Saturday, January 26, 2013

This Kid Can Party!

A couple of weeks ago, Liam got a birthday party invitation from a little boy in his Sunday school class. This is all new territory for us because Liam has never been invited anywhere with a friend before.  It's never even occurred to me to think that he could handle going to a birthday party.  As he handed me the invitation, the little boy's father asked if I thought Liam would like to go. Without thinking, I blurted out, "Sure! He'd really love that. We'll be there!!" 

I was pretty nervous about it, but had decided that I would go ahead and just stay with Liam at the party. I knew all the other kids' parents would be just dropping them off and leaving, but none of the other kids are Liam.  Liam has been doing so well and really enjoyed the two-week unit they did at school all about birthday parties.  I decided that it wasn't okay to let my worries about him limit his opportunity to go to the party.

I went and chose the little boy a gift that I knew Liam would have chosen if he'd had the chance to go with me and hoped it was a good choice.  Liam found the gift and immediately tried to bust into the packaging. Luckily I caught that in time and was able to put the package away until this afternoon.

I talked to him a little bit before the party and reminded him that it was Jack's birthday, not Liam's.  We talked about singing the song and playing games and he was pretty sure it was going to be so much fun.

We were the last to arrive, which I think was good because Liam was able to take cues from the other kids and sort of follow their lead.  He was more interested in the treasure trove of books on the bookshelf than the games, but I was able to keep him redirected most of the time.

Lunch was chicken nuggets, curly fries, and grapes. It's like the other mom read Liam's mind and put all his favorite treats on one plate for him.  He sat so well at the table, ate his little lunch, didn't spill his chocolate milk, and waited his turn to be served.  I was stunned. He didn't leave the table until he was invited to, which was a HUGE thing for him. 

After lunch, the kids all went downstairs where a few structured games were planned.  Liam was a little bit confused about the concept of the game, but managed to follow the others' lead and caught on.  He wasn't sure what the point was, but stayed on in his seat and did his best.  Even though he was a little bit confused, he did so well respecting the rules.  This was a giant accomplish for him. 

After a few games, it was time for cupcakes.  Liam is not a cupcake eater, which I was prepared for. He politely said thank you for his cupcake and carefully removed the coveted Batman ring from it before licking the icing and slipping it onto his finger. Then he handed me the cupcake. I couldn't let that sucker go to waste, so I made sure it was consumed. 

Then it was time for presents. The other mom told the kids to sit on the couch and that they could hand the birthday boy the gift they'd brought him when their name was called. Liam asked me to let him sit on my lap. Perfect!! That way I figured I could keep him from getting up and running for the gifts. The surprise was that I didn't have to hold him down. He sat happily on my lap and smiled as Jack opened each gift. He was the last one to give his gift, and I was nervous that he'd try to open it himself.  When his name was called, I reminded him which package was his and he ran over to hand it to Jack with a huge grin on his face before leaping back into my lap. Perfect!!! 

Finally it was time to go, and Liam willingly came to the door with me to get his shoes on and tell Jack's mom thank you for having him.  He happily got into the car and had a delightful rest of the day.

I know lots of kids go to birthday parties all the time.  For Liam, though, this is a milestone. This is something I never thought I'd see. From the simple fact that he was invited to his behavior and willingness to make good choices to the sheer joy on his face the whole time, this was a day I hope we don't soon forget.  And the best part?  Next time he gets a party invite, I can say "Yes! This kid CAN party!!".

1 comment:

  1. I am not surprised at his behavior he is well behaved at the center lately.