From last summer (July 15, 2015):
Bouncy kid meets bouncy tent
Yesterday, a school friend had her birthday party at a local cinema. It would have been the wrong event for a practice solo run, and Frances was unwilling anyway.
Fortunately, the invitation specifically mentioned that I could join her at the party, so an awkward conversation was unnecessary.
As usual, I hoped for the best and prepared for the worst.
Before the party, in the washroom, I explained to Frances that if she should cry at any point, the birthday girl would think that her party was unsuccessful. (She frequently mentions perceived injustices which always leads to perseveration and crying.)
Also, in my bag was an arsenal of coping tools including, but not limited to, the falling-apart stuffed animal that she has taken everywhere for the past three years, noise cancelling headphones, and hand sanitizer.
(I did start to worry a little when, just before the start, Frances asked, “It would be very bad if someone I knew died while I was in the middle of watching the movie, wouldn’t it?” I hadn’t prepared for whatever that question might have portended.)
Well, Frances did a great job: she only left the party table a few times to get hugs and kisses from me and returned to the activities somewhat easily.
Sometimes, throughout, I would whisper, “Say thank you” and the like.
Only the stuffie came out of the bag (at the outset of the film).
The parents were so nice in allowing me to accompany Frances, and they even included me in watching the movie and enjoying the generous refreshments. Yet I still worried about my presence being an imposition.
There was one other mother (of a younger child) who remained while the other children were dropped off, and it was obvious that the child required her assistance.
But it is increasingly unusual that someone of Frances’s age (nine) would have her mother nearby at any social event.
Unfortunately, as Frances ages, her separation anxiety becomes more debilitating (yet she herself remains untroubled by it). I’m hopeful that her behaviour therapy will help in this regard.
So, yesterday, I was exhausted and not in the best of moods. Keeping up with Frances and keeping her occupied were not going very well. To top it off, I thought that I would be heading home after taking her to a splash pad, but then I realized that I had to go grocery shopping.
After said shopping, as I was transferring bag after heavy bag from the cart to the back of the car, Frances looked at me and said, “Hi, Mum. Give me a high five!”
“I can’t right now with the bags in my hands,” I told her.
But it made me smile and secretly giggle. The fact that she asked me for a high five when I definitely could not do it, that she wasn’t reading the strong cues, struck me as very cute and very her.
(Not reading cues is something that we do work on so that she can be more independent, but at that moment I was simply appreciating who she is.)
I high-fived her as soon as I could.
At any rate, Frances being Frances cheered me right up.
Frances doesn’t play independently: she won’t enter rooms by herself or stay on her own in one. So, keeping her entertained in summer is especially difficult.
Pink Cup Dad works at home, so it is essential that I keep Frances occupied.
Sometimes, I recruit Pink Cup Sister to spend quality time with her; mostly, however, I take part in whatever activity she’s doing.
The other day, she told me that she wanted me to make doll food for her à la her favourite vloggers.
So, recently, we’ve taken to crafting doll food using cornstarch dough and craft paints.
Below, I tried my hand at cucumber and bread and chocolate cake.