What? Say it isn't so!
It's true. We finally celebrated a birthday with Princess that did not result in her having a melt down or us having to send a child home. The best part is is that this was a milestone birthday in many other ways. She turned 10 on the 10th which made it her Golden Birthday. She also turned double digits.
This year my husband and I could not agree on what we felt comfortable doing for Princess' big day. We have had many swimming parties in the past but my husband worried that there would be a majority of boys with behavior issues at our house since our daughter is currently the only girl in her Special Needs class during ESY. (Side note: Those of you with girls on the Spectrum know that this is the norm.) The possibility of someone getting hurt was not worth the risk. We compromised and let her bring store bought cupcakes to school. (Remember the cake pops fiasco?) I was told these went over well. That took care of her including her class in her celebration but we were still at a loss as to what to do for the actual party.
We finally settled on an ice cream parlor in a neighboring city. At first Princess was not happy. She told me that she didn't want to have it there because it is chaotic and they beat a drum. I let her know that since we'd be going midweek in the afternoon it would not be as crowded. I also explained to her that we'd advise the hostess that we'd prefer if they not beat the drum as loudly. I also let her know that this was the party she was having and if she didn't like it, we would not be having any other party. She finally agreed once I said I'd order a Michael Jackson cake.
Once Princess gave me the thumbs up, we invited a few friends, I ordered the cake and picked up a few paper goods.
On the day of the party, I was a bundle of nerves. Princess was just excited. I am glad that she chose to forget that just one year ago her party was a huge disaster. I went over the top with food and decorations but only one guest could make it since we had had to postpone her party for one week due to Princess' instability. This one friend had to leave early because my daughter was becoming too aggressive with her.- But I digress. Like many moms I tried to do too much right before the party. The last thing we had to do before going to the restaurant was to pick up the cake. I was mortified when I saw it. The bakery's version of gold was puke colored. Princess didn't seem to mind so I just left it alone. On the way to the ice cream parlor everyone started calling and texting me. I just handed the phone to Princess and told her what to text back or say. She rather enjoyed being my assistant. Those who had arrived before us let the restauranteurs know how many people would be in our party but more importantly that we had children in our group who had sensory issues. Everyone was in a grand mood especially the birthday girl. She sat right in the middle of her friends and made them feel welcome. Right before the drums and the siren (Yeah I forgot about that. Lucky for me it ended up being no big deal.) were to be played, our waiter came over to tell us. We alerted the children so they could cover their ears if they wanted to. The kids ordered soda and ice cream before we cut the cake. We sang at least two renditions of some birthday song. Princess was just delighted at the whole thing. It made my heart happy.
As a side note, just one day after last year's party Princess had her worst day ever. This day led to the first of four hospitalizations in a two month time. This is what made this year's party even more successful.
Next year's celebration may not have as good of an outcome as this year's but right now I am savoring this new memory.