Yesterday was my sister's 21st birthday. My mum cooked a meal for her, at her house.
S doesn't see my mum very often, so when she does she's quite shy. She doesn't want to chat or play; she's clingy and quiet and unsociable. It's stressful for her and tiring for me. Added to that, she's been quite poorly lately. I didn't expect it to be a fun visit.
As we walked up the road from the bus stop, S fell asleep in her pushchair. Good because she needed a nap, but bad because just lately the time when she wakes from a nap is the worst time for her. Waking up in a strange place was not going to make that any better. I spent the time she was asleep telling my mum "don't be offended if she doesn't want a cuddle and doesn't eat her dinner; she's still feeling poorly."
Imagine my surprise then, when S woke from her nap, sat on my lap for ten minutes, and then climbed into her high chair for lunch with us.
She ate spaghetti bolognese without a bib (because I'm crap and forgot it), and got most of it into her mouth. In fact, she spilled hardly any at all. And she had a second helping from my plate. Then she played with some toys on the floor, all the while chattering away and playing games with me. She even said a few words - which is a big deal for her, because up to now it's only me, my sister A, and the nursery workers who have heard her speak. I've been going around for months going "oh, she says thank you now!" and she would just sit there and frown!
We actually had quite an enjoyable afternoon. S seemed to be feeling a lot better, despite still having a horrid cough. She even cracked a few smiles for my mum!
Yesterday was the first time we'd been to my mum's for a long while. Previous visits had involved S sitting on my lap, crying and maybe eating a few pieces of sandwich. This time it felt like I was bringing a small person to visit.