Anyone heard of Monkey Joe's? It is a fun place for kids to play.....they basically have wall to wall inflatables that kids can jump, slide and play on, and most kids LOVE it! However, these inflatables are constantly being filled with air by blowers.....which adds noise to the already noisy room. Not only is this place very loud, but it is usually very crowded with people. Lots of people & lots of noise.....these are 2 MAJOR triggers for our little guy who deals with sensory processing.
Last year, a Monkey Joe's opened up in our area, and it is now the newest place to take your kid for fun. When I first heard about it, I was so excited, and couldn't wait to take Ethan! Jumping, bouncing, flopping.....he loves all of those things! But then I heard about the crowds & noise, and I, once again, added something to the "we can't do that" list. And every time I add something to that growing list, I am thrown back to my initial emotions of this journey. Yet another reminder that, "Your child has autism."
Then the birthday party invitations started coming.....most of them held at Monkey Joe's. At first, I was determined to not let this be a road block for Ethan, so I agreed to try & attend. Well, then I got sick, and we couldn't go. After that, I just decided I wasn't quite ready to tackle this place just yet. Soon, but not yet.
Well, guess what folks......we finally did it! Last week, we met my aunt & cousins who were visiting from Texas at Monkey Joe's. And Ethan did GREAT! No sound-proof headphones, no major meltdowns, a few bumps & bruises but nothing out of the ordinary! It was great!
Yes, it was crowded, and that was a little overwhelming for Ethan, so he mostly played on 2 inflatables that were in the back room in the far corner. Yes, it was loud, but the blowers to the inflatables gave it a mostly white noise effect that tends to be soothing for Ethan. He made it about an hour and a half, and then he started crying at every little thing......an indication that he was at his max. So, my husband took him next door to Big Lots where he requested a box of Pop-Tarts. This kid LOVES Pop-Tarts.
This isn't probably something we will be able to do often, but Ethan kept saying how much fun he had at Monkey Joe's. I jokingly asked my husband if we should have Ethan's next birthday party there, and he just gave me a "Are you kidding me?" look. However, I think we will be saying YES to any future birthday parties held there.....and that is HUGE for this family! We are taking Monkey Joe's off of the "can't do it" list! AWESOME!
Here are a few pictures of Ethan having a great time at Monkey Joe's!