Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Birthday party debrief... :)


Mmmm... still recovering from the time change, hence the lateness of this post (sorry Zilari :) For more info as to the picture... it's explained near the end of the post.

B's 10th birthday party was a great success! The idea to loosen things up a bit & let the kids choose which activities to participate in turned out to be a good one. B did his part as spy "Chief" wonderfully- he could be heard to declare "who wants to go on a mission? every so often, with a resulting scramble of feet as his operatives sprang to alert, ready to be sent to retrieve hidden spy gear. Some of the kids were happier just decoding- C stayed up with them & facilitated this part. Some liked action, looking all over the house for caches of gear & info... they all seemed to like the idea of disguises very much, which was a hoot. We had a basket of old clothes (everything from lab coats to choir robes to suit jackets), weird hats, sunglasses, & plenty of fake mustaches :) & the kids made some wild combos... I just followed them around with the camera. We had invited our friends Paula & her son C, B's teenaged mentor with AS, & C showed-up dressed as a secret service agent- black suit, black tie, with dark shades- & facilitated the decoding by transcribing the messages on B's computer as the kids called out the decoded letters. We also invited our Japanese teacher, Tomoko, who seemed to have a great time watching the kids' antics. The part where B excused himself to go to the bathroom & "disappeared" went without a hitch- everyone knows about his hair-trigger bladder, I guess :) & they were so absorbed with the remote-control operation (using a spybot to retrieve a message in a bottle from a baby-gated room- this so they couldn't go in) that they didn't miss him until it was time to decode the message. When a delegation went downstairs to the bathroom & tentatively knocked on the door, with no response, one of the kids said "what'd he do, flush himself down the toilet?" to much hilarity. What they found was Rufus clutching a note from B explaining that he'd been captured & asking them to find him (signed "sincerely, Chief"). Their message in a bottle explained which spy gear they needed to find him, & after they'd thoroughly searched the house I handed them a somewhat cryptic map to where he was (at the neighbours' house). C said he'd never seen a group of kids put on their shoes so quickly... They found B without any trouble, with the map & spy bug receiver, & it was a joyous reunion. Over cake & ice cream, they asked B who had captured him which sent him on a flight of fancy (it was either a robot & someone wearing a robot suit...!) only matched by the stories of the dangers faced by his rescuers (ninjas & spitting flowers :). This creativity was an unexpected bonus... After prezzies were opened, they all ran outside with boxes of poppers that Paula & C gave him & had a great time with those, then opened up the stomp & pump rockets B'd also received & did their best to get them stuck in trees (succeded in losing one in the neighbours' gutter :). We were lucky that the rain held back for the afternoon & it wasn't too cold to be outside. These kids needed to blow off some steam...

After everybody went home B really wanted some lego time- he'd not only gotten a "big" ExoForce set from us but his best buddy E had found a new ExoForce we hadn't seen & he was mad to put it together... even so, while legoing away B called dad & I into his room. Without looking up, he told us that this was the best birthday party ever & thanked us. I got teary... he's never directly thanked us like this after a party, being still so caught up in the excitement. C & I had been very impressed by how well he held it together through it all. B had gotten snarky once while playing outside with the rockets & when I asked him to calm down I could see him pulling himself together, followed by a blithe "sorry mom" & he was back in the swing of things. He was careful to thank everyone for the presents they gave him & was gracious throughout the whole party... he was really at his best, or maybe this party that we'd planned together brought out the best in him. Both C & I are grateful that we read B's signals a few weeks ago & increased his zoloft dosage because we're sure that's another reason he coped so well. He's gone nearly a week without hitting his head on anything, which tells us that not only is the anxiety less acute, but that he's being able to think about coping with the anxiety & modify his responses to it, rather than having a knee-jerk reaction to it.

Yesterday was B's birthday meeting at school (we bring a treat to share with the two 3-4th grade classes, the kids all sing happy birthday & then they either get to guess the bday kid's age or bday kid makes a math problem for them to solve that tells their age). B & I made candy sushi again this year (rice krispies treats made into sushi using fruit roll-ups, & twizzlers for the middle- see photo at top :) because it was such a hit last year. One of his school friends, who came to B's party, & who has been baking at school, asked to make cookies that morning, too, so with Cherie's help he was able to add a big plate of cookies to B's birthday meeting treat. A very sweet thing to do! During the "happy birthday" part of the meeting, B requested that instead of singing "cha cha cha" in between lines (it's a Cobblestone thing...) they sing "fart fart fart" (a B thing...), which was sung with much gusto & giggling. His math problem to discover his age was "what is 1000-990?" which impressed the heck out of me... was I thinking of such big numbers when I was in 4th grade?

Life is creeping back to "normal". We're catching up on our rest- we really needed that extra hour Saturday night!! B is falling back into a rhythm after school, & after dinner he & C have been playing with the Pokeman starter decks we gave B for his birthday- he was so psyched :) I'm trying to find a rhythm to my life, too... should I try weaving again? A bigger knitting project? Sewing? It's like we've achieved the summit of a mountain, getting through the birthday events, & now I'm figuring out what's on the other side...

4 Comments:

At 11:06 PM, Blogger Zilari said...

YAY! I am so glad to hear that the party was fun...I really do think that going over things beforehand and getting B involved in the planning probably helped his comfort levels immensely.

 
At 8:45 AM, Blogger Adelaide Dupont said...

Awesome. He obviously had a great birthday especially the candy sushi and the spy game. That was a really original birthday party experience.

The force is so with you.

 
At 3:28 PM, Blogger Lisa/Jedi said...

Thanks for the feedback, folks. I do think that putting B in charge as "Chief" made him truly feel like the "birthday boy", not to mention the excitement of having had one of his own ideas come to life :) Did I mention that C & I had loads of fun, too? :)

 
At 12:02 AM, Blogger Adelaide Dupont said...

I'm sure you did!

Parties are great when parents can have fun WITH their kids and don't stop the kids from having fun.

 

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