The Big Red Party Bus

So today was the day that I returned back to feeling human.

I’ve actually been dreading it, as I would have before the stroke: Clara got invited to one of her nursery friend’s 4th birthday party. And it was not a drop off.

The prospect of 20 screaming children in a relatively small room, for two hours is surely the stuff of nightmares for all parents, handicapped or well?

But I had psyched myself up for it, taken my Sertraline and briefed Clara that if mummy feels dizzy we will have to go (she is a great child and very empathetic, so she nodded in agreement).

The minute we arrived, I was ready to turn on my heels and run (well, limp slowly) back to the safety of the car: what I saw before me was The Big Red Party Bus (a lovely business in its own right, but kind of the equivalent of a torture session for me).

It wasn’t only going to be 20 screaming children in a relatively small room, no, it was going to be 20 screaming children in a TEENY TINY area, accompanied by flashing lights, kids party music and plastic balls flying around. It was a soft play in a bus, people!!

Under healthy circumstances I would have found my way to the bar, ignoring the fact it was 11am and downed a lush glass of bubbly. But now I was stuck. Literally. Between two soft foam blocks somewhere at the back of the bus, as I was asked to “settle my daughter in”. Bloody great.

All I could do at that moment was stick my ear plugs in, take a few deep breaths and close my eyes. As I sat there meditating, one of the little party guests shouted in my ear: what’s your name pleeeeese? That brought an end to my sea of calm, but it was actually ok. I opened my eyes, I realised I’m ACTUALLY ok.

And so the next 2 hours flew by. Clara had fun, and I even managed to have a cuppa and a quick chat with some of the mums. Not mentioning my strokie stroke and feeling really happy to talk about nails and eyelashes for a while. I was part of normal life again. It was exhilarating.

So, as I’m typing this, I’m feeling proud. I didn’t turn around, I gave my girl a good time and I had some cake.

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