My youngest son, now five, is always pretty clear about his expectations. This year he wanted a birthday party with friends. It wasn't an unreasonable request as we have only marked his birthday with small immediate family affairs in the past. I have thrown plenty of larger affairs for my first born. It's easier because his birthday is in August when it's warm and parks with wide open spaces are good options. January birthdays in the Midwestern part of the U.S. are difficult because options are limited. Yesterday, the wind chill put the temperature to below ten degrees. Also, to be honest, it's really hard for me to plan a decent party so close to the holidays.
But somehow the invitations were issued via the telephone, the house was cleaned, party supplies including a tiger pinata bought (we put a palm tree necklace on it to fit the theme), a cake was ordered and picked up, and seven or eight goodie bags were assembled. Also bought a few foods for a Hawaiian taste test--a fresh pineapple, coconut, canned pineapple and macadamia nuts. We had four guests (preschool classmates) on the party day and one little girl on the next for a make-up party/play date because her parents forgot about the party on Saturday.
Fortunately, my guy with autism does well enough with parties. He made a sign welcoming the guests and greeted them at the door. He also lined up to hit the pinata with the stick and hung in there for all three rounds before my husband jumped in to finish the pinata off. My son did say at one point that there were too many guests, but somehow managed not to get overstimulated. The cake and ice cream (soy for him) was his favorite part. "Happy Birthday to You" is his one of his favorite songs. Now he has taken to picking up his ukulele to accompany everyone. He was quirky, but charming and made some of the little guests giggle at times.
Anyway, the party seemed to be a success--if success can be measured by a high level of noise from energetic four and five year olds. My little guy was happy anyway and that is what counts. Me? I took a two and a half hour nap today after our play date guest went home.