Saturday, February 18, 2012

In Which We Go To The Museum And Connor Takes In A Show

After lunch today Jer and I loaded Connor in the car and drove up to the Pacific Science Museum to enjoy a quality family field trip.  We thought about going to the Seattle Aquarium, but they were releasing a Pacific Giant Octopus there today and we figured the place would be beyond packed.

The museum was pretty packed too, but there were still plenty of fun things for Connor to enjoy.  While he didn't want to touch anything in the tide pool he did seem pretty interested in watching the creatures inside.  They had a giant Rubrik's cube set up in the middle of one room that definitely piqued his interest. 

There was a long line for the butterfly house, but we couldn't pass it up because it's consistently been one of Connor's favorite places in the museum.  This trip was no different-- the little guy had a great time watching all of the brightly colored butterflies flit around the room.  A couple of times one landed on his shoulder, and he held still and didn't try and brush it off. 

He didn't seem quite as enamored with the anamatronic dinosaurs this time around.  The room was pretty crowded and quite noisy, so that might have been part of it.  Also we hit them fairly late in the day when he was starting to get tired.  He was holding up really well though, so we decided to take a gamble and try out one of the few things we hadn't done at the museum:  the IMAX theater.

And we were going whole hog.  We were going to try it out in 3D.

Now we don't normally take Connor to movies in the theater.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  The first is that they are usually loud-- really, really loud.  Loud noises kind of freak Connor out.  There's also the fact that expecting a five year old with major developmental delays and sensory issues to sit through two hours of film without making any noise is kind of unrealistic. 

But we figured the IMAX might work out if we sat in the very back, where the sound and screen aren't quite so overwhelming.  The movie we were seeing was one of those educational films aimed at kids they make especially for museums, and it was only forty minutes long.  It was called Sea Rex 3D, and was about prehistoric ocean life, which we figured might be something Connor would enjoy.  He loves the Dinosaur Planet documentary we have on DVD, and this sounded like it might be done in a similar way.  Plus the theater would be packed with little kids, so hopefully if he made some noise it wouldn't be a big deal.

So we decided to give it a shot, even though we weren't so sure that the 3D thing would go over very well-- especially the whole "keep the glasses on for forty minutes" thing.  Connor is not a huge fan of glasses.  And to complicate matters, Connor had a small seizure in the ticket line, and when we got to our seats (they seated us and the two other families with wheelchair users first, which was nice) he promptly fell asleep on my chest. 

He perked up once the lights dimmed though, and I stuck the glasses on his face.  He promptly began attempting to pull and shake them off.  That lasted until the first screen came into focus, the music swelled, and a dinosaur's head popped out of the screen and opened its jaws wide.
Connor got really still for a second.  Then he laughed.

He spent the next forty minutes spellbound.  Every once in a while he'd remember the glasses were on and try to shove them off with a hand, but he very quickly got distracted again by the movie.  Other than a few little cooing noises, he was completely silent.  The movie was cheesy, but it didn't really matter-- we're pretty sure he had a fantastic time.  This is the first movie he's ever sat through from beginning to end in the theater.

I'm so glad that we took the chance and decided to try the movie out; we thought we'd probably need to leave in the first fifteen minutes and instead Connor had a great experience.  I absolutely love it when he surprises me like this; it's a fantastic indication of just how far he's come in the last few years and how I need to be careful to never underestimate him. 

I'm so proud of my little guy!



Anonymous said...

I think 3D movies should become a new McGuffey pastime! What a cool post.

Julia O'C

VictoriaB said...

Have you heard of the Sensory Friendly Movies at AMC theaters? If you have one nearby, check them out. Lowered volume, lights brought up a little, and nobody cares if there is talking, etc.

VictoriaB said...

Have you heard of the Sensory Friendly Movies at AMC theaters? If you have one nearby, check them out. Lowered volume, lights brought up a little, and nobody cares if there is talking, etc.

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