A few weeks ago came across a draft post I started to remind me of what I'd wanted to remember from our trip. It said: my very first real live dolphin, frog check up, slip sign, honchos, finding dinosaur clues, id card/watch indiglo, wishing in the fountain for Harper, "I just want everything!"
So I'll see if I can cover some of those if I can remember what they were about... and share some random photos as well.
In a moment of brilliance we purchased some noise cancelling headphones for Michael to wear so he might be less scared during loud shows and fireworks. It turned out to be a great idea. It didn't mean he was never afraid of anything, but it did help his anxiety some. I think they were like a little security blanket and helped him feel like he could try things out.
Oh our sweet boy, he loved all the Disney Junior stuff, even though he is a little older than their target demographic. He adores Doc McStuffins and I thought he would lose his mind when she was part of a show we saw.
I love Michael's obvious joy in this photo... and I used a bunch of stars to cover up all the faces because I really wanted to share but felt funny about putting very clear photos of children we don't know on the internet.
Michael saw several tourists making the peace sign in their photos and started doing it as well. He has no idea what it means.
Michael got to demonstrate a lion roar during the Lion King show we saw at Animal Kingdom. I thought he'd be too shy to do it, but he was great.
I think this area is called "The Seas with Nemo and Friends." It is at EPCOT and it is one of the places Michael and I went back to revisit on a day that Matt was working. Harper was always kind of in a hurry to get to the next thing and wouldn't look very long, but Michael was fascinated and stayed at each tank for fifteen or twenty minutes. One of them had a couple of dolphins swimming around, prompting him to say, "It's my very first real-live dolphin!"
This was the fountain in the lobby of our hotel. The very first day, while Matt was checking in, I gave Michael a coin, telling him to think about our trip and make a special wish. He closed his eyes and threw his coin in. Then, clearly uninformed about wishing protocol, he looked up at me and said, "I wished Harper would have a good time with everyone in Ohio." I got all choked up in that moment - what a sweetheart!
One of the neat things about being on a solo trip with Michael was witnessing his imagination. Harper has often had imagination to spare, but we haven't always heard the inner workings of Michael's mind. Throughout the week he had some elaborate pretend game going in his mind and it involved looking for clues, either about dinosaurs or about where we should head next. It was cute, although it drove Matt especially crazy because Michael would just stop walking and squat down to examine something on the sidewalk without warning, making it difficult not to step on, or trip over, him.
Michael was a little flirt with the princesses. With each character that signed his book, he would tell them that he was going to give it to me when they were finished. It was like he was afraid they were going to run away before we could take a picture.
We went on a riverboat ride that lasted a good fifteen or twenty minutes and Michael bossed Matt and I around the whole time, pretending he was the captain of the ship. It involved a lot of saying, "Aye, aye," and being told to check on things.
"Slip sign" was what he called those yellow "slippery when wet" or "caution wet floor" signs. "Careful!" he'd say, "There's a slip sign!"
One day we got caught in a terrible downpour and Michael said, "We need our honchos!" He used this word, instead of "ponchos," often throughout the week.
The first time we rode on a ferry the driver gave Michael a little transportation card - he pretended it was some kind of ticket or pass throughout the week. He wanted to be able to scan it, like we did with our passes to get into the parks. When we used our park passes to enter the parks there was a little Mickey Mouse shape that lit up... Michael wanted his to work this way when he was pretending so he would hold it up to my watch and hit the indiglo button. I have to admit I thought that was kind of genius.
Another thing that was sort of funny because it is so out of character for Michael was how he handled the shopping. He had a little money to pick out a souvenir. Michael is not a child who talks often about stuff he wants (unlike his sister), but he was a little beside himself about the choices at Disney. He would look around and exclaim, "I just want everything!"
The frog check up (the only thing from the above list that I think I haven't addressed) really deserves its own post. Maybe I'll get to that in December, this is long enough for now!