Friday, July 30, 2010

Party planning quandary

The Love Magnet wants a birthday party. She has the party planned down to every single detail she has learned verbatim from Signing Time's Happy Birthday video. When she describes her party, she even uses the signs she learned from watching Rachel, Leah, and Alex.

Too bad they aren't available to be guests.

I promised my daughter that tomorrow we would sit down and plan the party, print the invitations, and deliver them the next day. But there is a frustrating problem. When I ask her who she would like to invite to her party, she lists all the adults in her life. No kids.

I haven't sought out the Down syndrome community since we moved here so she has no friends from there. I've been too busy with school. She has not been asked to playdates. I haven't set up playdates here because she hasn't really asked for them. Now I'm regretting my inaction when it comes to the social skills of the Love Magnet. Mom-guilt strikes hard late at night when my kids are asleep and I have time to think.

Do I invite her Primary class? I did that last year and the girls had fun at the tea party. Should I try to track down kids from her school class? I don't know most of them, let alone their addresses. This year, The Love Magnet wants a swim party. Will the guests interact with her or just with each other?

The gap between my daughter and her peers seems to grow wider as they get older. If I don't do something soon, the chasm might be too wide to cross. (Okay, I admit that sounds rather drama-queen of me, but it is an honest worry. ) If cousins lived close, I would have a houseful and then some, but that still defeats the purpose.

I'll probably be up all night with this. My daughter is counting on me to come through.


Julie Freeman said...

You know my Abi would always love to play. We should get them together. It seems when you are not in the same ward it's like you are on another planet. Abi has a tender heart, she is my golden child. Not that I want to invite her to your party but wanted to just say she would love to see Lauren again :)

Kristin said...

I'd say invite her primary class over. The kids in our neighborhood, all ages and abilities, love it when the kiddie pool is out, and there are lots of popcicles :)

Leah said...

Oh man! I have felt that mom guilt on many occasions! Ok. so she has named adults. Do those adults have children who know TLM? Invite them all! For us, summer birthdays have been tough, because with Special ed. students they don't all live in our neighborhood so I don't have a way to contact them like I did with my boys when they were Angela's age. My kid doesn't already have the phone number like my boys did! And schools up here don't do a school directory anymore either. (data privacy, you know.) A couple years ago I did a classroom directory. I started it, and just sent it around, didn't make any parents feel obligated to put their contact information on it, but it was nice to have. What about church or whatever? Anyone there? I wish I could help. I know your dilemma well. This was one of our few good years.

Leah said...

Oh, I forgot, you can always invite half and half kids. Like if she is in a split program (half mainstream, half special ed) you can invite some kids from each. It makes for a nice mix. Whenever I've done that, I've invited all the girls from the special ed class (don't want to leave anyone out from that group, as its a small group) and 4-5 of the mainstream class)

heather said...

I hate birthday parties just for this reason. I was talking to Amy about this recently in regards to Jackson and Morgan. I tried this last year to invite her cousins that are all within months of her age. I explained to them to please try to remember this was for Morgan's special day and to include her. It didn't work. I heard them saying how they didn't want to ride in the same car as Morgan (at Jungle Jim's) and wanted to go with a different cousin. No one interacted with Morgan. This year I am going to only invite her friends from school who really love and care about her. She has two girlfriends from school who take extra care of Morgan and would go out of there way to help make it a special celebration for Morgan. Good luck with whatever you decide. Happy Birthday to TLM!