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.