So recently my son who has autism has become obsessed with balloons. Now, I know that toddlers can have favorite toys and they enjoy playing with certain things but, this has gotten out of control. Let me explain.
We were out shopping as we normally do on July 1st and it’s a day that we all look forward to. Normally, we’ll go into the store and our son enjoys running around, riding in the shopping cart and just enjoys being out. He has never begged for anything or cried for anything with the exception that he does like bouncy balls. We always bought him one because, he would often pop his by throwing it in our rose bushes. On July 1st, we went into the store and balloons that were on the ceiling caught his eye and he started exclaiming “guka, guka” and we didn’t know what that meant. He kept reaching for the balloons so we assume that word means something to him and that was his word for balloon.
As we continued on through the store we noticed that he was starting to get much more fussy than usual and he started screaming at the top his lungs begging for the balloon. This was not typical of his behavior and he even started kicking me which he never does. Everyone in the store was staring at him and meanwhile we’re baffled as to what just happened. We pulled a balloon down just so we could get through the store. He was smiling, laughing and saying “Guka” over and over and began hugging the balloon. We tried taking it away and getting him to say bye bye to the balloon in the store and things got much worse so we caved and bought the $1 balloon. We didn’t realize that wouldn’t be the end of it.
We went back to the store a few days later, a different one this time and again he begged for a balloon even though he still had his at home. We managed to get his mind off of it by basically shoving a bag of candy in his eye sight and quickly opening the bag and of course that worked at the time. I know it’s not the best option but, it’s the only one we had.
Yesterday, my husband took our son into a store and he saw a balloon at the register. My husband was trying to get out of there as quickly as possible before the tantrum started but, the cashier was too slow and there were too many people in front of him. So, the screaming began and of course people were staring. Our son went into a huge meltdown and I’m not talking about like your typical toddler tantrum, he actually went into a full blown violent rage. So again, my husband gave in and my son came home with a bright red, star shaped balloon.
I’m just not sure what to do about this obsession, I know that it’s only been a little over a week but, I know my son and I’m worried about where this obsession will take him. Will he be completely obsessed with balloons for a long time, what happens when he accidentally lets go of a balloon and it goes higher than we can catch it? We had thought about taking a balloon with us tied around his wrist so that we don’t have to keep buying them. Has anyone else gone through an obsession with balloons or other objects that caused nightmare tantrums?
With all of the new technologies now and most of them being consolidated onto cell phones, we have become a generation of looking down. I can clearly remember being a kid and going somewhere like the doctors office and running to my room before we left, I had to grab something to keep me busy which ended up being either a coloring book with crayons, a toy or a handheld video game system like my Nintendo Gameboy. Ah those were the days. Now we have a generation of people who carry their smartphones and can do anything they want to keep their self busy.
The older generations who don’t use technology will tell you that our generation is missing out on so much in life. What are we really missing out on though? Not much actually if you think about it because, everything is available to us. What our friends are doing, what news is on TV, what new game is out that everyone is playing, controlling our home alarm system and many other things that can be done on a smartphone. We can even travel the world through Google earth. The great smartphone even gets us out of a boring situation, by having something to distract us. Yes we truly are the generation of looking down.
What did people used to do for entertainment before cell phones became smart? Well, many people spent much more time outside, kids rode their bikes and played a good game of hide and seek or basketball. People had to go home or to a friend’s house to play on a bulky video game system, you had to pull out a camera to take pictures and then have them developed at a store. If you wanted to see what the other side of the world was doing, you would have to spend thousands to travel.
There’s no doubt about it, we all have our heads buried in our smartphones and most of us have our phone’s glued to our hands everywhere we walk. We’ve become so obsessed with our phones we rarely put them in our pockets anymore or leave them laying somewhere and wall hugging to keep that cell phone charged is a way of life.
It’s so important to us as a generation to be liked online. We want the whole world to see our tweets, instagram posts, Facebook statuses, what we’re eating, where we are going, what we are doing and for people to press that like button, reblog, retweet, sharing, commenting and so on. We determine our self worth by what other people, even strangers think of us and some people take it much harder than others.
If anyone here doesn’t have a smartphone, would you own one and if not, why?
For those of you who do have smartphones, would you ever live without it?