearing senses told her she’d found us she threw herself violently to the floor, butt first, legs straight out in front like she had been born with no joints from the hips down.
  6. The impact between her butt and the floor was always preceded by a perfectly timed extra-deep breath, allowing for an especially blood-curdling scream as the air was forcibly pushed from her lungs, out her mouth and into our already pummelled and abused eardrums.

There were several differences between the toddler butt throw-downs and the recent one at the fair.

Pebbles had the cushioning protection of diapers back then, she almost always did the butt-crash inside our pier-and-beam house on a carpeted floor, she didn’t weigh as much as she does now and she was closer to the floor then.

Pebbles did eventually eliminate steps 5 and 6 of the protocol once she learned a little more about the laws of physics. She hasn’t thrown herself down in a very long time. She must have regressed at the fair.

Unfortunately the temporary blindness I mentioned in step 2 still occurs. Because Pebbles couldn’t see that she was about to throw herself down on gravel.

Which she did. And in case you’re wondering, yes, it hurt.

Which only made her scream more. And louder. And longer than she originally planned.

I’m not really complaining because we only got slapped in the face once more by that sneaky SPD.

At exactly the minute the ride-everything-to-your-heart’s-content armband expired Pebbles was next in line for the funhouse.

This was apparently the first time the poor carnie guy running the funhouse had ever witnessed a full-on SPD screaming meltdown (accompanied once again, but this time on grass, by a butt throw-down). Really, an SPD-induced meltdown looks nothing like an over-tired or over-indulged child’s tantrum. It’s much more intense.

The carnie felt so bad he told Pebbles she could go in.

The Rock and I exchanged looks as we were both thinking that Pebbles had just learned an important lesson. Screaming gets you what you want.

Sorry, but some days we just don’t have the energy for anything but going with the flow. Especially after being slapped around by Sensory Processing Disorder. That dude packs a wallop of a punch.

I’ll forever hate this sign because it started the whole thing.

carnival ride sign, 42" to 52" must ride with adult

Wondering who The Rock and Pebbles are? Want to know
why we’re raising Pebbles? And who the heck is OCD Louie?
Find the answers and more on my About My Blog page.

You might also like Eleven Random Facts About Me and
My Answers to Sophie’s Questions on my Liebster page.

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About Mai Stone

“A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs…jolted by every pebble on the road.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher ~ A sense of humor is essential for surviving the pebbles on life’s road. Especially when they’re the size of boulders.
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2 Responses to Super Fun at the County Fair with Sensory Processing Disorder

  1. Underdaddy says:

    Always a good time at the fair!

    Liked by 1 person

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