Sunday, April 19, 2009

Soccer Opening Day and The Birthday Playdate

Asperger's, autism, friends, nature, nice kids, social events, birthday

image from Wikimedia Commons by Nancy Heise

I've been MIA for several days mostly due to errands that forced me out of the house, nice weather and birthday stuff. I will now have a reprieve for about a week before the next round of birthday planning for MM's High School Musical un-party. (When you don't invite all the neighborhood kids, you really can't call it a party or else there will be trouble.) Three mini-celebrations done, Gus is now officially 8 and I'm wiped out! But here's an update:

Gus had his first school friend over to celebrate his birthday, which I had mentioned in my April 12th post. It turned out that only one boy came with his dad, but it was a very nice time, and probably worked out better than if both boys had come over.

In the morning, Gus started the spring soccer season, which I unfortunately missed in order to clean up (including the patio which was then discovered to be unusable because of bees - just my luck). I baked a cake, Gus got home with just enough time to change when our guests arrived right on time. This friend is not into video games (except train simulators) so the kids played a board game instead. At that point, Gus was engaged and interacting. They were all having a great time. Then I went to pick up pizza and we all sat down to eat. That was about the time that Gus went into his zone.

I think he must have just been tired, but he started trying to watch television (which we didn't allow) and became pretty laconic. Thankfully, MM stayed home instead of going to do the girl scout cookie booth with her troop. She gave E. the tour of the house and we learned that he likes fans. He was particularly entertained by the ceiling fan with the remote control. But since it was such a nice day, E. really wanted to be outdoors. We all went for a hike.

We offered to show E. and his dad the lake and DH proceeded to lead us up a wooded path that he and Gus like to take to get to our lake. I would have opted for the road, but DH didn't realize that although E. is more adept at expression and social skills, Gus is a little more agile and capable with gross motor activities like climbing and bike riding. Although he has low muscle tone (mushy muscles), poor coordination and fine motor skills, he's still something like a little billy goat when it comes to getting up and down those steep, slippery hills. Fortunately, E. and his dad enjoyed the challenge (Dad is an outdoorsy type and clearly liked the opportunity to push his son a little) and the lake was calm and absolutely gorgeous. E.'s dad tried to teach everyone to skip stones, then we trekked back through a different wooded path (I insisted on the flat path) back home for cake.

E., bless his heart, doesn't like sweets, but he was happy about a steady supply of pretzels that we had on hand. He did ask to try a piece of cake to be polite. Such a sweetheart! After a couple of hours, they left, but I think they enjoyed the laid back time they spent with us. We invited them back to go swimming over the summer, and they mentioned possibly having Gus go visit at their house. I'd call the day a success even with Gus kind of petering out. Next time, we'll have to arrange his activities when he doesn't have soccer practice.

We took a little rest and then dragged Gus back out to the yard (away from the patio and its new inhabitants) where MM made him run several relay races. But soon after he was truly done and he went back in. Everyone slept quite well last night! And as soon as DH gets back from food shopping, we're going back out, this time to hike one of the rail trails.

Have a great day!

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