At some point in the not too distant past, I realized that I had to plan a birthday party for Jack. So I picked a day and time and sent out an Evite. At some point shortly after that, I realized that “planning a party” involved more than just inviting some people over. So I asked Jack what he wanted his theme to be.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, especially if it will make my quirky guy happy on (or near) his birthday, I set about to do some thinking. I think I pulled it off, if I do say so myself.
Here are some things about the party.
1. The Piñata
You want to hear something weird? No one makes a piñata in the form of a magnet. Huh.
But they do make piñatas in the form of rainbows. And they also make red and silver tissue paper, glue, and scissors.
Alex had suggested that I spray paint the piñata, but something inside me spoke up to say that that spray paint might dissolve tissue paper.
“You could test it on the back first,” Alex suggested.
The only problem with that idea, however, is that piñatas don’t have backs.
So I googled “does spray paint dissolve tissue paper?” I didn’t find an answer to that, but I did discover that spray paint dissolves styrofoam, which led me to believe that it might also have an adverse effect on tissue paper. So, back to the labor-intensive option.
I got all the way to the following point before I was completely covered in glue and kinda wanted to kill myself:
A long time and a floor littered with tiny red bits of tissue paper later, I was done.
And beat the shit out of it, they did.
2. The Magnets
We already had a bunch of magnetic toys that I set out for the kids to play with, plus we got Jack some additional magnets for his birthday that we put out for some fun free play time. I also got some magnetic sheets for the kids to draw on and take home. I used a magnetic board that we’ve had forever to set the stage for the party.
Well, maybe you should have bought me a brown Sharpie then, people.
Jack objected to pretty much everything on the magnet board. Not being a Gen-X’er, he didn’t fully appreciate the “palooza” that I thought was so clever.
Jack’s little autistic buddy T was chagrined by “King Jack Day” though, and made his own little “Happy Birthday Jackson” area. Thank you, T. Can I interest you in some Magnetpalooza too?
3. The Cake
Just as with the piñata, I suppose it should not have come as a surprise that the local grocery store didn’t have a magnet cake design in their book. More surprisingly, the lady I spoke to didn’t seem to know what a magnet is. I ended up just telling her to leave half the cake blank.
I had plans. Oh, yes. I had plans.
I am no master baker, but I do know how to make a horseshoe magnet shape out of a round layer cake.
The only problem was that I wanted the magnet to be red. I naively assumed that the food coloring tube labeled “red” would turn white frosting red. Not so.
When I picked up my cake, the lady at the store was all, “Black? Really?”
Making this kid happy made all the extra baking worth it.
And the bonus was that the girls in attendance were thrilled that there was pink cake for them.
4. The Jehovah’s Witness
This is the heartbreaking part of the day. So you know that E, Jack’s best (girl) friend, is a Scientologist, which I find amusing seeing as how Scientologists don’t really “accept” autism. This particular family of Scientologists are beyond awesome though. We all love them.
Also amusing, however, is the fact that V, Jack’s second best (girl) friend, is a Jehovah’s Witness. She lives two doors down from E and her backyard abuts our back yard. I would have invited her to the party, but I know that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate birthdays.
At various points throughout the party, V would appear in her backyard and would even half-scale the fence to watch all of her classmates and best friends cavorting in my yard. It broke my heart. I kind of wanted to lift her over the fence, but that didn’t seem like a good idea.
5. The Pin the Something on Something Else Game
It’s not a Team Stimey party unless we’re playing a pin the [blank] on the [blank] game. I am always amused by how delighted kids are with this most simple of games. But they always are.
Today we stuck magnets to the poles of a larger magnet. Really, all the game consisted of was sticking a small magnet on the board while I held a napkin over the kids’ faces. Kids are easy. (Although at some point, Jack showed up with a piece of paper that he taped to the picture and said, “This is the target.”)
Alex was all, “Ha! How does the truth make you feel, Jean?”
At least Sam was supportive.
Considering that this is basically the exact same party I have thrown about 15 times, with slight variation, everyone was thrilled.
Especially this guy: