Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘friends

Wordless Wednesday 26 Jan 11

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This is me, and Pudding's friend E.

Pudding and E

 

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

January 26, 2011 at 7:15 am

The Party

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A rubber duck.

Image via Wikipedia

On Saturday we held a party.  Now, you’d think as a Diplowife, I’d be a practiced and efficient hostess, but not so much.  As we were out of town for Pudding’s actual birthday, this celebration came two weeks late.  This would be fine, were it not for the fact that it was now a week before Christmas.  As a December baby, for Pudding the whole thing just clumps together, and as this party approached it became clear that holding a party this close to Christmas was just a bit confusing.

As usual, when our guests first arrived, Pudding became upset and very clingy.  We always have a 20 minute period where she needs to adjust.  As time went on, she settled down.  She happily made a craft with the other children, and enjoyed all the food, we had separate tables for allergic and non-allergic foods, which worked surprisingly well.  Pudding opened her gifts with glee, and had become so comfortable by this point that she happily went around giving hugs and thanking our generous guests.  Before long she was frolicking on  the floor.  I was touched by a couple of our friends saying how well she was doing.  It is always nice when her efforts are recognized. It is particularly welcome when people who don’t walk in our shoes try them on for a while.  Our friends had taken such great care to choose gifts that Pudding would love and be able to use.  I truly appreciate the thought and effort that went into their choices.

I served cake, but opted not to sing Happy Birthday.  The reason I gave was the whole too-close-to-Christmas-confusion thing, but a more honest reason is that I couldn’t find the candles and had no time to get more.  See, told you I was a poor hostess.  Nonetheless, we did have a sing-song.  As was clear to all by the grip she had on her new Ernie doll, not to mention the endless repetitive questions about said toy, Pudding has a new special interest.  I only wish I’d been able to capture on video the entire room spontaneously bursting into the Rubber Ducky song.  Everyone celebrating her passion was such a special moment for my girl.  Our girl.

I’ve talked before about how being a spectrummy parent can make me feel a disconnect with others, like a stranger amongst friends.  It is equally true though, that I’m gratified beyond words by the way our friends will show us that we aren’t walking this journey alone.  By Pudding’s next birthday, we’ll likely be living on another continent, but there will always be room for the people I’m honored to call friends.  And if they come to visit, you can guarantee I’ll throw a party.  Hopefully my hostessing skills will have improved by then!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 21, 2010 at 7:06 am

Too late

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We were at a 4th birthday party on Sunday, and we had a great time.  It was a big party, with lots of guests, and had to be moved indoors at the last minute due to inclement weather.  So, too many people and no place to escape.   Usually a recipe for disaster for my girl, but for the most part she behaved very well.  It wasn’t the time to force social interaction with strangers, so I didn’t.  And there were so many kids there that I don’t think anyone but me noticed she only played by herself, and she perseverated on putting a figure in the fire truck.  And I tried very hard not to notice, because I wanted time off too.

It was nice, so what if she wasn’t fully engaged?  She interacted with anyone who tried to get her attention, and I tried not to care that the other kids didn’t try.  After all, they all knew each other from day care, she was the stranger.  She is happy playing by herself, and I’m grateful for this.  For the fact that she hasn’t yet noticed she gets left out, that she is always the odd one out.  We could sit back and chat with friends.  There was so little drama that we stayed a while, perhaps too long.

We knew it was time to go when Bashful was mentioned.  As previously mentioned, he is our ten minute warning to get out of a situation that has become unbearable for Pudding.  So here is what you don’t do when you realize your spectrummy child has had enough.  You don’t, at that point, try to get her to wish happy birthday to the boy she has ignored all afternoon, because you hadn’t facilitated a conversation between the pair.  You see at that point, she is beyond social pleasantries, and is entirely unconcerned with how he might feel.  It is far too late.  And you know, if you’d done it earlier, she’d have happily complied.  She loves her little friend A, and would only want to please him, especially on his birthday.

So when we tried this, and she repeatedly refused, we had to stop trying.  Pushing her would have only led to a meltdown, and the end result would not have changed.  It is a reminder, that no matter how comfortable the situation, there is no time off, no shirking on the duties.  To do so leaves a little boy feeling that his friend was mean to him on his birthday, when she’d been so excited to see him.  And when friends are a scarce commodity, we can’t afford to lose them.  Those social conventions, so unnatural for my girl, are even more essential.  She has to learn to do them, and we have to teach her.

Today, two days after the party, Pudding was singing Happy Birthday to A.  Until she can navigate the social world without our assistance, there is no time off for us.   First we have to make it happen, and then we can relax.

If left to do it by herself, it will be too late.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

August 18, 2010 at 5:05 am