It seems to have been a week full of time spent in crowded rooms, with lots of little children running around. Yesterday, Felix and I went to help celebrate Jacob's second birthday. I've mentioned Jacob in my blog before. He and Felix are two, of only three, little ones in our town who have Down Syndrome. The other is the beautiful Sophie, who is a little bit older than the boys. We met Jacob at Easter time, when he was a couple of months old, and he and Felix have been little buddies ever since. Jacob is so much bigger than Felix now (even though he's 4 months younger). It's hard to believe Jacob was ever such a tiny baby, who needed surgery to repair his heart. He has gone from strength to strength and is doing so well!
Happy with Mummy
Felix was a bit of a leech at the beginning of the party and clung onto me tightly. It was OK, except that it was also about 40 degrees (celsius) in the shade and I was melting from his body heat. He was very interested in everything going on around him; the balloons, the toys and the people walking around, but he wasn't quite brave enough, initially, to let go of me. One thing that surprised me, however, was that he was happy to eat. Usually when there are other children around, including our baby Grandson, Felix refuses to eat. After I got him a plate of food, he sat next to me and ate quite happily. That was definitely a breakthrough moment for him, especially considering the amount of kids milling around.
Leaping into Julianne's arms
After a while, Jacob's Mum asked me to take some photos, so I removed Felix, from my lap, and put him on the ground next to me. I asked a friend if she could look after him for me and I went and took some photos. Just as I walked away, I saw Felix throw his arms around her neck (her son was in her lap), and give her a big cuddle. It's the first time I've been able to walk away, when Felix is feeling a bit anxious, and not have him cry. It was great to see that he was comfortable to sit with someone else while I walked away. I think he must be beginning to realise that I'm still going to come back, so he doesn't need to be worried.
Happy birthday Jacob!
For most of the party, Felix was eyeing off a toy. It was a little table with wire bead mazes all over the top of it. I could tell he really wanted to play with it, but was too shy. I pulled the table a little bit closer to Felix, until he decided it was a safe distance away and, finally, left my lap and stood and played with the beads, pushing them along the wire. It was a fantastic toy; so colourful, with so many different shapes. Felix thought it was wonderful, and I enjoyed watching him play alongside the other children at the party. He's slowly growing in confidence. We have our good and our bad days, but there are a lot more positive ones recently. I'm sure the day will come when he will run into a room, full of children, and be completely comfortable. On that day I'll probably be wishing he was still snuggled on my lap.