I don’t think it’s until you’re a parent that you begin to truly appreciate all the tiny little things that your parents did for you – that you find yourself repeating for the following few years. Arguing with a pint sized version of yourself, complete with all the sass, the sharp mind and cheeky quips is apparently just part of the parenting journey…
You wouldn’t even comprehend that a sandwich cut the wrong way (crusts on/ off/ triangles/ squares/ fingers/ butter too thick) could push an otherwise boring lunch into tantrum territory before you’ve even sat down. It sounds silly doesn’t it – it’s food kid…just pick up the damn sandwich and eat it, but no – those tiny little neurons aren’t firing in that order today, so let’s change it up and try and deal with the change to our routine together.
Now we are very lucky to have healthy happy kids, but I truly feel many parents’ stresses when they are dealing with these kind of behaviours on an every moment/daily basis. (You parents have the strength of oxen and the patience of saints, your beautiful children are so lucky to have you!)
Please note it’s very different to the (I only eat chicken dinosaurs, white bread and cheese phase) because they were literally just that – a phase. With a bit of time and patience with reintroducing new foods and colours and textures back onto the plate – you DO get to go back to your old version of normal.
So many parents with gorgeous kids that need a little bit (or a lot) of extra care, love and attention at every meal are the ones I’m talking about here. Whether or not their babies have been diagnosed with something common, or are in the process of trying to figure out how best to help and support their little ones through the testing process, I hear you.
I hope that more places put on events that allow you to attend, quiet rooms in shopping centres with minimal sensory decorations, safe zones, and more understanding people on your everyday errands that high five the both of you (or even just a smile) to make you feel less invisible and more included in the everyday just like the rest of us.
Let’s encourage our kids to say hi and wave at all the kids! Let’s try our best to explain why that kid is still in a pram or cruising around in a wheel chair. Kids are observant and curious by nature, sure they might not come out with the best words when trying to ask about something new…but we can easily help them to understand the situation better and do the same with their friends. Acceptance of people who look different, talk with accents, have less mobility or are different in any other way is wonderful – why don’t we use inclusive words and keep all the kids playing together doing what kids do!
I can’t tell you how impressed I was to see a local cinema running sensory session movies for kids – not just a school holiday once-every-ten-weeks kind of thing either. The people running these businesses should be supported for being so fantastic! It might not net them a huge amount in revenue versus opening night for a new box office release, however if parents could pay them in hugs and gratitude – their coffers would be overflowing.
Last but absolutely not least – the parents of children with life threatening allergies. I genuinely don’t know if they are becoming more common (the allergies) or we’re just getting better at diagnosing reactions at younger ages resulting in less traumatic interventions should an incident occur. Whichever the reasoning it’s something we all have to be acutely aware of even if it doesn’t directly affect your child – their actions could have a negative impact on another child, and we’re all doing our best to keep these kids safe, happy and well together!
Understanding the miniscule levels of contamination that can trigger an anaphylactic reaction to a child with allergies is so very scary. That said – please don’t be scared to invite those kids to all the birthday parties! Their parents understand how hard it is to cater for them, and will likely pack them their own food! Honestly the kids don’t mind, they just want to be there enjoying playing with their friends – that’s the important part!!!
By breaking down the stereotypes, speaking with more inclusive words and explaining the million and one questions about why we’re all different and why it makes us who we are is just one more way your cheeky little monkey is learning something new. Deep breath mumma – you’ve got this! Love HRM
Basic first aid skills is fantastic and will serve you well through life, but I’d also encourage you to take an anaphylaxis training course too. You never know when you might need to administer an epipen! Plus knowing what to do after – but wait there’s more? Have a read of the sites below if you’d like to know more: