Hari Raya is a joyous occasion, a period where we consciously make the effort to visit relatives and friends. But for us, it can be pretty challenging and trying...
1) Houses. Rayyan hates going to unfamiliar houses, especially those that are dark and cramped and contain no toys or stuffs to distract him. He will whine, pull us towards the door or worse, starts crying and throw tantrums! While other kids are playing with one another, he totally shies away from them. Sometimes I wonder if he notices them in the first place. I go to houses armed with his favourite CD. In a desperate attempt to quieten him down, we play his favourite CD. He will then be all smiles and get sucked into his own world. He will be laughing and smiling away, sometimes jumping up and down, oblivious to his surroundings. So which is worse? For him to be aware of his unfamiliar surroundings and then start throwing tantrums or for him to get sucked into his own happy world? I really don't know :(
2) Food. Each house is laden with gluten-rich food! Cookies, cakes, pastries, you name it! Rayyan has been on GFCF diet for quite a while though I must admit that we are not that strict. We still let him take corn and eggs. We try our best to control his diet and allow some leeway once in a while. But it is so difficult to control his diet when he is not at our house. When we go to other houses, he will actually check out the food and once he sees something he fancies, usually cakes or little fried popiahs, he starts pointing and insists that we give him the food! If we don't, well, he will usually end up crying. So what do we do? We can't ask each relative to keep their food. We can't allow him to cry at the top of his lungs. So we sometimes give in and let him take a bite here and there :(
3) Relatives and friends. Those who know of Rayyan's condition will try their best to cheer Rayyan up or try to play or engage him. He will usually turn away from them or pretend they are not there. When Rayyan starts crying, they will usually leave us alone to handle him but I do notice them stealing glances, sometimes with a look of pity. Maybe they sympathise with us or maybe they are thankful that they are not in our position? Am I being paranoid here? Maybe I am but I just can't help it. And for those who are not aware of his condition, well, they must have thought that we pamper him too much or that he's a difficult child to handle :(
So what should we do? Should we avoid going to friends and relatives' houses? But we do want Rayyan to be more sociable and be more aware of his surroundings. But it's truly, truly challenging for us. And because of that, I can't wait for Syawal to be over :(