Today we attempted some socialisation as a family - we had been invited to a 41st Birthday BBQ (one of the ladies from my husband's work). I always get very tense prior to a planned social event, anxiety kicks in, I feel sick, clammy and try hard to think of any excuse not to go and usually we don't go. We decided this time to be brave and go.
She had two kids who Jack and Tom dutifully went off to play with, Tom saying, "Maybe they'll want to be friends with us?" They had a great time collecting eggs, jumping on the trampoline and ultimately watching some TV. Only horrible bit was towards the end as we were all showing the strain when the girl thought it would be funny to take Jack's cap. He politely and repeatedly asked for it back and she refused and kept running away - she wanted to put it on his head for him! Jack got very upset because he couldn't understand why she wouldn't give it back because he had asked her really nicely. I had to explain to this girl who when i questioned her, said "We were just having fun!" I replied, "It's not fun if the other person isn't enjoying the 'game'!" Hat was returned to Jack and she promptly ran off with Tom's - lesson not learned and cross Me got upset with her meanness and pointed out that making a 3 year old with asthma chase after you is just mean :( I just don't get why people have to be mean to each other.
Much of the conversation was around school bullying stories (a great reason to homeschool - we didn't bring it up), positive racism towards aborigines and lack of action by police in some nasty situations (so not having a night out in Gladstone's one night club), diets (obvious that we weren't eating hosts food-with multiple allergies and intolerances we never expect to be catered for and always take snacks for us and the kids). Autism is considered a disease by one of the guests - so we didn't take that conversation any further either.
Nice people, nice plot (lovely tour of the fruit trees, chook house, introduced to the cows and horse) - makes me want a lifestyle plot of my own with veg garden, pear and apple trees and room for a couple for cows, pigs, chickens and maybe a goat or pony. We found a dead bird of prey - possibly a falcon?
They had two friendly dogs and an elderly cat. Problem: Lily freaked out crying at the dog - seems her encounter a few months back with 3 untrained labradors may well have had more of an impact than I realised - damn! Had noticed that hearing the neighbours dog barking had been causing her to run away of late (but then the vacuum cleaner, big trucks, motorbikes and blender cause a similar reaction at the moment) maybe it is just a temporary noise fear?
When leaving we saw an enormous eagle? eating a dead kangaroo by the roadside - easily stood as tall as Lily!
Treated the kids to some gluten and dairy free ice-cream I spotted in the fridge at the local garage on the way home - and thanked them for being so well-behaved!
If you are not a regular follower of my blog - I should explain that we have Aspergers in our family and social situations are a challenge for us and we can now tick off socialisation for the month on our homeschool checklist!