I've been planning a birthday party for Max at an art studio, complete with purple craft projects, a table of purple shaving cream, and other purple wonders. Plus, of course, a Cars 2 ice-cream cake. As we've emailed about the event, the coordinator's come to understand just how deep Max's purple passion runs. "Now I'm wondering if it will be a problem for Max if his friends take home their purple projects," she emailed me yesterday.
Um, yeah. It would be a problem. Max would have a giant purple meltdown. He thinks purple is his color, and his alone. If we're talking with someone and I mention that Max likes purple and the other person says "I love purple, too!" Max will say "Noooooo!" And then, as his Official Spokesperson, I will explain that Max likes to be the only person in the room who loves purple, and perhaps they have another color they like?
The exchange with the art studio staffer did make me wonder about whether I give in too much to Max's obsessions. Like the way we'd only go to restaurants that served spaghetti when he was in his spaghetti phase, and how we went through car washes two or three times in a row when he was in his car wash phase. Or how he only wants to sit in corner tables at places, and so we do. Or how when we're driving on a highway, he'll insist on being in the right lane and we'll switch to it. Or how we'll let him watch the same Cars scene on YouTube 10, maybe 20 times in a row.
Of course, sometimes we center life around Max out of necessity. We know we can't go to certain events where there will be crowds and noise, which unnerve Max. We're planning a winter vacation right now and this one restaurant sounds awesome but they ring cowbells between courses and it's a super-busy place, so we can't check it out. And that's perfectly OK—there are other restaurants to visit, other activities to do.
For his art bash this Saturday, though, it's his party and he won't cry if has all the purple he wants to, as the song goes. So I emailed the staffer, "I think only Max should make a purple project, and the other kids can use other colors." And that's the way it will be.
Still, I'm thinking I might need to take a stronger stance on non-birthday events. I do not want Max to grow up thinking the world, purple or not, revolves around him.