Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Visit to the Den of Chaos

My daughter,Queen Teen, used to be afraid to leave the house. Every trip to the grocery store left her trembling and sometimes nauseous. As she got older,however, her fear diminished until we could go for long walks without panic. She began to hate sitting around the house and wanted to go on trips. We took it slow, first with day trips only a couple of hours from home, then overnight. So now we're up to spending a few days away from home visiting friends. Our first stop: The Den of Chaos.

Maybe taking Queen Teen to a house affectionately known as the Den of Chaos sounds cruel, and I admit I was a bit nervous. Four children live there, aged ten and under, all rambunctious, loud, and playful. How was my mostly blind-deaf, wobbly, moody teen-aged daughter going to handle that much confusion and NOISE?

The first day everyone was a little shy, so the children mostly watched Sponge Bob while staring at each other. Boo-bug warmed up quickest and brought Queen Teen several treasures, including a stuffed bear and a Cinderella dress. Four year old Captain Adventure was fascinated with Queen Teen's walker and had to be reminded several times to leave it alone. Queen Teen and Eldest had met before but it took them a while to figure out how to play. Danger Mouse quietly watched Queen Teen and figured out that she needed to stand very close to Queen Teen to be heard. By day two, all the children were playing and coloring and chatting while exploring the house and showing off for each other. Queen Teen even conquered her fear and climbed the steep stairs to see their bedrooms and play. Dinners were hectic, bedtimes chaotic, the noise unending, and the laughter constant. Queen Teen took it all in with a regal smile. By day three when we had to leave, Queen Teen felt like a regular Denizen and declared, "This place is fun!" Eldest said that Queen Teen was "cool."

After a visit to the Den of Chaos, I think she's ready for an amusement park.

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