Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Day Zayd Turned Two

I am pretty sure that shared traditions and memories are what make folks a family. Sam and I both think its important to make traditions that define what we Mammens are all about. When Zayd is at college, celebrating his first birthday away, I want him to be able to say, "My parents always did X on my birthday."

The first of our birthday traditions calls for balloons when you wake up. Check! Happy Zayd? Double Check!

The second of our birthday traditions calls for pancakes just down the street. I'll be honest, Zayd ate two bites of his breakfast treat, but we parents tried.

This year we wanted to take Zayd somewhere special to celebrate. We debated going to the driving safari at Natural Bridge Caverns but decided on Morgan's Wonderland and I LOVED IT. So did Zayd. Morgan's Wonderland is best described by their website.
While other theme parks accommodate people with disabilities and/or special needs, Morgan’s Wonderland was created with them in mind. This park was built to emphasize inclusion, so we want everyone to come and enjoy Morgan’s Wonderland!
...Our Morgan’s Wonderland team began by identifying what obstacles and barriers occur within the special-needs community and then designed our park to help individuals with special needs overcome those challenges and be able to have fun like those without limitations.
This park was AMAZING. Perfectly suited for a two year old or a ten year old, with a special need or just a special curiosity. We will definitely be going back AGAIN and AGAIN.

There was an enormous water table that we headed to first.

There is a carousel where nearly everything moves - even the benches! There was every animal under the sun and it was hands down the cleanest carousel I've ever seen!

Fun for all ages and abilities!


Zayd got to drive his own car around the track! 

Zayd driving a Jeep
There are a few playgrounds at the Wonderland with some of the coolest equipment I've ever seen. There was a rocking "ship" that accommodated tots, kids, parents and wheelchairs and swayed as you shifted your weight. There were horizontal monkey bars that you could pull yourself across while laying on a rolling bed. To be honest, we missed most of it because we were singularly obsessed with the playground equipment Zayd recognized. I was so happy though to have Zayd in an environment where a kid in a wheel chair playing on a jungle gym is NORMAL. What a valuable life lesson we gave him on his birthday - people are different and yet the same.

Zayd probably spent 45 minutes of our 2 hour trip in one of four large sand pits. Scoop, pour, scoop, pour, scoop...try to work the construction diggers. He would move minute amounts of sand with the mechanic diggers, then get stuck, decide the digger had broken, and move on to another...until it too was stuck. I can't wait to see how he does a year from now.

There is a xylophone park where daddy and Zaydie made music together on at least a half-dozen different instruments.

This is how we sold the trip - "Do you want to ride a choo choo?" In the end, the choo choo was the least of his excitements once he learned about everything else at the park.

After a long day out, and an even longer nap, Nani and Nene arrived to celebrate Zayd's birthday. We moved outside to enjoy the cool March weather (soon to be replaced with the insanely hot March weather, and yet again replaced with golf-ball size hail - it was quite a birthday/Easter weekend)!

Here Zayd is enjoying banana juice, a new favorite blend of milk, honey and banana that we drink EVERYDAY.

And the first round of a weekend full of presents...

Zayd apparently loves cards that talk when you open them.

Meet Rick the fish! He's a baby betta and he lives in his new bowl with two real plants. We are going to watch him grow, learn responsibility by feeding him three times a day, and growing our creativity by watching his funny movements. (It turns out that occasionally mommy is going to rescue Rick because he has swum under the big glass rocks in his bowl and can't find his way back out...he really is a "baby" baby.)

And what does Zayd really want for his birthday? To sing "Happy ME!" over and over and over again. So that is just what we did. All weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this is just divine. From the balloons through Rick the Fish! That park looks amazing! The water table alone is incredible! Zayd look so so happy. What a dear. Happy second birthday to Zayd! You are growing up just like you should be-to be a wonderful, smart, caring, curious little person.