We left the house at noon and after making a couple stops (for gas and chicken nuggets for Davis to eat on the ride) we were on our way. Davis ate his lunch and fell asleep as he usually does.
With traffic, we go there about 2pm. And then began the process to go in to visits.
First stop....the bathroom to change Davis and use the facilities.
Next....go to the machine and put money on the card for the snack machines.
Third.....fill out the paper requesting a visit; find my license, Davis' birth certificate, and the car registration.
Fourth....wait in line at the window and hand in all paperwork. Get everything back except the paper requesting the visit.
Fifth....put everything into a locker except what we're allowed to bring in (empty sippy cup, 2 pullups, plastic baggie with baby wipes, 1 pacifier, card for the vending machines and locker key)
And then we wait for the intake processing......
After a few minutes, sometimes longer depends on the day and how many people are there, we get called to get processed through.
This starts with taking off our shoes and placing them and everything else we'll be bringing in with us on a table.
Then Davis and I each walk through a metal detector separately now that he can do it on his own.
As we do that, they look through our shoes and everything else we're bringing in to make sure it's allowed.
Yesterday, I was lucky and got to be their random pat search for the shift. For that a female officer takes me behind a partition and looks in my mouth, under my hair and at the bottoms of my feet as well as patting me down.
After all that, they hand me the paper I had filled out requesting the visit and we go sit on a bench and put our shoes back on. After they do this process with several people, they signal to another officer behind the glass to buzz the door and we are let into the "visitor trap". Only after that door is closed behind us do they buzz the second door open and let us into the visit room.
Once inside, we head over to the desk to hand them our paper and then go find a seat and wait for David to be brought in. Davis usually goes into the play room to play while we wait. They have legos and a few other toys and some books in there which keep him entertained.
Finally, we get to the good part. David comes in and we get to spend several hours with him. It's almost like things were before he went to prison. We get to talk face to face, he can hug Davis and I. It's great. I love seeing them together and of course I love getting to spend time with David. We eat sandwiches and snacks from the vending machines and play games and just hang out. I can almost forget where we are for a while.
Yesterday we stayed until the visit period ended at 8:30pm. It's a long day for Davis, but he loves his Daddy and I know spending time together is great for both of them. The hardest part is saying good-bye. I never know when I'll be able to get there for another visit because there are so many things in the way of getting there. And I know Davis doesn't understand. He's already started saying things like "Daddy home?" And I don't know how to explain to him that Daddy isn't coming home for a few years. I've tried looking for picture books to read to him about it, but there aren't many. The ones that I can find are usually not accurate to what we're actually going through or seem to emphasize the "Daddy did something bad" aspect of things which I think is unnecessary. I know at some point we'll have to explain what David did to Davis, but I think 2 is way to young to be stressed out by hearing those things. It's just such a hard situation, I'm not sure what to do.