Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The dreaded birthday parties...

It's birthday time. Andy's turning 7. Already.

I dread birthday time. I never know quite how Andy's going to do with the whole party thing.

There was that one year when he screamed and cried when we sang happy birthday to him.

Then there was the year that we decided to have the party at the bounce place. Andy got so overstimulated that he had a full on tantrum that seemed to last forever. I had to carry him out kicking and screaming.

Usually by the time it's time for cake and presents he is D.O.N.E. Like, ready to run out the door and hide done. By that point he generally has no patience, doesn't want to wait for the cake to be cut, doesn't want to sit through us singing happy birthday, doesn't want people to look at him, etc.

Every year I secretly dread it. I wish somehow I could get away with not having a party. Everything about it is yucky. I know he'll get overstimulated and then be mean and sassy and terrible the whole rest of the day.

Then there's the whole nightmare about trying to find a place to make a dye free cake. And then what will we serve for lunch/dinner? The kid only has a few things he actually likes to eat.

Present time is no fun, either. He is so out of whack by that time that he doesn't want to read the cards, he doesn't want to "pretend" to like the clothes that he opens, and just plain doesn't understand why we can't just be done and go home.

Besides, I never know what to tell people to get him. He doesn't "play" with toys. Seriously. He hasn't played with a toy in years. When I ask him what he wants, he says video games. However, I won't let people buy him video games because a) he has too many already and b) he only gets to play video games for 30 minutes a day and how many can you really play in that amount of time? So, that being said, he isn't really going to like anything that he gets for his birthday anyway because it isn't going to be what he really wants.

Yep...sounds like a barrel of fun, doesn't it?

However, the dye free cake is ordered. The lunch is planned. Lunch is something he won't eat, though, so I have to bring him something different.

And just to really cause controversy, we're thinking about waiting to open presents until after the party. You heard me correctly. We may SKIP opening the presents. I know...the horror!

It just really sucks, again, that something like a simple birthday party can be so painful for a child with SPD. Why, oh why, can't he just enjoy his day?

Maybe this year will be different. Maybe he'll breeze on through without any difficulty. Maybe the noise and attention won't set him on edge. Maybe he won't have any meltdowns. Maybe everything will be great.

I'll keep you posted...


  1. I saw your comment over at Hartley's boys, and I popped over here to see if you were for real.. I was SO VERY happy to find out you are REAL and AWESOME also! :)
    I also have a son with SPD (who is 6) , and I also dread birthday parties--
    But I do have a positive note... I was able to leave my son at a playdate today and ... there was no meltdown when I came to get him... it took quite a while to leave, but he was able to leave without tears or me picking up and carrying him! My mommy heart is torn , happiness for how well he did, and yearning for this good behavior to continue!

  2. I'll have to send you the Miss Manners column that I have saved that actually says that it's RUDE to expect kids to sit through opening presents at someone else's party and that the best thing to do is to open them after the guest have left! :)

  3. Stacey--Yep, I'm definitey real. LOL! Glad you found me, and I hope to get to know you and your son better!

    Shell--Please do send it! It was my husband's idea to skip the presents, and ideally it would be the best choice for Andy. But I fear that "MOST" people won't get it and may be offended if we do. I HATE making these decisions!!!

  4. My daughter is 4 and has SPD as well. (You're blog has been so refreshing to read. Thank you!!!!) We ALWAYS skip presents at birthday parties. It makes it SO much easier and so much less to expect.

    A few of my friends have also forgone opening presents after coming to our parties, they say it is such a relief to not worry what their kids are going to say! I think everyone should do it!!

    Good luck!!