Mister Man arrived home on Tuesday in his usual flurry of activity. His backpack was quickly slung to the floor, his shoes kicked off and disappearing in different directions, and his backpack opened for unpacking. Then the wailing started.
Moooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom! I forgot my note. I lost my note!
What note, Sweetie? I asked, confusion on my face, hoping it wasn’t something from the teacher.
My note, Mom! I left it in Mrs. C’s car, he sniffled.
Oh, that’s ok. We can call her, right? As soon as you can stop crying, I can call her and talk to her about getting it back, I intoned calmly.
The sniffling quickly slowed, then ceased. Mister Man took a deep breath, and I picked up my phone. Hey, Nancy, I said. Mister Man left a note in your car today. He’s freaking out – any chance we can get it back from you at some point? What kind of a note was it, Mister Man? I asked to the side.
It was Post-It Notes, all stuck together, he explained eagerly.
My eyebrows raised, I repeated the new information. And he’s saying that there are a bunch of names on it, too. Any luck? I heard rummaging in her car before the triumphant note in her voice told me she’d found it even before she announced the success.
As I got off the phone, I turned to Mister Man to try to figure out what this note could possibly be. Well, Mom, it’s a list of everyone who wants to come and everyone who can come. Oh, and everyone who can’t come but wants to come and everyone who doesn’t want to come but can come, he blurted excitedly.
Come? Come to what? I took a deep breath, fearing to hear his answer.
My party, Mommy! My dinosaur party on Saturday, he explained, somewhat impatiently.
Your what? What dinosaur party? I could hear the panic in my voice already.
The party to make dinosaur eggs. I asked everyone in my class, and they can come on Saturday at 11am. My note shows everyone who can come, his explanation began to grow impatient.
Mister Man. You have tae kwon do on Saturday until 10:45 and won’t be home until after 11. Little Miss has a soccer game from 10:30-11:30. How exactly are you supposed to have a party? And do you think maybe this is something you should talk to me about, I explained as calmly as I possibly could, mentally writing the email to the parents in his class explaining that there was no party on Saturday when we would not be home.
A little backstory.
On Monday, Mister Man was reading his Boy Scout magazine and came to an article on how to make dinosaur eggs. The boy wants to be a paleontologist, and his favorite birthday gifts have been the toy dinosaurs he “excavates” from a sand/clay “egg” with tiny little tools. When he’d asked if we had sand (yep, sandbox) and flour and salt and coffee grounds (well, sorta), I had agreed that he could at some point make a dinosaur egg, provided that Daddy agreed to save his coffee grounds.
Annnnnnnd enter autism.
I love that he had the social instincts to want to invite his friends. I love that he wanted to share this great thing with them – and that he knew to ask if they were interested in it or not. But the whole planning a party that he didn’t talk to me about first because he didn’t think through the whole thing, that I don’t love so much.
After long explanations, I thought he understood that he could have a party at some point but that we’d need to plan it together.
Fast forward to Wednesday morning. Mister Man, Little Miss, come on upstairs. It’s time to get dressed for school, I called down – just like I do every morning.
But Mooooooom, I’m busy. I’ve only gotten through two and a half of these so far! Mister Man whined back up at me.
Call me suspicious, but I booked it down there to see what he was so hard at work on that he couldn’t come upstairs to get ready for school. My suspicions were confirmed.
Note that he picked up on the fact that the party can’t be at 11am. It’s now at 11:03. And I believe he snuck a peek at the calendar to see what day might have fewer things going on, though he neglected to discuss this with me.
I will give him kudos that he (successfully) figured out how to divide his class evenly into four groups – since he thought he was going to use his four small dinosaurs that he’d excavated previously. The fact that he hadn’t thought through the fact that his friends were probably each going to want one of their own or that the eggs wouldn’t be dry by the time the children left never entered his mind.
I sighed again. And I checked the calendar. June 4 does work for us. And he’s gotten his class so excited about it (to the point that his teachers have requested that I chat with him about how he can’t talk about it during school anymore). And though he also told Little Miss that she could invite her whole class to the party (ummm 40 kids in my house making dino eggs, I’m not that much a saint), he now understands that she can invite one or two really good friends, but that’s it.
And that email to the parents explaining the fiasco? Yeah, I’m about to hit send on that one. Then again, if he’s going to plan a party without asking me, I suppose I’d rather have him do it in first grade than in high school!