Sunday, July 26, 2009

Victory Lap

So Charlie had a birthday party to attend this weekend. I realize that for most people this is pretty much the definition of uneventful. You show up to someone's house, eat a little cake, watch your kids from a distance yelling things like "stop hitting people," and then head on your way.

This ritual is a tad different for us. Charlie patently refuses to acknowledge the presence of other people by shutting his eyes and pretending that he isn't there. People ask us repeated if he's tired. In effort to not be complete party killers, we simply say "yes," cringe inwardly, and wish desperately that we were somewhere else--like the dentist's office. Or Iraq.

So I was approaching this birthday party with the same glee that many people reserve for activities like funerals and colonoscopies.

But it wasn't that bad.

The theme of the party was water and there were several kiddie pools and one of those giant water slides for the big kids. Another theme of the party was the adults staring wistfully at the giant water slide and wishing they had an excuse to get on it themselves.

Charlie likes water, though, so I thought this was a good omen. We started him off in this contraption that's basically like a large plastic sprinkler that babies can sit in and get sprayed from every angle. Huge Hit. Being the king of oral interaction, Charlie felt duty bound to try to get a taste of every little stream of water in his immediate area.

We also let him spend some time in the kiddie pool, which was fine except that Charlie is convinced that he can swim and nothing short of drowning is going to convince him otherwise.

After a while he started to whine and we decided that he must be hot. We went inside, hooked up his little seat that we take everywhere and he ate watermelon, looked out the window, and smiled gleefully. One person did, however, ask me how old Charlie is. When you child is tiny, and can't walk or talk, the temptation is to lie about their age just to spare everyone the uncomfortableness of talking about disability, but I had told myself that I wasn't going to do this. So, when the question came I simply responded: he's two, but he has some developmental delays, so he's not quite up with his peers. Guess what? The woman I was talking to just so happens to have an older son who has a rare chromosomal deletion. What are the chances of that? Then, just so we weren't completely spared the uncomfortable thing, she told me about her two divorces. For the record, I never know what to say about people's divorces so I smile uncomfortably. What' s the proper response? I'm sorry? Congratulation? He was probably a bastard anyway? ACK!!!

So, we made it through the whole party and I didn't cry when it was over. I did, however, refrain from running down the street with my arms in the air.