Our boy celebrated his fourth birthday this past weekend. He coped better than we expected, but has also reacted in the way that we expected.
I picked him up from school last Fri, and was caught by his teacher who told me that they'd had a difficult week at school. I was able to explain that he'd had his birthday party the previous weekend, that he'd moved in with us just before his birthday and associates presents, parties and birthdays with moving homes. She got it immediately; that he is operating on fear at the moment.
We had a quiet day on Saturday. Just time spent as a family.
Sunday was a very different day. He was his actual birthday. He woke up and although he knew that there were presents downstairs, he was very happy to play upstairs. We sat and read books, and cuddled... he wasn't for going downstairs. Eventually we persuaded him, and he unwrapped his presents happily, but soon had enough and we moved onto something else.
He knew we had visitors coming, and he was on hyper alert... he wanted to know what every noise was, who every car that passed belonged to, what was happening, what was going on.
His Granny (my mum) and Gran Gran (my Gran), my cousin and her two daughters arrived. They all played nicely for a while. We had lunch. More people came and visited. He coped, and coped and coped, until he couldn't anymore. When everyone went about 4.30, he had a very quick tea, lots of cuddles and talking and then bed.
He is doing better than we thought he might this week. But it's not great. Birthdays are difficult, and we assume will continue to be so for a while yet.
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