Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘party

Wordless Wednesday 27 Mar 13

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Happy Birthday Cubby!

Happy Birthday Cubby!

 

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 27, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Happy Birthday, Pudding!

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Pudding’s birthday was on Tuesday, so we had her party on Sunday at an outdoor venue, so Sunday was the coldest and rainiest summer day I’ve known in Johannesburg.  Her friends still came, and they frolicked in the mud, but we were missing the bouncy castle and water slide action we’d been hoping for.

Of course, her actual birthday was typically gorgeous and sunny, and we celebrated that indoors in two different classrooms.

The first stop was Pudding’s kindergarten.  I’d found a book for Pudding’s birthday that had a female character with the same name.  Given that all female characters become Pudding, I knew she’d love it. The story was sweet and tied in with some themes they’d already done at school.  I was looking forward to reading it.

But before that, they performed the sweetest ceremony.  They sat in a circle with Pudding in the middle in her birthday hat.  The each child took it in turns to pay her a compliment.  I just about melted, as I listened to boys and girls only 5 or 6 themselves tell Pudding she had beautiful eyes, or they liked the way she made them laugh, or wears HelloKitty clothes all the time.  I think all of us could use a compliments circle from time to time.

After story time we ate Hello Kitty cupcakes.  Then I watched Pudding watch the other kids dance, get coaxed into a dance by her teacher, then decide to dance along with the other kids.  If that doesn’t sum up inclusion in the classroom, I don’t know what does!

Next I collected Cubby from school, and the three of us went to Pudding’s therapy centre to celebrate there, with yet more Hello Kitty cupcakes and lollipops for the GFCF crowd.  I loved handing out sweet stuff for free for little ones who normally have to work for it in therapy.

We were never going to let the weather ruin her birthday, but I hope it treats us better next year.  After all, it will be the last one for her in South Africa.  I find that even harder to believe than the fact my baby is already six years old!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 7, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Bye, bye, balloon

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IMG_2806We’d gone to the mall to get balloons for Pudding’s party.  Spectrummy Daddy had another chore to do, so we divided the kids with the aim of meeting back at the balloon shop.  That was Spectrummy Daddy’s first mistake, because with no voice of reason, I happily purchased 28 helium balloons.  You read that right- 28 helium balloons.  And just one car, with four passengers.  I never was good at maths.

But before he got back with the sensible question of how we were going to get them home (I voted for Up style to float our car home), Pudding had

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spied a big Hello Kitty balloon, which just so happened to be wearing the same outfit as the Hello Kitty on her outfit.  With nobody to tell me otherwise, I knew it was meant to be.  I tied it to her Hello Kitty bag so it wouldn’t get lost on the way back to the car.

Spectrummy Daddy and Cubby returned after it was too late to do anything about the number of balloons.  There were so many that I got bored waiting for them to be filled, so I offered to take the kids back to the car while he waited for them.

Which also meant that he was the one who got to look like a clown as he walked through the mall.

We got to the car, I unlocked it and opened the trunk (boot).  Pudding deliberated putting her Hello Kitty in the front, and then I suppose decided that keeping it in the trunk/boot was a safer option, so she carefully laid it down in the trunk.

As I went to help, the car key in my hand stabbed Hello Kitty in the back of the head.  There was a loud pop, then we watched Hello Kitty fold into herself.  Laid out like that, it looked like a corpse in the car, taken out hitman style.  I imagine.

But Pudding didn’t go into hysterics- just calmly told me that we had to fix it.  She’ll make an awesome gangland boss one day.

If Spectrummy Daddy disliked carrying the balloons through the mall, he even less enjoyed trying to stuff 28 helium balloons into our sedan.  We all squashed in, and there was barely room to breathe, which was just as well because you know our voices would have come out like Mickey Mouse.  At least if we’d had an accident, there’d have been extra air bags.

Cubby, ever the master of understatement, pointed out that we had a balloon car now.

Later that day, I’d done my best to salvage the balloon with tape.  Cubby was sleeping, so I offered to stay at home while Spectrummy Daddy went to try a refill of helium.  Of course, it didn’t work.  I’d done far too good a job on my hit.

Spectrummy Daddy knew he couldn’t return home without it, so he tried to buy another.  But that was the last one of that kind.  They only had, of course, an EVEN BIGGER ONE.  So big, it has to have special weights put into the feet!

There was nothing he could do but buy it.  This massive Hello Kitty, bigger even than Pudding, who was the World’s Tallest 5 Year-Old, and hasn’t shrunk since turning six.

He had to walk all the way through the mall looking like Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, and feeling dodgy thanks to the trail of little girls who were suddenly trailing him.  It was, I’m told, worse than 28 balloons.

But he got home, and it was worth it.  This balloon is so big it ‘walks’ of its own accord.  We have to keep it in the safe haven so it can’t set off our alarm.

But big is beautiful- just ask the newest Tallest Six Year-Old On The Planet!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 6, 2012 at 4:13 pm

The Best Presents

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We pulled into the driveway, and the kids immediately noticed that their car was parked outside, instead of in the garage.  For your Average Joe, this would pass without comment, but our kids are neither average, nor Joes (or Jos for that matter).

Our neighbours (and friends) have been away on R&R travel for the last few weeks.  In a clear case of out of sight, out of mind, this has passed without comment by either child.  I was a little surprised that Pudding, in particular, never questioned their whereabouts.  One of her favourite things is “feeding the bunnies”, which is actually a nefarious scheme by Pudding to explore their home and garden, with the most cursory of visits to the actual rabbits.  The lady of the house, Ms. M, very generously accommodates these inspections by Pudding, but we hadn’t seen her since the family returned from their trip.

Cubby: That’s Ms. M’s car, Mummy, she’s back!

Pudding: I want to go see her.  Want to go see Ms. M.

Me: Well, we can see her on Friday- she is having a party and we’re invited.

Pudding: She needs a cake, Mummy, Hello Kitty cake.

Cubby: And candles too!

Pudding: She needs a present, Mummy!

Me: It isn’t a birthday party, just a party.

Pudding: She needs a present, Mummy!  The best presents of all come from the heart.*

*Yep, this is echolalia- a line from a Little People DVD.  Fisher-Price includes one of these with their Little People toys- a horror of claymation and nonsensical storylines masquerading as entertainment, offering a smug moralistic message at the end of every irritating featurette.  The kids, of course, adore it.

Not for the first time, I’m amazed at how she makes the most of things.  She has this incredibly challenging way of learning language, but she manages to memorize a snippet, filter it, store it, and then reproduce it in an effort to communicate on our terms.  Playing it back from the heart.

The best presents of all come from the heart.  Damn…we’ve watched so much Little People that my post has turned into an episode, complete with smug moralistic message at the end.  Now all I need is to start singing the theme tune in an Aaron Neville voice.  Come to think of it, that would make the perfect present for Ms. M at her party…

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

January 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Birthday Boy

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Today is Cubby’s 2nd Birthday.

We can have small conversations, he and I.  Something I never take for granted.  Something I was never sure would happen, even before we saw signs of autism in Pudding.  A couple of weeks ago, it was a balmy 70F and we were at the park, having such a conversation.  I told him that we were having a birthday party soon for him, like we’d had for Daddy.  He remembered birthday cake.  He told me he wanted a train cake.  I told him I’d do it.  He told me he wanted the bouncy castle.   Why not?  Balloons.  No problem.  He told me he wanted pretzels, taquitos, guacamole, fruit and candy.  I agreed.  Your day, your way, little dude.

Then he kept talking about his party, day in, day out.  He’d have two candles on his cake.  His friends S, A & K would be there.  He never wavered in his selections.  He had the vision for his party, I just had to deliver it.  He was just so excited.  The kid who spend too much time in waiting rooms.  Whose needs are sometimes crowded out by his sister’s demands.  The one who has to go with the flow, because the flow almost always has to go whichever direction Pudding determines.  I was going to make it happen.

Of course, he got a cold last week, and of course, he passed it on to me.  But I was still determined to make the party happen just the way he wanted.  Thankfully his grandparents came to help out.  Then, and this is where I began to shake my fist at the sky, it snowed!  Not much, but enough to thwart outdoor activities.  But I had promised my boy that bouncy castle, so we brought it inside.  I’d promised my boy all those foods, and I found or made egg, milk, and wheat free versions of them all.  He had the best birthday of his short life.  All his friends came, and were thrilled to bounce, and feast on Cubby’s favourite things.  He got the most amazing presents from our very generous friends.  Our house is now stuffed with cars, trucks, trains and superhero toys.  He didn’t want the party to end.  He fought going to sleep for as long as he possibly could, trying not to let the day end.

Through all of this, his sister did wonderfully.  There was a slight confusion about who gets to open presents, but she managed to back off before it got ugly.  With being ill, I hadn’t had chance to make her a social story, which makes the fact that she held it together so well even more impressive.  For once all the attention was on him, and she did nothing to interfere with that.  I’m calling that her gift to him.  It was the day of his dreams, he deserves no less.

The very strange thing, is that this was all supposed to be very different.  When I was pregnant with Cubby, his ultrasounds revealed abnormalities.  We prepared ourselves that he would be our special needs child, little knowing that we already had one in Pudding.  Two years ago in Luxembourg, our little guy came into our world.  We expected the worst, and hoped for the best, something that I don’t seem to have stopped doing ever since.  Yesterday was another one of those days tipped towards hope.  Thinking about the rush of love I felt when I finally held my little fighter, I can’t help but expect there will be many more just like it.

Happy Birthday, my sweet boy, you exceed my expectations every day.

Needless to say, the train cake isn't sugar-free!

Cubby, Pudding and friends on the indoor bouncy castle.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 28, 2011 at 7:27 am

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The Party

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A rubber duck.

Image via Wikipedia

On Saturday we held a party.  Now, you’d think as a Diplowife, I’d be a practiced and efficient hostess, but not so much.  As we were out of town for Pudding’s actual birthday, this celebration came two weeks late.  This would be fine, were it not for the fact that it was now a week before Christmas.  As a December baby, for Pudding the whole thing just clumps together, and as this party approached it became clear that holding a party this close to Christmas was just a bit confusing.

As usual, when our guests first arrived, Pudding became upset and very clingy.  We always have a 20 minute period where she needs to adjust.  As time went on, she settled down.  She happily made a craft with the other children, and enjoyed all the food, we had separate tables for allergic and non-allergic foods, which worked surprisingly well.  Pudding opened her gifts with glee, and had become so comfortable by this point that she happily went around giving hugs and thanking our generous guests.  Before long she was frolicking on  the floor.  I was touched by a couple of our friends saying how well she was doing.  It is always nice when her efforts are recognized. It is particularly welcome when people who don’t walk in our shoes try them on for a while.  Our friends had taken such great care to choose gifts that Pudding would love and be able to use.  I truly appreciate the thought and effort that went into their choices.

I served cake, but opted not to sing Happy Birthday.  The reason I gave was the whole too-close-to-Christmas-confusion thing, but a more honest reason is that I couldn’t find the candles and had no time to get more.  See, told you I was a poor hostess.  Nonetheless, we did have a sing-song.  As was clear to all by the grip she had on her new Ernie doll, not to mention the endless repetitive questions about said toy, Pudding has a new special interest.  I only wish I’d been able to capture on video the entire room spontaneously bursting into the Rubber Ducky song.  Everyone celebrating her passion was such a special moment for my girl.  Our girl.

I’ve talked before about how being a spectrummy parent can make me feel a disconnect with others, like a stranger amongst friends.  It is equally true though, that I’m gratified beyond words by the way our friends will show us that we aren’t walking this journey alone.  By Pudding’s next birthday, we’ll likely be living on another continent, but there will always be room for the people I’m honored to call friends.  And if they come to visit, you can guarantee I’ll throw a party.  Hopefully my hostessing skills will have improved by then!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 21, 2010 at 7:06 am

Wordless Wednesday 15 Dec 10

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Birthdays make me feel the same way.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 15, 2010 at 7:01 am

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