Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The eighth birthday party

It's been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I would like to add a new definition, particularly relevant to parents of kids with special needs: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same results. Which makes me certifiable.

Max wanted the same birthday party he had last year. The theme: purple. The entertainment: the wonderful Merriloons The Clown. The outfit: Same purple corduroy shirt and jeans.

Sounded good, right?

I knew just how to make it happen: I booked a date with Merriloons, got the purple paper goods, set the table. Special new touches: Purple pansies with glittery stuff on top...

...and a purple-ribboned staircase.

Max couldn't wait for everyone to arrive.

He was psyched to get his hands painted (two purple balloons).

He was thrilled, once again, with the purple hat, flower and sword Merriloons made him. (Quote: "I brought lots and lots of extra purple ballooons!")

He and his BFF, Caleb, horsed around. Actually, he was attached at the hip to Caleb from the second he walked in the door. And I am being literal: He clung to him, even when Caleb was eating; wanted to sit only next to him; attempted to follow him into the bathroom. Caleb's dad is really cool, though I am not sure whether stuff like this made him wonder if we were just plain weird:

Max makes us write "Caleb" every single time we write his name. Tonight, he pointed to his stepstool in the bathroom, shook his head at Sabrina's and said, "Caleb." As in, he would like to trade in his sister for Caleb. That is not a surprise, given what ensued at the party.

Max lost it at the magic show. People clapped, they cheered, it got loud. Max gave one of his ear-splitting screeches, which pretty much silenced the room, then ran out and didn't want to return.

Sabrina cheerfully took over.

I was so distraught by the screeching, I actually forgot to serve the cake until people started leaving. And it was a good cake:

Dave's idea. He asked the baker at Costco if she'd be willing to do a car wash. "No," she said, rather emphatically. Then he suggested the iPad and she agreed. "I-AAAAAH!" Max said when he saw it, and giggled.

Then we sang "Happy Birthday," as softly as possible, and Sabrina insisted that she be the one to blow out the candles; I think this photo pretty much says it all.

Never mind the fact that Max can't blow; I wanted to let him choose. Not captured on film: the two of them hitting each other as everyone stood around the table in the dark, watching. A few of us helped blow out the candles and Max screeched. He wanted Caleb to have the honor, of course. Do-over!

Anyway, there was some drama but all in all, Max had a great time. He went to sleep with all the balloons tied to his bed. In the morning, he had a blast with them and his purple sword. And for dinner, more birthday cake.

And so, not quite as drama-free as last year but, whatever, Max had a good time.

Next year, maybe I'll have the party at a car wash. Think of the possibilities.


  1. Happy Birthday to Max! Nothing in life is never what we expect ... forget about expectations and just stick to the rituals of clowns and purple balloons!

  2. Happiest of birthdays Max. Oh how I kno exactly what those SCREECHES are like. We also have to sing quietly at birthday parties.! Ah well, it is what it is and overall I'd have to say it looked like a huge success!! Yah for Purple Max

  3. I"m so glad to hear about this! I just love all the purple accompaniments and it's great to hear about Max's friend Caleb. Do they go to the same school?

    Sounds like a great time was had by all. Congratulations! (ps, LOVE the cake)

  4. Wow, he lasted till the magic show? That's not bad at all in some households!!!!

    Next year, put some noise dampening (purple) earphones on Max right before the magic show starts!!

    Looks like a fun time, even with the hiccup due to overstimulation. I can't believe it's been a YEAR already!

  5. Happy Birthday to Max! I completely understand what you went through. I find some days I just don't know what to expect. We took Lily to the pumpkin patch and thought she is going to LOVE this. She loves being outdoors, animals, nature ..... Started out great with a pony ride, then all went downhill from there. She was terrified when the tractor started and wouldn't get over it. The rest of the time she clung to me and had this look of "Are we done yet?" It is so hard sometimes to not be disappointed. She is teaching me to let go of all expectations and take things one moment at a time. I guess that is a valuable lesson. I am glad she is teaching me, but sometimes it is hard to not have expectations on celebrations. Lily doesn't care for big loud celebrations either - which is great because it is so much easier to plan:) I love that Max sticks to one theme, so each year you can expand upon it a little. The stress of coming up with a theme each year is tough. Hugs to your beautiful angels. By the way Sabrina is pretty damn lucky - she gets TWO celebrations. She hit the jackpot:)

  6. you ARE an awesome mom! Happy Birthday to Max - what a cutey he is!

  7. I've personally never been to a kid's party where someone didn't end up crying,hitting someone, breaking something, or throwing up....:) Your purple party looked like a blast to me. Happy Birthday Max!

  8. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAX! I love the pictures of your purple party. Those balloons were pretty cool! And the cake really rocked out! Enjoy being 8, my friend! =)

  9. Amazing cake! And the Caleb thing is too much. What cutie. Happy birthday.

  10. Thanks for all the birthday wishes for Purple Max! Louise, yes, and he has BFF are in the same class. Shannon, with my luck Max will completely switch colors on me next year and want an orange or green birthday party, and then I will have to figure out color schemes all over again, at which point I'll be calling HGTV. And Phyllis, for SURE: nothing in life is ever what we expect. I try to stifle my expectations, but they keep rearing their heads.

  11. happy birthday max! GREAT idea about car wash bday party, wonder why no ones ever thought of it before, should really help with the cleaning up!

  12. Another post we can all relate to, and as always your sense of humor shines through. On R's 5th birthday I had to put a sign on the door, "Please don't wish the birthday girl a 'Happy Birthday'. I'll explain later." No singing at cake-time either. It makes for a "unique" party!


Thanks for sharing!