The second of my weekend outings was to a surprise party for a family friend’s fiftieth birthday. L and her family first came into our lives as respite carers for YD in 1997. Her daughters and OD and MD are much the same ages – so for the few years that YD went to stay at their house once a month – it was an easy transition for her. L is now the manager of the residential service houses that YD lives in, and I found it easier to help YD make the decision to leave home knowing L, and knowing that she had YD’s best interests at heart.
A few weeks ago I got a Facebook private event invite from L’s oldest daughter N – surprise party! – although YD has her own Facebook profile (which she manages with help but makes her feel more like her big sisters) and could have been invited through Facebook as well N decided wisely to only invite OD and myself through Facebook and let us fill everyone else in on the plan.
Ok – here’s where I’m trying to figure out how to tell YD that we were doing something without letting the cat out of the bag . YD likes routines and structure and likes to know well ahead of time what we are doing when she comes home for the weekend visits.
ME: ok -next weekend instead of mum seeing you on Sunday you are going to stay Saturday night.
ME: because I’ve got to go to S’s on Sunday afternoon for her hens party
YD: Why aren’t I invited?
MD: because we will be talking about sex
YD: OOH yuck, I don’t want to go!
YD: what are we going to do on Saturday?
ME: we will probably go out somewhere – I haven’t decided where yet – depends on the weather (helps we have had a few summer storms lately) but don’t worry we will definitely go out somewhere -probably at least shopping on Saturday afternoon (to buy L’s present- see I was trying not to lie)
– and that was as much as I could tell her til Saturday afternoon when I picked her up. If she had known she would never have kept it a secret and with L popping in and out of YD’s house all the time to check on things we just couldn’t risk it. So I also had do all the preparation work in what we expected of her behaviour on Saturday as well
Once we told YD she loved the idea but when we got to the venue it was a little bit hard to keep her confined to a small area until L arrived – we couldn’t risk YD wandering around outside when L was due to arrive – it would spoil the surprise. Once L arrived it was fine and a great night was had by all. I didn’t have the same issue as Friday night of saying I was fine because I either knew people or I didn’t and we tended to be a bit ‘cliquey’ as that is what makes YD happier as well – having to interact with people she doesn’t know throws her a bit.
Happy Birthday L – so glad to have you as one of YD’s other mothers – sorry for lying to you last week.