Sunday, July 14, 2013

Don't Mess with Smokey!!!

  Smokey the Bear. An iconic mascot for our all of our state parks, was created in 1947. Growing up, Smokey taught us that "Only YOU can prevent forest fires." Well, to Liam "Moktey" (that's how he used to say Smokey) was a symbol that fun was ahead. Smokey stood at the entrance of our fave state park. When we would pull in, there stood Smokey, looming high above. To Liam, this meant we were there, fun would now ensue. Until the last time we went to the park......

(I have more, (they aren't on this computer) bc EVERY TIME we go, Liam MUST get his pic taken with Smokey!)

  We pulled up the road, and there was NO Smokey. Immediately Liam yelled, "Mama!!!! Where is SMOKEY!" He was NOT a happy camper. One thing we all know is how our kiddos rely on consistency. Change is NOT cool for them, and so, not cool for us as their parents. Thankfully Liam had a friend with him, so he somewhat controlled his anger over Smokey not being there to greet him. (The day however went on to get worse, as we waited for 3 hours, and NEVER got to swim due to thunder in the area.)

  So long story short, Liam was livid! Smokey wasn't there to greet him. Swimming wasn't allowed due to thunder. The whole day was a bust! Thankfully a very good friend of ours that lives close by let us bring the kiddos over for a swim, so that made Liam feel better.

  Jump ahead to yesterday. We have a family reunion at Mt. Pisgah. So as we pull up the road, Liam looks, and yells, "Mama! Smokey is back!!!!!" Wait for it......wait for it..... "MAMA!!!!! That is NOT MY Smokey!" You see, apparently Parks and Recreation felt Smokey needed to be updated. Don't they know that this spells trouble for autistic kids??? I mean, COME ON. How dare they think Smokey could get a make over and that would be cool!!!!! Liam was pissed to say the least. We skipped the photo opp and went to our picnic. Later, when we came back down to enjoy a swim, pita asked Liam if he was ready to get his pic with Smokey. "NO! That is NOT MY Smokey!"

  Pita and I went on to explain that it's the same Smokey, he just looks different. Well, that made no difference. Now he got upset because, "Do you mean that isn't MY Smokey? Because, that doesn't look like MY Smokey. He looks all different! I thought you said Smokey was REAL??? Well if he is, how come he doesn't look the same?????" Ugh, why does this kid have to pay so much attention to detail??? You can't pull wool over Liam's eyes!

  I told him Smokey is "real" in that he is the mascot for Parks and Recreation. He is a friend to all, and he just looks different because he wanted a make over. I don't think he bought it, but he did get out to get a pic with Smokey and Bubby......

As you can see by the look on his face.... he was NOT a happy camper!

I guess the lesson I learned from this incident, is that no matter how hard I try to control situations (as far as planning) and make sure Liam knows what is going on, and what is going to happen; (so he isn't caught off guard by change) sometimes, things happen that are out of my control, and he needs to learn how to roll with the punches. Dare I say it??  Pita was right!!!!  (I did, but shhhh, don't tell him)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥