There was jumping & flapping, there was tip toe walking, there were shrieks and laughter outbursts which made people look over & even stare. One parent was noticeably weary of her child walking past such a happy & flappy boy by almost shielding the child as he walked past 🤦🏻‍♀️

Myself on the other hand, the multi tasking slave/ Mum who has gotta be tapped into everything from, the surroundings, the possible trip hazards, the climbing over the fence, keeping watch on putting things into mouths. Not to mention the norms ‘is Riley hungry’, ‘does his nappy need changing’, ‘where can I change his nappy’, ‘does he need a coat/ drink’, ‘what shall I make for dinner’, ‘I need to think about how to get Riley in the buggy to collect Summer’ etc etc. All whilst keeping the buggy as close behind wherever little man walks ‘just in case’

Because in a split second. Just like that, everything can change. Completely out of the blue, no warning, just total disaster. Tears, screaming, gritting teeth, kicking, pushing away etc & you have just got to get your head down and get stuck into supporting your child the best you know how.

Reassuring them you’re there throughout it all and going nowhere even whilst being pushed away, maybe being kicked or hit sometimes and still remaining strong for them, by their side, like it’s almost a test.

Whatever they’re experiencing, you’re experiencing too. But with added feelings of helplessness, guilt & much much more. Wishing you could trade places for your child. Whilst also trying to prevent any accidents/ hurting themselves though lack of awareness as best you can with what very little mind reading you can do (Riley has no communication)

Other than 2 attempts of Riley playing me up. By which I mean screaming from the top of his lungs (whilst a talk was going on) and going both like jelly & what I call a ‘board’ so I couldn’t get him in the buggy.

We spent a whole whopping 1 hour in total at the park. We didn’t see anything but penguins not even the park (swings etc) We spent 50 mins walking up and down the Penguin Pen railing.

It was 100% rewarding for me as Riley’s parent & filled me with such hope & joy to see my child so happy, being independent, out of the buggy & acknowledging the penguins very existence 🐧 It was amazing time well spent with my Riley, 1:1, mother & son, very proud!

Life is unbelievably challenging, I can’t even begin. It’s the tiny steps of progression, the milestones that Summer hit years ago that Riley is slowly emerging towards, it’s the priceless moments, the milliseconds of pure joy I see in Riley that gives me hope for the next day.

Clare xo


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