This weekend, my youngest was invited to a 5year old’s party, and on the morning of it, he was so excited about being invited to this ‘Goat party’ that it didn’t occur to me that he may actually think there would be goats. The reason for this being that it was, in reality, a Go-cart party, and I thought he was just kidding me with his Goat Talk 😂
So we got there, and my little cling-on was either confused because of the lack of goats, or he had been struck down by the Party Fear. You know the one? It lasts about 10-20 minutes in general, and all of my boys have suffered from it at some point.
When we arrive at a party, they refuse to leave my side, preferring to hold my leg or my clothes so tightly with their sticky little fingers, that I often think that we’re moulded together for life.
I’ve tried all tactics to get them to join in quickly. Bribery, encouragement, even the “well-if-you’re-not-going-to-join-in, we-may-as-well-go-home”-tactic. 😏 And I’ve come to the conclusion that just sitting and having a cuddle until they’re ready is the best. Just the best. Because I love their cuddles and all too soon they’ll be claiming they’re too big for them.
My eldest has Autism. From very early on, he had intense fear of new things, like parties, clothes, food, movies, outings, actually, you name it and he pretty much feared it. He would cling, and cry, and sometimes completely ball- up and shut down, with his thumb in his mouth. I would help him as much as I could, but his fear could last up to 2 hours, by which time, most children’s parties are just finishing.
By the time he was 3, Fred had 2 younger brothers, and just after he turned 6, he had 3 small siblings, and all these little people learned lots of things from Fred… including, I suspect, The Party Fear. They also learned The School Fear, and The Activity Fear.. and many other fears, but one-by-one they have all battled their monsters and come out the other side.
Fred can have reactions and emotions that may seem odd, different, maybe out of place or age-inapropriate. All my other children have learned or copied these at some point. It’s only as they grow, that they also learn how society expects us to control our emotions and react in an appropriate manner (I don’t really like the word ‘normal’ at this point). Fred is still learning, but his uniqueness will always shine and I won’t teach him to hide that.
His brothers have also learned so much more from Fred. They’ve learned compassion, immense patience (we’re still working on that one!), forgiveness, bravery, loyalty and immense love. Not to mention all the names of the planets and every single Pokemon Go character. These incredible little beings are growing up to accept and understand human differences. They make me so proud. And cross sometimes. But mostly proud.
And look! After battling The Party (or the lack of goat) Fear, my smallest got in his go cart and drove like A Beast 😊
And with all 4 kids finally ensconced in school.. I have time to pack and sell! 😁
45 days to go……