Saturday, 11 October 2014

Raising Autism Awareness: The Birthday Party Edition

I went to a child birthday party today of a friend's (as mentioned in my exciting post regarding gift shopping), and I originally planned that the whole family was going.
Yup, me +4.

A year ago, it would be automatically assumed that V-Man wouldn't go -not that he doesn't deserve to -but because it was a constant fight. Fight to get him dressed. Fight to get him out the door and to the bus on time (with minimal wait time and absolutely no rushing). Fight to get the stroller up the hill with him in it (as walking is fairly new). Fight to make sure he didn't feel up any other adult guests (I.e. bum grabbing). Fight to entertain him without a screaming fit.
Fight to get him dressed again to go home.
Now, he doesn't fight so much on those things above but is still quite fussy if we have to wait for the bus.

So my original plan was shattered this morning with SH telling me he's not able to go because he has a sore throat.
Fair enough. I don't want him to spread whatever that may be to others and he looked so miserable, I offered to take 2 kids.
The agreement was that M-Girl would come with me if she wasn't asleep when it was time to go, and V-Man.
I'd prefer A-Man because he loves to wait for the bus and watch traffic. So if we missed a bus, not a big tantrum to deal with.
That and he could use more friends, practice speaking and have some fun.
Of course, he decided a tantrum and a nap while I was getting ready, was the best idea and I'm not going to wake up a just fallen asleep child!!
So V-Man and M-Girl it was.

I strapped on my baby carrier, plopped her into it, put the harness on V-Man and off we went.
We arrived at the bus stop ten minutes too early. So we walked in the rain to the next stop, caught the bus and headed downtown. Minimal fighting from him...ok, I can do this!

I ended up getting some pajamas for the birthday boy -to go with the book- and during me paying, V-Man decided to try and make a mad dash.
I seriously think my legs may have grown, because I stretched out like an ostrich and caught him by his harness strap. Pressed that green button, took my bag and off we went!

We walked to the party, and silly me, took the longer route because I forgot the quicker way.
V-Man was pissed. It was maybe a 15-minutes walk, as opposed to 6?
My bad.

We got there as other guests were arriving and I didn't know anyone else but the hostess and her sister. A couple friends showed up bit later, so that was nice.
Then my personal party began.

He knows food and loves it. He's familiar with a kitchen and is pretty determined (code- stubborn).
My M-Girl opted for screaming at the birthday boy and V-Man decided a whole bowl of cookies should satisfy him, while other children played.
No, he didn't eat the whole thing but was quite protective of it and territorial like a dog with a steak.
I'm torn between two places and once the hostess announced that the food was available, I got him a plate of food to share with his sister.
While I'm doing that, he's in the grandma's seat, chowing down her food.
I'm embarrassed and while she reassures me it's all good, I know the other parents are wondering why a big kid is not listening, hasn't said a word but made funny sounds and is eating grandma's food.
I think I heard someone explain and just kept going...
Got him settled with a plate of food and a drink and things are going well. He runs off to play and comes back half naked. Ok, just shirtless but working on removing the sweat pants.

Is that poop I smell?!

After chasing him down and doing a diaper change, I'm exhausted. Well, we lasted 1.5 hours....not too bad!!!!

I took a few photos of the cake and began to get him dressed to leave. It's not that the party wasn't lovely, because it was!!!
I just wasn't enjoying myself and watching/entertaining him is a 2-person job. Never mind watching the baby or trying to introduce myself to anyone!

It's also why we don't bring him to outdoor parties because he's an escape artist and a very fast one at that.
I think in the future, he'll stay at's just a bit easier.
Not that we don't want people to learn about autism or ask questions and we're not ashamed of him either. I think we need to figure out how to get him to entertain himself without disturbing others and for longer than 2 minutes stretches at a time! Especially if it's a party that involves games, or if waiting for food is required!
In retrospect, I should've played some YouTube videos on my phone. But the touch screen is sensitive and he would've drove me wild with exiting it repeatedly.
Oh well, until next time!!!

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