Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I have a dilemna too.

I also have a situation that I'd like you all to weigh in on. It's not one of the more serious issues that we face, but an issue none the less.

MK's 4th birthday is a month away. She has never had a party with 'friends'. Ever since she went to her cousin's Princess party last month, she has been wanting one of her own. That's not the problem. Of course I'll throw her a princess party for her birthday! Here's where it gets all complicated for me though.....
I have a short guest list. Her two cousins, and a little girl from our old neighborhood. They are on the list because they know MK and she knows them, and they all love each other. I have thought about inviting some of the little girls from church, but I don't want them to come just because they're being nice to 'the little handicapped girl' - does that make sense? I don't mind having a small guest list. I just wonder if should invite neighborhood kids to help them get more used to her, and teach them that she's just like them, or if I should keep it to those who truly love her and treat her normally already. What do you all think?
The second issue for me is what to do at the party. If it's MK's party, I want to plan things that she can DO herself, not just watch the other kids do. But if I do that, will it be too boring for the other kids? I feel like I have to take our guests into consideration too.
Any opinions? Or suggestions on things to do at a Princess Tea Party?


Annette Monts Falls said...

Hi, I think birthdays are harder for moms more than they are for the kids.....we 'grieve' during birthdays, but that is perfectly understandable! The kids all just seem to want to have fun....do lots of balloons and princess treats.....bestow her a magic wand and she can give treats? Have great cake and yummy drinks. This is the best age to introduce differences! Kids are more open than adults....they have not yet been as influenced to predudice as we are when we grow in age and teachings; observations of those around us most. Age 4 was very difficult for ME....but we survived and have lots of photos and looking back I realize the progress and the wisdom that years have brought. It did not change Clay's outlook or personality...he was just himself. I realize I was the one who needed the changing of the outlook.....however long it took to work towards that. My personality changed in many ways, as will all you moms here. But that being said, CELEBRATE the NOW!

Nancy Brown said...

Invite one or two neighbor kids and talk to the parents first. We invited a ton and no one came. It was heartbreaking. In the end he had a blast. Do what you feel is right.

tiptoe mama said...

My heart breaks for you that no one came. I worry about that too. Especially as she gets older. Thanks for sharing all your great ideas and advice.

Lori said...

i wish i had great ideas for you! but i agree with annette: i think kids are more open than adults, especially at 4. i think you could mix things that are great for MK and great for the other kids.

my 4 year old niece came to my daughters party (she has autism and is developmentally delayed) and she couldn't do all the games the girls did. but she loved sitting in the middle of them while they were playing, throwing balloons at them and singing. my sil said she had a great time. i'm sure MK will have an awesome birthday whatever you do!

Happy in Holland said...

You guys are going to have a great birthday party, and MK will be ecstatic about it because she gets to be a princess for a day and share that fun with those she loves! I don't really have suggestions, but let us know how it goes!

tiptoe mama said...

At this point, I'm thinking I will invite neighborhood kids -- just so they can get used to her and learn that she isn't all that different than them. My sister suggested either talking to the parents, or writing on the inside of the invites that this is an opportunity for all these little girls to get to know each other, and that they(and their parents-who are too afraid or polite to ask) might have questions about Emma, then explain that on the inside she is just the same, that she loves princesses and parties and cake like all of them, just that on the outside, she can't make her body work the same way. Then maybe leave a phone number if they have further questions.

What would you all think about that? Is there a better way to say it all? Or is it just too awkward all together?
(I know I'm making a bigger deal out of this than I should. It just seems like an opportunity that could really impact her future, ya know?)

Anita Nap said...

I like what you wrote. I'm not sure if it's too wordy or not. I'm sure MK will have a wonderful time. We went to Chuck E Cheese for Marshall's birthday with family and then had a friend party at the house. It was a disaster because Marshall got angry at his brother and started hitting him and kicking other kids too. I had to put him in the bedroom with my sick husband instead of him enjoying his party. I won't do it again. He doesn't need a party and he doesn't even like the presents. IF I do one, it will be just one friend and no gifts. He's a tough one to buy for. He just doesn't really play with toys that much.

hayngrl101 said...

I am an overprotective mom, so when it comes time for birthdays, my daughter wants to have friends and do typical things. The problem is, though, that she does get left out and other kids are sometimes very mean.

Because its her birthday, tho, and I want to celebrate HER, I have invited just a few friends who have similar abilities and a few cousins who are typically developing (and their mom is well aware of my feelings about bullying, girl-exclusion-games, etc.). I've noticed that if there is 1 typically developing child, then they are a little more receptive to my daughter. If there is more than 1, then they tend to gravitate toward each other and my daughter gets left out and/or targeted.

So. With that in mind, the best activities I have planned for her thus far has been a few friends and a special activity- like build-a-bear, or an ice show.

For me, I rank positive social experiences high on my list and because its a Birthday, I feel like she (my daughter) MUST feel safe, accepted, and loved. I hate the thought of her having hurt feelings because someone called her dumb (which has happened).

Just a few thoughts.