Monday, 14 July 2014
We don't have a great history with her birthdays- her first went ok, we had a party for her although even then I remember having conversations along the line of "she'll catch up" and "all children develop in their own time". For her second birthday, Jess had only been diagnosed the week before, so we were very glad we hadn't arranged a big party as we really weren't feeling like celebrating. For Jess's third birthday, Anna was only 8weeks old, and was in hospital with meningitis. For Jess's 4th birthday last year, we went to Peppa Pig world, and I wrote here about how that didn't go to plan.
So this year, I didn't have high expectations. Her grandparents were here, and we had some lovely presents ready for her to open after school. Her dad took the day off work so we could do up her bedroom as a surprise for when she got home.
As a parent, you always want special days - Christmas, birthdays, family events - to be perfect for the child, but with a disabled child there are just so many factors that are out of your control. Previously I have been quite upset when things haven't gone to plan, or Jess has been unwell, too tired or unhappy with events.
But this year was different. Jess had a lovely day at school, with a birthday party and even managing to eat some birthday cake. However, this all exhausted her, and when she got home from school, she was not all interested in opening her presents, or blowing out her candles- she made it very clear that she just wanted to chill out, watching CBeebies. And you know, that was ok. She opened a few presents that evening, some more the next morning, and the rest the following evening.
She did however notice her new bedroom layout and decoration. Despite being very tired, she gave me a massive smile and kiss when she saw it! And the next evening, she really focused on all the changes and was very excited.
I obviously recognise that it is not your average child who isn't interested in opening their birthday presents, but it didn't upset me. I was glad she had such a lovely day at school, and whilst it wasn't how I had planned or hoped the day would turn out, it was how she wanted it to be. Which is what it should be all about. Another stage of acceptance maybe?