The children had their Christmas party at pre-school today. My daughter had been practicing the songs and hand movements for the past month, and was very excited to perform in front of an audience. As she stood there, reindeer hat and all, stagefright set in and she barely sang a peep except for her favorite song entitled ‘Christmas Pudding’. Now having heard this song sung by my sweet angel for the past three to four weeks, I have to tell you, I am rather fond of it as well.
Here are the words (sung to the tune of Frere Jaques) :
Christmas pudding, Christmas pudding
Piping hot, piping hot
Sprinkle on the sugar, sprinkle on the sugar
Eat a lot, eat a lot
And there are cute little hand motions to go with it, and my daughter always likes to bow at the end. Okay, so I’m her biggest fan, but isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?
Her heart-felt felt hearts and stars were also very well received. It was a good day for her, but in many ways it was a better day for my son. You see, he didn’t participate in the sing-a-long or make fun little gifts for the other children, but he did stay for the whole party without whining or crying to go home. It was very busy, loud and crowded and my little man could have been a nightmare, but he wasn’t. He stood with my husband and I to watch his sister and classmates sing – and he clapped after each song. During ‘Jingle Bells’ he even danced a bit! (He also shouted out ‘the end’ a couple of times when he thought the show might be over, but we’ll overlook that.)
I’ve been reading a wonderful book written by Julia Moor entitled Playing, Laughing and Learning with Children on the Autism Spectrum: A Practical Resource of Play Ideas for Parents and Carers. I highly recommend it. The book offers very specific suggestions of how to involve and motivate an autistic child in interactive play. I feel I am getting closer to my son as I test out each idea in our playtime. Maybe it’s just naive of me, but I think it’s working. I think he’s starting to let us in and today’s behaviour was certainly a sign that improvements are being made.
My contribution to the party was Snowman Cupcakes for the kids and Chocolate Mint Cupcakes for the parents and staff. I made homemade chocolate cupcakes, frosted them with vanilla buttercream and sprinkled edible glitter on top to look like snow. Then take two marshmallows and stick them together with a pretzel stick. Twist one regular size Oreo to remove one wafer. Place a dab of frosting or marshmallow fluff on the wafer and attach a mini Oreo to make a hat. Use more frosting or fluff to attach it to the marshmallow head. Make a face on the marshmallow using a sugar pen and a *candy coated sunflower seed (orange) for the nose. Tie a length of fruit roll-up or fruit yo-yo around the snowman’s neck for a scarf. I got in a bit over my head and wasn’t able to complete the snowmen, even with help from a fellow parent and friend…the snowmen were consumed without their noses – but no one seemed to mind. Actually the kids were really quite pleased with them and I was even referred to as ‘The Willy Wonka of the village’. All in all, a good day for this family.
*Candy coated sunflower seeds are very difficult to find in the UK. I was going to use orange Starburst candies molded into a carrot shape. I think you might be able to use orange jellies, but I haven’t tried them yet.