Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good
Today was Abby's big birthday party. We decided the best place to have it would be the gym at my school, this turned out to be a perfect plan. I spent last night decorating and finishing up putting the games and crafts together. This was Abby's first official "kid" party and the teacher in me knew that I'd better have plenty of activities to fall back on - there's not much worse than a group of bored four to nine year olds. I had three main games and a craft planned, and if all else failed we could take them outside to the playground - perfect.

The reality was that the kids naturally found their own fun. Many of them just had a great time chasing balloons (and each other) around an open gym. We did pull out the parachute and the birthday girl had a wonderful time with that - all the kids did. We also did do a Pin the "Tail" on the Balloon game that I'd set up. I think I had the most fun watching the dizzy kids trying to find that silly picture of the balloon I'd taped to the wall. Overall, it was a very fun and successful two hours. We never did get to that craft, which is fine with me. Everyone left with a bag of goodies and smiles on their faces.

The Bad
I wouldn't say that some things were "bad", but I picked the title and theme, so here goes. First, we had gotten word that some people would be coming that for some reason or other were not able to make it. When I originally put the guest list together we had a list of about fifty kids and adults. Therefore we planned for a bit more than that. I was in a panic that people would show up and there would not be enough - not enough pizza, not enough goodie bags, not enough cake, etc. What actually happened is that we were left with several (probably about 10) boxes of pizzas and goodies. I found myself pleading with people to take stuff home, fearful that we would be eating pizza and cupcakes until her birthday next year. Luckily, we have good friends and they took some off our hands.

Along with the abundance of food, there was an abundance of activity. That was actually great, but this caused a few tearful moments (the kids, not me). In the end there was no blood, so I'm happy. This is all to be expected when you give a room full of kids free-reign with balloons, play cars, scooters, and a huge parachute. This brings us to The Ugly.

The Ugly
Luckily, The Ugly didn't show up until we got home, although we got a few glimpses of it before we left school. To being I will say that usually we are very careful about what activities we take Abby to and how much stimulation she gets. We discovered several years ago that she had some sensory issues and therefore things that would be easy for us to filter out, aren't always easy for her. She also has a difficult time decompressing. Generally, this isn't a big deal and we have learned how to handle situations and read the signs that a major meltdown is approaching. Because we are so careful it has been a while since her last episode and I'd forgotten how bad they can get - today I was reminded. I won't go into details, but there was a lot of yelling and crying (none of it mine). Despite the difficulty I had one major breakthrough - I stayed calm and collected through the whole thing. I knew that it was driven by how tired she was, I knew that she wasn't acting out "on purpose", I knew that she had lost control, and I knew that it would not help the situation if I did as well. In the past I've "known" these things as well, but it has not always been easy to keep my cool - for some reason today it was.

I'm happy to say The Ugly is over and my little darling is sitting at the table happily shoveling one of Nana's yummy cupcakes in her mouth. A bath and a bit of "Barbie therapy" seems to have restored her spirits. Even so, we will be doing an early bedtime tonight - for all of us.

I know as I lay down tonight I will not be thinking about "The Bad" or "The Ugly", but all the good that happened today, because in the end when I asked Abby if she had fun today she said, "Yes, Mama!" In the end, that "Good" outweighs any "Bad" or "Ugly" that could ever be.

I'm sorry to say that the hat and the glasses didn't last long.

I think she tried on everyone's shoes, until she settled on these snazzy heels. Classic Abby!

Abby and her buddy Lilah eating that yummy pizza (notice all those boxes in the background).


After the party and doing some dot-to-dot. It was indeed a good day.


  1. Thanks for a great day...and the pizza!

  2. Thanks for TAKING some pizza! Also, thank you so much for Abby's little mouse in the house! We LOVE it!