So, my son got his Very First Ever actual INVITATION to a birthday party! So exciting!! This was his first party that wasn't for a family member or one of the kids of my friends, whom he has grown up around. It was the eighth birthday of one of the boys in his CBIP class, and THE WHOLE CLASS was invited-- so I was resting up, expecting to be assisting at a birthday party with NINE KIDS WITH AUTISM!!! o.O !!!
But, much to my surprise, we were the only ones from the class who showed up. There were lots of kids there-- T comes from a big family, so there were loads of cousins, and a great time was had by all!-- yet I was disappointed. I felt it was my MORAL DUTY to help with the kid-wrangling, and to bring B to celebrate with his friend! It never even occurred to me that other parents of special needs kids wouldn't all rally to the birthday party cause, or not be just as excited as I was to have our kids included in the festivities. That made me wistful... for the five seconds I got to think my own thoughts before being catapulted into the kids' activities, LOL!
The party was at a FAMILY FUN-PLEX!!!!! (-plex, -plex, -plex!)
I am an alien to these things, having shunned them all my life, so I have to describe. :) This was a kind of self-enclosed entertainment arcology with a bowling alley, performing anthropomorphic audioanimatronic animals, a skating rink, an arcade, lazertag, and little-kid area with playground equipment and the balls you jump in and an inflatable bouncy-thing that you jump in. Jeez Louise! I was overstimulated within thirty seconds. But, oddly enough, I grew ACCLIMATED to the freakish noise and fun level (over 9000!!!!)... and was okay within about ten minutes! I actually enjoyed myself! I was expecting to just kind of cope and put on a smiley face for the sake of the kids, but it was actually a pretty great time!
The party didn't try to do too much, which was also a great decision. Clearly, T's parents are no strangers to the concept of kid parties! There were chips and dip for the early part, then the animal-performers got turned on and the kids OF COURSE all got on stage with them, and then they scattered to play on the games and jump in the inflatable jumpy-thing. That latter was the big hit of the party, lemme tell you! The most popular game was the shooting-hoops thingy where you get around 8 basketballs and try to make baskets-- but B and another kid just took a basketball each and dribbled them around on the floor, which was cool too. (I snagged one myself-- and OMG basketball-bouncing is very soothing to overloaded senses!!! Who knew?) Then they had pizza, then played a little more, then the cake was lit, "Happy Birthday" was sung, cake was cut and eaten with ice cream. After the sugar input, the kids scattered again for more jumping, and then the ROLLERSKATING started! :D :D :D Neither T nor B had ever been on skates before but were both game to try. A little girl was determined to lead B around the rink, and she gamely stuck with him, too! It was absolutely, hilariously adorable!
I was SO PROUD of B-- before the party, we had had a little chat about being a good guest, and by golly, he was great!
Here's why I was worried. B is like unto iron filings when confronted with the magnetism of CAKE. But he did well around it! He only asked maybe three times, "Is it time for cake yet?" and even then he only asked me and not the party hosts.
Until T's two-year-old cousin leaned over and put his FACE in the cake. Sure enough, B followed suit! Face in cake. Unlike the 2-y-o, who only got a little lick of icing, the freakin' amateur, B is a PROFESSIONAL cake-marauder and got a BIG OL' mouthful! Fortunately, the evidence of child depredation was only on the edge, so the cake was fine for serving, and DOUBLY-fortunately, T's family thought it was HILARIOUS. Whew! They wouldn't even let me clean B off until they had taken pictures, LOL!!!
Being the mom of One Kid, I never understood how anyone can handle more than one. Two would surely crack me like an egg. But seeing these families, all with multiple kids, really made me understand-- when you've got a bunch of 'em, you're just more RELAXED about stuff! I always feel like I have to watch B constantly, make sure he doesn't do something dangerous, run off, or piss off other people, make sure he uses nice manners, etc. Whereas these kids were allowed to run relatively amok-- and yet the world didn't end, everything was ok, everyone had fun. It was an amazingly relaxed time, because I was around an amazingly relaxed bunch of adults! I was really, truly grateful for that.
Memorial Day redux
11 months ago