Friday, February 11, 2011

Preparing for a Birthday Party

My son’s birthday isn’t until next Tuesday, but we are having a party for him tomorrow. It is the first time in three years that we inviting anyone other than family. That we are doing this speaks to the progress Kai has made in the last three years. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t more than a little nervous about it.

Three years ago, we invited his classmates from the early childhood program he was in at that time. He was excited about his birthday in the week leading up to it, but on the day of the party, he became strangely quiet. When it began, he clung to Mom and seemed sad most of the time. He did not enjoy the party at all and it wasn’t until everyone left that his mood brightened. We thought the whole thing was overwhelming for him and decided that we should not have a party like this again.

In the past year, however, he’s shown a much better ability to deal with environments that were difficult for him before. We feel more comfortable taking him grocery shopping, and going to restaurants. His behavior at friends’ birthday parties has been stellar, which is a far cry from a couple of years ago.

And so, we felt comfortable with giving it another shot. My wife, especially, is always looking to give Kai all the fun experiences that other kids have. She wanted him to have the kind of party that he’s been invited to. And so, she’s put a lot of work into planning everything. Between the food, decorations, goodie bags, and activities, there’s a lot to get ready.
After experimenting with several designs, my wife decided on sunflowers with ladybugs for the GFCF cupcakes we will serve. She got a piñata, and colorful plastic buckets for the kids to put their goodies in. We put Kai to work, too. He wrote each child’s name on their bucket, and helped to fill the piñata. The main entertainment will be an animal show, where the kids will be able to see and touch about a dozen animals including snakes, tarantulas, tortoises, and rabbits.

There will be fourteen kids in all, a bit more than we originally expected. All but two have special needs. We are guessing that most of the parents will stay for the party, though they do not have to. So, it will be a pretty big crowd.

I put together a social story to try to prep Kai for what will happen. As he likes to be aware of the schedule for everything, we will create one for the party and post it.

So, everything is set. Kai is very excited.

We can’t help but be a little nervous. But, we’ve prepared as best we can. Let’s party.


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