I love birthdays, particularly a child’s birthday. I love seeing the excitement on their faces when they are opening their presents and the way the day is so magical to them. When it’s Freddie’s sisters birthday we always make plans to go somewhere nice for the day, we have a special tea, a big birthday cake and mounds of presents. But when it comes to Freddie’s birthday the day is very different.
Freddie has no understanding of what a birthday is which can make celebrating it hard. We don’t do the trips out with him as he doesn’t enjoy them, we can’t plan a special tea or have a birthday cake as he doesn’t enjoy food and buying presents for him is hard due to his developmental delays.
I spent the past few weeks leading up to Freddie’s birthday feeling a bit down over it. I wanted to give him the birthday he deserved, I wanted him to be able to have a special day. I spent too much time in the lead up to his birthday wondering what he would be like if he was born without a syndrome. Wondering what he would be like if he could walk and talk. Would he want a bike for his birthday and a big chocolate cake? Wondering how excited his face would look when he woke up and saw his presents.
But there’s only so long you can feel sorry for yourself for before you have to pick yourself up and carry on. So instead of moping and wondering what could of been with Freddie I tried to plan him the best day I could. So here is what we did for Freddie’s 4th birthday –
After searching and searching endless toy shops I managed to find 2 toys I hoped that Freddie would like. He was unable to unwrap the presents himself(I think next year we might be best to not wrap them) but his sister was more than happy to help him. He got one toy that spins(Freddie’s favourite thing!) and shoots out balls when the top is pressed and the other was a car that shoots off when you press the button. Freddie isn’t able to press the buttons himself but he certainly enjoys watching them.
To try and help Freddie gain an understanding of what a birthday is I made him a birthday sensory box. It was full of wrapping paper, bows, ribbon, party hats, candles, party blowers, balloons and streamers. He had a good rummage through that, exploring all the different items.
Freddie loves balls and sitting on his trampoline. So we thought we would combine the two and fill the trampoline with all his balls. He loved sitting in the sunshine pushing all the balls around.
But we did also make a chocolate cake for mum and dad to eat! He loved being sang happy birthday to, but definitely wasn’t going to even taste a little bit!
Freddie played with his big soft blocks.
One of Freddie’s favourite things is a bath. He loves being in water and having a good splash. So we bought him fun things to have in his bath and some bath foam to get messy with.
We then chilled out with some sensory lights and sounds before bed.
So that’s another birthday done. Another year older. And while it may be another birthday passed with Freddie unable to walk or talk and while we will always feel a sense of sadness over this we are incredibly proud of the little boy he is growing up to be. Our little smiling Freddie, who has the ability to win over even the coldest of hearts.