kids birthday parties are always interesting w/ brooke. i first started noticing there was something.... unique about her when i'd take her to parties when she was a toddler. there was inevitably lots of crying & hiding & screaming from her & then the obligatory sweating, cringing & leaving early from me. she always looked forward to parties w/ such rabid excitement & yet they were almost always nightmarish from my end once we arrived at the party.
but we seem to have made great strides over the past couple years. we got through an entire party today with no crying whatsoever! it was practically a miracle! i remembered all the things we needed to discuss before we got there, like -
-the birthday kid is always the most popular kid at the party, so don't expect her undivided attention.
-look for other kids who might appear to be lonely or lost & speak to them.
-don't cry if your seat isn't next to the party girl.
-don't invade personal space during gift time.
-don't ask for more food before everyone else has gotten theirs, even if you're REALLY hungry.
-don't get mad if other kids touch your stuffed animal that you won't put down no matter where you go.
-if you have to go to the bathroom, don't just disappear down a hallway searching for it.
-don't pick your chronic wedgies too publicly.
for the past 2 days brooke has also been harnessing her noisily clicking wrist & finger joint capability and practicing using that skill to click the "happy birthday" song so that she could click it for her friend as an unexpected & unique gift. i warned her ahead of time that there would probably not be even a moment at the inflatable place where her song could be fully heard & savored, so better to save it for the next time she sees the friend. it'll be like a bonus, late present then. and that avoided the likely scenario of her furiously screaming at the room to BE QUIET while she clicked out her tune. whoa, that makes me feel a little bit sweaty just thinking about it.
she forgot the wedgie rule & i saw her w/ her hand crammed down her britches w/ one butt cheek cocked up in the air, digging for freedom a few times in the middle of the room, but i just looked away & pretended i didn't know her then. and she decided that today was the time to play a lot of possum. this, of course, consists of lying on her back on the floor w/ arms & feet in the air & eyes mostly closed (kept open a crack so she could see who was watching) right in the middle of any group of people so as to attract as much attention as possible. she even gave lessons to younger children on how to properly execute a possum position to optimal effect.
during the gift opening time, she ran up to the mom & party employee & told them that the gift bag we brought the gift in is recyclable & she wanted it back. they were kind enough to smile & nod.
all in all, i'd say it was a roaring success from my end & i think we'll probably even be invited back again. we've come a long way, baby.