For those of you that don’t know this little fact about Jasan, well, he is very infatuated with washers and dryers. He has been for years! You would have thought that I would have come up with the idea to visit a laundromat much sooner, but alas. Age 6 and we have finally made it.
Apparently, we now will be washing our comforters on the regular at this place. 🙂
So, you put money into the VRT machine which therefore loads your special card with credit. No more quarters needed; you swipe and are good to go!
I love how he is going through an independent stage (with certain things.) He does not need my help; goodness no! Cutest thing ever. We picked our two washers, #10 & #11, and got things started. Huebsch was the brand name of all the equipment in this particular place, so of course he called them by “name.”
Front loaders are very cool but they also had old school top loaders…
He is exploring the feeling of the vibration with his chin. He also liked that he had a 32 on his sweatshirt and he found the 32 in the laundromat. (It’s the little things!)
I love how Jasan is friendly, but the one part of the laundromat that can get a little out of control is how he wants to “help” everyone there. He will walk up to random people and ask if he can help them load their clothes in the washer. lol.
Women are usually understanding and pretty cool about it, but men? Ha. The ones he has chosen look quite confused when he offers his assistance. It is hard for me to tell him “No” in the moment. He doesn’t understand the social awkwardness of what he is doing. So, in preparation for next time, BEFORE going inside we will have the talk about people we don’t know. Can’t help everybody! I love his innocence though. I kind of wish it was okay. It’s precious.
These are the things he will remember. I hope that he feels my genuine interest in what he likes. As boring as this may be to many, it is completely fascinating to my son. These little adventures to nurture his curiosity just builds his bond with me. I want him to feel like I build him up; and if he is really into something we can go check it out and he can explore the way his brain wants to.
People can look at us and wonder why he is making mechanical sounds and getting so excited because the spin cycle is on, but I don’t care anymore. That is who he is and I think he is a rare gem.
We see (and hear) the Metra train all the time. Rarely do we use it, so Jasan and I ventured out. When I mentioned to a few people what we had in mind for the day, they said, “Where are you going?” and I replied, “To Chicago!”
I got a look from one person who thought it was ridiculous that we weren’t going anywhere specific outside of the Ogilvie station. Some people just don’t get it. The cool thing about this adventure is that it is not about the destination. It is completely about the journey. The details about the train. The huge train station at the end of the line in Chicago. The elevators! The escalators! Oh. Endless things to check out without going out of the train station. Not that I was opposed to doing anything else once we got downtown, I just knew we didn’t need to.
I knew that would be plenty to fill him up with a day full of happiness…
Here it comes! The lights shining our direction and the anticipation of loud train sounds about to be near.
The top floor is where we gravitated to and it was pretty perfect. Empty. Just us.
I had tons of fun shooting him. Of course I was using my phone on silent; otherwise he would have had none of it.
(He is wise to me now…)
I loved all the nuances he was noticing…
The cute coat hook.
Watch your step…
We approach the end of the line.
His eyes lit up as we got off of the train. All of the people, the huge train wheels, the multiple trains on multiple tracks, the hustle and bustle feeling everyone getting where they need to go… Taking it all in.
We made it…
The screens! The clock! The light! The windows! (And that is just when you look up…)
“Mama! Found the elevators!”
“This way, Mama…”
This was my favorite part of the whole day. There was about 45 minutes straight of up and down the escalators, and he held my hand almost the WHOLE time. LOVED THAT.
If you have read earlier posts, you know he is a fan of “OTIS.” He only knew Otis in elevator form. It was way cool to meet Otis in escalator fashion. 😉
Obviously we separated after a long while of hand holding and up and down to switch it up… Jasan up and Mama down… Mama following Jasan (go figure!) and Jasan behind Mama…
But then the elevator needed revisiting.
Otis escalators… Back for more…
Do you see a pattern here?
As boring as this could be for me, I choose to not look at it as so. I document him. I watch him figure things out. I Let him make his own choices. I let him lead the way and feel like a big guy. Independent. Showing ME the way. Letting me into his world. It’s beautiful.
But, adventures always need to come to a close…
I didn’t know this until Grammie told me when she picked us up afterwards…
Jasan told Grammie (on the way TO the train) to take us to “kiss and ride” so we can get on the Metra.
Because Jasan is so literal, exposing him to new things is paramount. The more memories in his mind, the more he has to relate to. Sometimes I find myself getting complacent about the weekends because the week is so busy. Well, I am making an effort to change that.
We had such a great time at our first hotel stay, I decided that we should do another…but add a mini road trip to get there! Milwaukee; HERE WE COME!
Yes, I realize Jasan looks less than enthused, ha, but that had more to do with the fact I was taking ANOTHER PICTURE. 😉
Once we hit the expressway, he rolled his window down and was feeling the speed. He usually isn’t a fan of wind in his face, but he was loving it. I was loving watching him experience it. He was embracing his hair blowing in the wind and the feel of “mph” in his little hands. So cute.
One of the many things I love about him is his ability to interpret sound and memorize it in such a detailed way that when he recreates certain sounds on his own it’s freaky good. Lately no music in the car has been his choice. “Mama, car sounds only.” I can only imagine what he was taking in when I look at that photograph.
While we were driving we talked a little bit about what we might do when we are there. Jasan’s idea of an amazing weekend would be literally to not leave the hotel. And honestly, on these hotel adventures, I want to just follow his lead. All week long he is told what to do at school. He would play outside until 9:00 at night if I let him, but he has to come in early to get to bed on time. It’s this and that or another thing, so on this weekend I let him run the show. I love watching him do what he loves and to see where his inspired impulses lead him… and I take photographs.
I pretty much knew I was in for tons of elevator and treadmill time. Maybe a splash in the pool, but the elevator was going to be his deal.
And… he found them.
Observing, listening, looking. Checking out every nuance.
We walked into our suite and he squealed with delight when he saw the microwave. (That was worth the extra $ for the suite just for the look on his face. He also has a thing for microwaves.) I did my regular OCD unpacking thing and organized our space. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased at how nice our suite was, which made it even more fun for me. (I have a thing for fabulous hotels…)
We went to explore the hotel and tackled the workout room.
We met a couple of friends in Milwaukee and they were with us for part of the afternoon. Edward knew his daughter Eva would love the pool at the hotel, so they joined in some of the fun. I was excited to introduce Eva to Jasan for a couple of reasons.
First being HER NAME. The movie Wall-E! And you know… Eve “ev-a!” Jasan is obsessed with that movie. Just the fact that he could meet a real Eva is so cool. And, he loves girls, so perfect combo. Eva also is beautifully autistic, so I was really looking forward to them interacting together.
Eva joined us in the workout room. My silent photo shoot started. 🙂
And did I mention how much her socks made me smile?
Eva was bubbly and talkative. Inquisitive of her surroundings. Similarly, they were both very much into how the treadmills go around and around. I loved watching Jasan watch her check stuff out.
Jasan had a lot of fun watching Eva going very fast. She was smiling and laughing at the exhilaration of how she was running so quickly and then we would press STOP. Then, repeat. 🙂
After a bite to eat, we swam in the pool which is always fun. Eva and Jasan both love the water. The pool was a bit on the small side and was quite full of little ones, so we didn’t stay too long. We parted ways shortly after with Edward and Eva.
Jasan and I were back into hotel exploration mode. I love the feeling that I get when we are in a new environment and it is just the two of us. He holds my hand a little more often because I am his security blanket. I watch his eyes as he deciphers new information surrounding him; wide eyed and curious. Full of energy. And the sun set…
We ate dinner together and rode the elevator. Tons. I mean like hours worth of tons.
I am always so in love with how people react to Jasan when he is in his element. We must have seen 50 people or so that evening in the elevator. On his own he started asking people, “What floor?” and the elevator man he was. I sat there, watching in my glory to the faces of admiration about his cuteness. After we had seen the same group of women three or four times, I whispered to one of them about his autism and they smiled; as if it all made sense now in their minds.
We laughed and played elevator operator and connected in our way. I got on his level and he (without knowing) let me take photos of him. We had a complete blast.
And when the late little kid hour of 9pm rolled around and behavior started getting squirrely, we got into the cozy hotel bed and played iPad. He fell asleep in 5 mins and I fell asleep in 6. Snuggled like we love it. <3
The sun peeked through our curtains in the morning and Jasan woke and double checked with me that we were still in Milwaukee.
We woke and showered and the microwave was a big hit. I am in love with this photo of him.
and this one…
and maybe another angle on the first one because I love it so much.
The little coffee maker?
Was a super fun thing too. We brewed many cups of water…
And then back to the elevator before breakfast. I felt like I knew everyone in the hotel from the night before!
I wonder what he hears in there and what the vibrations feel like to him.
This may be my favorite. The squint.
We did venture out for a short while…
Visited a park on the beach.
(this photo taken by a friend.)
And literally touched a TURBINE. This was ways cool in his mind. He LOVES turbines. Who knew Milwaukee had one you could walk up to?!?
And then we ventured back home. Home sweet home.
More “mph” in his hands…
and a tuckered out little love of my life.
We had a wonderful Milwaukee adventure. We connected and made new memories.
We met sweet Eva…
I love mini getaways. I love special adventures. I love watching Jasan be Jasan. I love being his mama. I love how he told me “I love you Mama” all on his own. (4th time I’ve ever heard it from him.)