Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bah Humbug. Or whatever phrase is appropriate for "I hate birthday parties."

So, my initial photography lesson got rained out, then rescheduled for tomorrow, and may now be rescheduled again, but we're not going to talk about that right now.  Tomorrow, I will (hopefully) have some decent shots to post one way or another, but for now I want to talk about how much I hate birthday parties.

I know, I sound like the worst person on the planet, right?  Might as well kick a puppy and be done with it.

We attended a party today thrown by people we love and who do everything possible to make us and our kids feel comfortable, but it was, a less-than-uplifting experience.

I was tasked with getting social skills video for an upcoming therapy checkup, and there's just something depressing about watching your kid through a viewfinder NOT doing the things all of the other kids are doing.  He's come a long way, that kid, but sometimes I forget that there are still skills we need to work on.  He's doing much better even since last year's party at the same venue, but it still broke my heart a little to be watching him through that viewfinder, silently coaching him to talk to this kid, or that kid, or put the Cars 2 toy down, already, and GO PLAY.

It kills me a little to see him approach an adult (yay!), only to say something they don't understand, and have them then turn that puzzled look on me (boo!).  Then I have to go through the should-I-explain-or-should-I-not-explain internal debate, which usually ends in me mumbling something equally incoherent as my kid, and just wandering off.

Socially awkward penguin, that's me.

Birthday parties are, for us, like some sort of sadistic showcase of all of the neurotypical skills in the world, spanning all age ranges, and I can't help but keep a running catalogue of the ones my kid does not possess.  And worry.

A real barrel of laughs at social get-togethers, I know.

Little C had his good moments, too, though.  He did (briefly) engage one of the birthday kids in an observation about (what else?) a Cars 2 figure.  He later cheerfully handed a toy to another kid, and I hoarded those moments like a miser for the rest of the afternoon.  I'm trying to remind myself of all of the positive progress my kid has made over the last year, how people who haven't seen him in a while constantly remark on how different he is now, how much happier he seems.  That's all that really matters, right?

That he's happy, whether the definition of that happy is his perception of it, or mine.

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