So, today was R’s birthday party.
I always tend to be concerned about how the Monster’s going to handle having so many people, familiar and unfamiliar, in his familiar terrain. He’s not that bad when it comes to the sensory overload of the folks being here, but… there’s always the aspect of not quite being in an interacting mood.
In the end, we had about a dozen and a half folks here, mostly family, but that also included a number of children of ages between 1 and 5. We’d prepared the living room to ensure that the children could do plenty where they could be supervised – after all, this is a birthday party for a two year old that we’re talking about. We set up a train table, one of R’s favorite things at the moment, as well as an arts-and-crafts table for coloring, and put out some MegaBlocks for building.
Now, granted, the food for these things is usually something that we know the Monster is going to cope with. He’s been eating more vegetables lately, and since it’s cold, we ordered pizza rather than banishing me to the outdoors to use the grill.
But again, the issue of the Monster’s ability to socialize comes to the fore.
I’d say that by and large, he did alright – there were plenty of opportunities for him to play alongside other children without really having to worry about the sharing aspect of things. I did step in once or twice to try to get him to play with other children, rather than alongside them, but… well, I’ll admit that it wasn’t the biggest effort on my part for the day. He did play ‘nicely’ with his cousin and his brother once things were quieting down and the crowd had diminished, and the three got giggly and physical with each other.
I do like that we can trust him to behave better than a lot of kids when we’ve got company. The few times that we did have to talk to him were mostly about sharing or making sure that he didn’t take toys away from other kids. I only had to physically intervene once with something he’d taken hold of – I actually had to do so more with his brother than with him.
It’s a couple of things that we’ll bear in mind when planning his birthday party in a few months…