M is growing in confidence. There is no denying he is at last beginning to feel more confident with some people. Now, I’m not saying he’s able to hold a conversation with somebody he doesn’t know, but he can now make occasional eye contact with people he sees me with on a regular basis – I am talking about the Mums, and Grandmas we see at the school. There are a chosen few, that I talk to regularly that he is at last coming out of his shell with, and it is beautiful to see. One in particular, he has been happy enough to walk home with, and even stop into her house. It is a major leap forward in his development. One that being honest we were wondering if would ever happen!
A few weeks ago, the Mum of one of D’s friends suggested her son and his chums had a boys night at her house – tea and playing. D was very excited at the prospect. M looked put out, and as usual we explained to him that when D gets an invitation, it doesn’t always include him – he sometimes gets quite upset when not being included on party invitations, which is why for D’s impending party I have made sure siblings have been invited. He wasn’t having that, he knew the boy to speak to and his Mum was in his circle of adults he was learning to trust, but it still came as an amazing shock when he out right asked her if he could go too!!! I was horrified that he could be so forward as to invite himself, but my over-riding feeling was one of great pride that he had wanted something that he knew was attainable and just went for it. He had spoken to an adult unsupervised, and it was wonderful to see. The Mum said he could go, and hadn’t invited him as she wasn’t sure he would cope – they only live at the other end of our street, so I said if he was finding it difficult, just send him home! They both had a lovely time, and came home well fed!
My boys then asked if they could have some friends over during the holidays. Of course they could. To be honest, I would rather people came here to play as it give M the freedom to have a familiar safe spot if it gets too much for him, and therefore we pretty much have always had an open door policy for kids popping in – I do however have to know their Mums before I let them in as I don’t want any trouble!
The boys though didn’t just want a playdate, they wanted a play day! They invited four – 3 boys and 1 girl, of D’s chums – M is more comfortable with them than his own peers, and their Mums/Grandmas – I thought if they are going to wreck the house I at least want a gossip and a coffee!! The boys then went ahead with planning the day! Everyone was to come over midmorning so they could play before having lunch – lunch was going to be pizza, and then they could play again afterwards! It sounded a perfect plan. I suggested that if we made dough then everyone could make their own pizzas. The boys like the idea.
I then threw a spanner in the works, and said they had to tidy their bedroom and the toy shelves if they wanted visitors!!! After much grumbling, they did it, and did a brilliant job of it on Monday.
Yesterday morning, I was in the kitchen making the dough – I had to make different sorts as D’s best friend has wheat and milk allergies, so I am learning how to adapt recipes, and I heard the cleaner going. I thought Old Person was putting it round – I know hard to believe, but no, M had decided he should clean before his guests arrived, and D had the polish and was cleaning the table! I should definitely invite people over more often if it gets this response from them!
The day was great fun, and all the kids were so well-behaved. The pizzas all looked lovely, and were consumed with gusto. Luckily the weather was good, so they were in and out to the trampoline as well as the little play area just out of our back garden. Much time was also spent playing The Lego Movie Video game, and they all agreed it was awesome!
The house was a bomb site after they left, but no more than it is usually with my two, and it was just toys that needed putting away, and nothing more disastrous!
The boys were good hosts, and played nicely letting others play with their stuff – M has sometimes in the past had to be told to let others use his toys, but not today. I think the only time I had to raise my voice during the day was when they were all at the dining table eating, you’d have thought they were each a mile apart that they had to scream a conversation!!!
My boys of course want to do it again, and will definitely during the next holidays. I am very proud of how well they behaved, not just with the children, but with the adults, as M was very gracious when complimented on the flapjacks he had made!
It is lovely to see the hard work of teaching social skills does sometimes pay off. D was overwhelmed by everything from the day, and I do think it was possibly sensory overload for him, as he spent an hour sobbing his heart out in the evening, for no apparent reason. I think he just needed to release all the controlled emotion from the day, and crying is a lot safer than his usual thrashing and screaming. He was asleep within minutes when he settled down, and hopefully had sweet dreams about his successful day.