Monday, September 22, 2008

Birthday Quandry

It hit me today that Joe Cool up above there has a birthday coming this Saturday, and I have nothing planned for it really, and no gifts bought or even waiting to be bought! Now, before you go and call social services on me, I need to explain!

It's his big 10Th birthday, it should be spectacular, or at least a little more special this year since he's getting into the double digits now. But, at this point in time, the child's only interests are Pee Wee's Playhouse, Arthur and Wiggle videos and the computer. Oh, and Toy Story. Well, these were the same interests he had in past years, so he has all the sundry toys that go with those themes, and lots of them. And he doesn't play with a one. Oh, and there's the little issue that has come up lately about how "toys are for babies" and "I don't have to play with toys, I just play on the computer" or so he says. He doesn't really like any hand held games, we get videos from the library, and the ones he loves we have. So, when friends and family ask me what he wants, I'm at a loss. I know what I want...for him to branch out!

When I broached the whole gift thing with him, he thought a lot about it. He mentioned a few characters from Toy Story that he wanted. I took to the Internet to find them, and didn't. Then he decided he wanted a Pee Wee doll. Ok, well, they haven't made those in 20 years, or so I found out, so they are now considered a COLLECTOR'S ITEM, and if they aren't in good condition, then they really aren't and really aren't worth spending way too much on from Ebay. So, there goes that idea. Oh, and he mentioned he wanted car insurance.....

Anyway, on top of that, the kid has no close friends. You know, in Autism, social skills aren't a strength and uh....have you said "Who is she tellin'?" yet?....Anyhoot, a big friend party is pretty much not practical or realistic. I mean, I could invite kids of my friends. He knows them, but they don't play together on a regular basis, he doesn't ask about them, or go to school with them. We don't do play dates anymore. So it would be sort of a big farce really. I did do this I have to confess years ago, when I was still struggling with the idea that his life would be different in many ways to "typical" kids. I was in denial, and honestly, he never had that much fun. In fact, when I watched his 6Th birthday video that we took at his McDonald's party, where there were about 10 kids, and lots of parents, and saw him holding his hands over his ears because of the noise level, I knew that was it, no more forced parties. Geez, I think I even recruited a neighborhood kid for that one, what an idiot I was.

Now having said that, I have to report that for the last several years we traditionally get together with our dearest friends and their children at Chuck E. Cheese for any of their birthdays (and this was separate from the dumb forced parties, and the reason why is a whole other story entirely). It's never forced or fake, and he's known their family since he was born, and their kids were born, and it's just sorta, natural. So, we will definitely be doing that this year, as is tradition, and that takes off some of the pressure.

Anyway, we'll probably do the typical family stuff too, and a trip to Indy(where my side presides) is in the works for more fun and frivolity! I think all this will be fine with Case, and I think any issues are my own. As for the gifts, I'm still working on that. He mentioned a laptop of his own, so if we get enough moola instead of gifts we can put it towards that I suppose. What 10 year shouldn't have their own laptop? The Pee Wee Doll and car insurance can wait till he has a job....