“There was a star danced, and under that was I born.” ~ William Shakespeare
We celebrated Mei’s 7th birthday recently. She has discovered a love for rock climbing and begged to have a party there. So this year, I threw her a rock climbing party. I decided to hold a small, intimate gathering compared to last year’s bash. It was just Mei, her sister Min Min, her cousin and her two best friends. Yes, Mei has two best friends now, a far cry from the lonely little girl who struggled with social interaction and communication. The girls had a wonderful time, Mei even managed to climb to the very top of the wall twice.
If you have read Birthday Party Funk you’d understand why previous birthdays were a sensory nightmare for Mei. And birthday parties used to spin me into a depressive funk. Since last year, the girls’ birthday parties have been nothing but joyful. For them and for me. This year, even more so because I could see the progress Mei has made in the past year.
For her 7th birthday, Mei requested an ice-cream cake, gaahhh!! After much deliberation, Hubby and I decided that yes, this year our angel gets to have ice-cream cake. Don’t judge! I made sure we brought along lots of digestive enzymes. Cookies and cream ice cream in a vanilla sponge, Mei was over the moon. Best of all, neither Mei nor Min Min had tummy aches, constipation or bloating afterwards. Those digestive enzymes are truly amazing.
Mei has been hankering for a pet since last year. She even mentioned it while we were doing HBOT. We settled on a hamster and took Mei to the pet store on her birthday. We emphasised to her the responsibility that comes with being a pet owner. She listened carefully to the pet store clerk on how to take care of a hamster. Mei finally chose a sweet little dwarf winter hamster.
Frilly Gilly Bagshaw is a boy hamster. Yes, we checked. Hubby is happy there’s another dude in the family now. Though Gilly lives in a pink cage and likes to play in a pink fluffy bedroom slipper. Don’t ask.
Both Mei and Min Min are smitten with Gilly, they spend hours playing with him. Min Min is asking for her own pet hamster, but we promised her she can get one for her next birthday. They no longer complain of being bored, though they do get into little fights over who gets to play with Gilly first. Mei asked me to take a video of her introducing Gilly, so I am sharing it with you.
We also had a little holiday in Singapore recently and the girls wanted to bring Gilly along. Even if we managed to smuggle him through Customs, I doubt the hotel would be pleased we had a pet in the room. So Gilly had to stay home. I can’t emphasise how much Mei and Min Min love their hamster. I so wish I could give them a proper pet, but with our current lifestyle and our frequent travels, it is not possible.
Children with autism can benefit greatly with pet therapy. Mei especially has a great affinity for animals, she is happiest when she’s playing with animals. Mei’s ambition is to be a vet and during weekends she’s decided she will be a part-time zookeeper.
Happy birthday dear daughter. May all your wishes come true.
About the Author:
Marissa Bagshaw is a mother of 2 children who are recovered from autism. Her blog Spectrum Mum in Malaysia is inspired by her daughters’ journey through autism. Marissa is the founder of KL Biomed, a support network for autism families doing biomedical intervention in Malaysia and neighbouring Asian countries. She is also a co founder of Thinking Moms’ Revolution.