Monday, October 22, 2012

Changing Expectations

   As I wrote in my last post, there have been times I have gotten upset because an activity or an event we did with J didn't live up to my "expectations". I had one vision in my head of how things would play out, and when the reality didn't match the fantasy I was somewhat disappointed. I have decided that from now on I am not going to let these predetermined expectations to to cloud our experiences. I need to take each day as it comes and enjoy the moments as they happen. Instead of dwelling on the "what if's" or "if only's" I need to focus on the here and now and the joys and pleasures of the experiences in the moment.
   I have had two opportunities in the past few weeks to put myself to the test. The first was J's 2nd birthday party. In the weeks leading up to the party I was starting to get anxious. I knew that J wouldn't have an interest in opening presents or having "Happy Birthday" sung to him, and that he likely wouldn't show an interest in the cake or realize that everyone was there to see him. There would be other children there close to his age and I was worried that it would stand out that he isn't talking and interacting as much as they were.  What would everyone think? How would they react? Then, a few days before the party I realized that it didn't matter. Who cares what the others are thinking? And so what if J's party didn't look like that of other 2 year olds. J isn't any other 2 year old. He is his own unique, special, and wonderful individual. He has a smile that will light up the room and melt your heart. He is a happy little guy and loves being around people. If others see anything wrong with that then they don't know what they are missing out on. So I decided not to worry about J doing what was "expected" of him at his party. My goal was that he enjoyed himself and got to spend some time with family and friends that love him. And that everyone had a chance to see what a great little guy he is. I think we succeeded.
   J doesn't have a lot of stims, but a bit does come out when he is excited. He does what we call his "happy dance". He bounces a bit like tigger and does a slight hand flap. He looks like a very excited little boy who just can't contain himself. And that is exactly what he was as everyone was arrived - happy and excited. He seemed thrilled to have visitors, especially the children. He happy danced away as he greeted everyone and they just ate it up. It was great to see him try to interact with the other kids. He would play happily along side them, and a few times took their hand to lead them somewhere. When they were in the basement playroom  he brought one little girl over to go down the slide and another to go through his tunnel. I think they might have been a bit confused that he wasn't talking to them, but his smile definitely put them at ease and they followed along with him. He is definitely a little ladies man ;)
   I was worried about him getting over stimulated, but for the most part he held it together. He did NOT want to sit and have us sing to him which was fine. I had him look at the cake, sit on my lap for a minute, then let him go on his way. When it came time for gifts I was able to get him to rip a bit of paper on a present or two, but he quickly lost interest was off to other things. I opened the rest for him and he would come over and check in here and there. He definitely didn't get the concept that the gifts were for him, but that was fine. No one seemed to really notice or be concerned. He was happy and that was all that mattered. Towards the end you could tell he was getting antsy. It was getting close to his bedtime and he was hungry - he's not a big fan of eating in crowds. He settled down as everyone left and was able to enjoy a quick dinner and was out before his head hit the pillow. All in all, I think it was a very successful and enjoyable birthday for all. Especially J - and he's the only one that counts :)

Reading his new book

Checking out his Mickey Mouse Tractor
getting a closer look
Playing with a friend

Feeding mommy some yogurt

and wearing a little in the process


1 comment:

  1. It definitely looks like he had a blast! I'm so happy that it went well! It's awesome when things exceed your expectations, right??