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Caring during Covid-19: Annabelle’s Diary (Sunday)

My name is Annabelle and I am a mother and parent carer for my son Vincent (5 years) and daughter named Vala (11 months). Whilst he is still on the waiting list for a diagnosis assessment for the second time, he has been characterised as Complex Special Needs. Just like any regular parent, you do anything you can to help your child. But in our household, it can mean anything from helping him dress, reminders to eat and being gentle with his baby sister. Every day is different, whilst it can mean the same routines and reminders, it can also hold hope and a new possibility. Even when we struggle with his behaviours and traits at times, we still wouldn’t have him any other way.

Sunday.

There was incident today that hit Vincent hard. We had gone to a field nearby to let him and Vala run off some steam, and there is a park in the middle of the area that has been bordered off. Surprisingly that wasn’t the issue, he’d seen it before, and we’d explained to him as best we could why all parks are closed. It was when a little boy and his father were walking along the pathway, the ball had been kicked near them and Vincent ran to get it back. He invited the boy to play with him and naturally at present, the father said no. Vincent’s face was confused and crushed. He did try to understand why when I spoke to him afterwards, but kept saying ‘but I’m not sicky mummy.’

The incident upset him enough that he kept attempting to either kick or throw the ball at Vala to make her fall over, and that’s when it was time to go home.

He cheered up slightly when I offered him the chance to be a chef making cupcakes. Malteser and dark chocolate cupcakes may not be the healthiest, but he was happy to cook. And hey, I wasn’t complaining either!

A thought did slap me on the head during the day on keeping Vincent feeling socialised with his friends. I’d seen on Facebook about kids FaceTiming or messenger videoing each other to keep in touch. But there was no way we could do that with Vincent… the tablet would explode or drop onto the floor from all his excitement! So, I tried thinking of another way.

Being a history enthusiast myself, it occurred to me that no matter what was going on in the world at the time, the post was always delivered! Vincent liked the idea very much of sending letters and drawings to his friends. But being a very literal lad, thought I meant sending letters of the alphabet. Eventually, he managed to write up an actual letter for one friend. Even though it was a few sentences, he is excited for one being sent back to him. And secretly, he is practising his handwriting!