The end of August til the end of November, we have a large amount of birthdays and anniversaries in my family. Followed in quick succession by winter holidays.
The first of two end of the year birthdays at my sisters was coming up. This one for my dear brother in law. We prepare ourselves to head off triggers where possible and to give sensory when needed. We pack pressure garments in the car for Connor and Excedrin in my purse for the rest of us.
Our first obstacle was to be the entrance.
Usually it goes like this, ring doorbell or knock, person answers, Connor melts down on the entrance way, Connor recovers after a bit and enters premises. This time; door opens before we ring bell or knock, Connor enters happy as a lark.
Second obstacle, food.
Usually he is not interested in eating, but enjoys crumbling any bread substance to crumbs. This time he was thrilled to see "waterbolen!" (translation: watermelon) on the table and sat down and ate.
Third obstacle, singing 'Happy Birthday'.
Usually we all join in for a very out of tune version of the song and Connor either screams "NO!" or just runs from the room. This time he walked into the hallway and when we were done came back out to blow at the candles.
Usually after this we have had to pick up a completely out of sorts little man and carry him to the car and go home. This time he was enjoying himself. He was cooperative. He was talking to his aunt. He even made sure that he got his uncle's attention to tell him "Happy birthday! I love you!" Which is huge!
We all had a great time and stayed for a few hours, during which time Connor identified his uncle as "Damy". No one, and I mean NO ONE would have gotten away with this nickname. I don't think anyone would have even dared to call this very large man "Damy". Of course Connor gets away with it, we were all thrilled that he knows who he is and "Uncle Damy" couldn't be happier.
p.s. To my sister and her family, Thank you for a great afternoon. :)