So, the mini had his first official birthday party invite from one of his classmates. I give the mom props, because with my party anxiety, I so don’t have it in me to do that yet. It was at a local gymnastics center, which was cool, because I’ve been looking for good sensory activities for the Mini to do, given his sensory seeking needs. What better sensory experience than tumbling on mats?
We get to the place, and I noticed two of his classmates parents were leaving. I was kind of taken back by this. Like, “really? We’re doing this already? Ok.” There was no way in hell that I was going to leave the Mini behind by himself. I mean, they’re THREE. Are you really that much of a choad that you feel the need to make a birthday party a free babysitting service? Can you not afford a sitter for two measly hours?
At three, there’s no way the Mini is remotely ready to be left like that in a new environment. I don’t know the instructors, and he gets sidetracked easily, and his underdeveloped social skills make him a bit of a target at times. He’s a good kid and he tries, but he’s scared of new kids, and the lack of pragmatics make it tough for him to tell a kid who’s pushing him around to fuck off. He’ll get there, but that’s just PDD. It takes a little longer. So in order to show him how to join in and keep his attention, I walked around with him, and made sure that he was OK, and showed him how much fun joining in was. And once he figured it out, he was fine, and I took a seat on the bench. One of the other parents, who I didn’t know, said “Oh, you’re a mom? I thought you worked here.” And I have a feeling, I’m going to have to explain myself for years to come. Not make excuses because I’m more than happy to help my son if he needs help in a new environment, and also, I get less one on one time with him, because of his demanding sister. It was nice to have it just be the two of us.
Perhaps, I’m stunting his social growth by walking around with him. Perhaps I should stand back and let him work it out, but the protective parent in me can’t let go of that. If he was a typical kid, maybe this would be the time to cut the apron strings.
But he’s not a typical kid, and I’m reminded of that when I see a classmate who’s bratty, and trying to rip him from a chair because she wants to sit in it, and he has no idea how to defend himself.
I guess this is part of the learning curve of a spectrum kid.