As you walk up our stairs and see the entrance to Connie’s bedroom, nothing would look any different to any other 20 year olds bedroom. A beautiful dressing table faces out towards the doorway filled with little momentos and trinkets.
But even just looking closer at the dressing table, there are little giveaways. There is a bottle of One Direction perfume on it that Connie asks to put on once in a blue moon when she sees someone else putting it on. There are hair bobbles and clips galore because they are the only things she wants to buy every time she goes into Primark. The mirror is covered with pictures of Connie’s favourite people and favourite things because she never actually uses the dressing table but she does like to stand and look at the pictures. Around the edge of the mirror are her necklaces that are never worn but look pretty. There are signs everywhere.
When you turn to enter Connie’s bedroom properly, there lots of thingsthat make this bedroom different. There is the massive dolls house in the corner of the room that looks like every little girls dream but in our house is for the most part untouched except for the odd occasion Connie wants to open it up and chew all the lovely furniture inside it.
There is the collection of soft toys on top of the wardrobe that stay up there permanently. Connie loves them but rarely asks to have any of the ones that aren’t her current favourites (i.e Goofy, Barney and the dogs!) There is a Mrs Mouse doorstep that looks cute but is actually something in the room that Connie talks too as though she was real.
The long chest of drawers are filled with nappy knickers, bed mats and wipes so that we can get to them fast when we need them. In the middle of the room is Connie’s single bed with a double duvet on just to help her try and keep the covers on during the night.
More often than not, Connie will shout during the night that her covers have come off because she doesn’t know how to pull them back on and doesn’t have the strength to do it. Under the bed is filled with bedding so that there is always a fresh set ready to put on every time the bed has to be changed which is at least 5 times a week. We call her bed ‘the best bed in the world’ in the hope that she might stay in it longer but normally she is straight out of it and straight into her mum and dad’s bed at the crack of dawn for a chat or to watch CBeebies and snooze.
Dotted about the room there is a mixture of things, none of which seem to look to go together but are Connie’s prized possessions. DVD’s – all aimed for young children and most never watched because Connie can’t sit long enough to be able to watch a film. She has everything a young child could want in a DVD – Barney, Postman Pat, Come Outside, CBeebies, Noddy, Tweenies, Teletubbies – you name it we have it just for the off chance that she might want to watch it. The exceptions are the DVD’s of the nativity plays that Connie’s younger cousins are in which Connie would watch over and over again and knows word for word. Every year she goes to watch their nativity play and every year she gets the DVD to watch back.
Then you come across her figurines lined up on the windowsill. Connie has a selection of different Noddys and Postman Pats. She has them in all shapes and sizes, and although most are filled with teeth marks, they are all loved by her. The rest of the windowsill is taken up by random bits and bobs that hold some interest to Connie – things to chew, things to feel, things to shake.
We try and make Connie’s bedroom as lovely as we can for her but the reality is that she rarely spends any time in her bedroom. The things in her bedroom are all there for special reasons. They start conversations for her about the memories she has. They help to occupy her mind and give her something to fiddle with and investigate. If Connie is in her room, it gives us a (little) break even though it will be a massive mess when you go to check on her! It doesn’t matter though, the mess gets tidied up and everything gets set back in the right place for the next day.
A little update on Connie’s half term for you … she has been going to 4Ever Unique to see her friends and last night went to a fashion show in Holme village with her mum, her Nana, her Aunty’s and a couple of her cousins. As normal, Connie loves socialising and being out and about with the family so she had a great night and got treated to two new items for her bedroom for being so good! (They were Connie’s request!)