Last week Pudding had a party to go to. One of those ‘Turning 5, and inviting everyone in the class’ sort of parties. I looked forward to it as a great opportunity to see Pudding in a large group of his peers and watch first hand as he interacted with them. It would also be a chance for me to see how he compares to them.
Thankfully, it wasn’t a party where the kids are expected to sit down and watch a magic show or something. I don’t know if I’d have said yes in that case! There was to be a DJ and bouncy castle and I decided that would be ok. (Though there is always the worry that vigorous bouncing or bumps could damage one or both of his portacaths).
The party ended up pretty much as I expected:
One child didn’t join in most of the games.
One child ran off with the parcel when it was their turn at Pass the Parcel
One child clung to their parent the whole time.
One child sat waiting for the food for ages and then had a tantrum when he was told no more crisps.
One child tried to escape out the door several times.
Can you guess which one of those WASN’T my Pudding?! Yes, the clingy one…he did all the others.
I was that helicopter parent who hovered near her child and sat down for a total of about 10 minutes. It was pretty full on! But at the same time it was kind of brilliant.
It was very apparent how much less understanding and compliant he is than his peers. But after only a few weeks of school, the other children in his class obviously accept him and his ways. Some of the boys were encouraging him to join in with one of their games. Another took it very well when Pudding was very much in her face. I saw him join in the Hokey Cokey for the first time ever and he did actually Pass the Parcel once without help. (We’ll gloss over the running away with it!)
As soon as we arrived he did head straight for the bouncy castle, but thankfully realised that he wasn’t keen when lots of other children were on it. When some of the party games and dancing were on though, he had the chance to bounce by himself. And there were balloons to chase and bubbles to pop so he was a very happy boy.
The birthday girl’s parents even took the time to learn the Makaton sign for ‘Thank you’ when we were leaving.
I did chat a bit with another mum while the kids were eating and I would have loved the chance to get to know some of the other parents too. (Because it’s hard to miss Pudding’s difference I’m sure lots of them know me, so I’m at a disadvantage!) However, I don’t really feel like I missed out. Pudding so obviously enjoyed himself that it was a joy to watch.
I’m afraid that sometimes on this blog I may focus on the negative a little too much – it’s easy to get caught up in that. But every so often I think I may be getting the hang of this ‘living in the moment’ thing. I do have a great little teacher…