We are 1 week away from celebrating Jaxson’s second birthday. I can’t believe that soon we will have a 2 year old, where has time gone!?
This past weekend we threw Jaxson a birthday party with much hesitation for a couple reasons. With Alex back to work full time, finishing up a few classes, and starting up a business venture on the side, the party was left to me. Let’s not kid ourselves, the party would be on me regardless of the circumstances!! Well I HATE entertaining and planning events. It’s so not my thing, I don’t enjoy it, and it’s just so much work for a couple hours. I will never ever even attempt to keep up with the ‘mom wars’ when it comes to the birthday parties!
I decided to ‘mom-up’ and have a party for this little guy (even if it was half assed!). Our other hesitations about throwing a party was because of Jaxson.
People with Down syndrome process situations and things very differently than you or I would. They process slower and it takes longer for them to take it in and react. Jaxson definitely struggles when it comes to busy environments and situations. A lot of the time if we have him somewhere overwhelming he completely shuts down. It’s almost like he becomes a zombie. Blank stare, mouth open, and no reactions. Usually once he processes everything, he warms up and begins to interact. Depending on the situation that could take over half and hour for him.
The last thing we wanted to do was throw him a party and have him be completely overwhelmed (especially with a lot of the attention being on the birthday boy) and not enjoy himself. He has been getting better over the last 6 months coping with busy environments so we decided to give it a go!
Saturday afternoon Jax woke up from his afternoon nap in a foul mood. He lost it over putting his clothes on, lost it about putting shoes on, lost it about going in his car seat, you get the picture. To top it off he’s been battling a weird sickness over the week and still hasn’t fully recovered. On our way to the venue we both said that the next couple hours was going to be a complete disaster.
Not only was it not a disaster, he completely blew us away with how well he did! For the first half of the party we had the use of a gym with all the balls, mats, hoola hoops, and scooter boards you could ask for. We had about 15 kids come and about 15 adults (this would normally be WAY too much for Jaxson). Well he LOVED every second of it! He was crawling around the gym, doing his own thing, he would stop and throw his hands in the air as if he knew the day was all about him and he was the star of the show. He ate it up!!
A few times we noticed him starting to get overwhelmed with the situation, what he did totally blew us away. Each time it got to be too much for him, he would crawl away and go sit by himself for a few minutes. He would watch, and take it all in. Once he was ready to rejoin the fun, he would crawl over to a group of his choosing and get right back into the action. We watched him do this on several occasions and couldn’t believe it. So proud of the coping skills he has learned over the last few months. Just shows his level of maturity at the age of 2!
After the gym we had snacks and cake. Jaxson also handled this part remarkably well and enjoyed socializing with all the adults. We thought for sure he would melt down when we were singing ‘happy birthday’ (He get’s super embarrassed when ALL the attention is on him and will melt down). He also did VERY well with this part. He smashed his hand into the cake when we were singing, but of coarse didn’t have a single bite of cake after that.
I do need to add that he had a hilarious (yes I’m a bad mom) melt down when we put the party hat on him. Made for awesome pictures! hahaha.
All in all we had a great day and went home beaming from ear to ear with pride for our boy. He did amazing and handled himself so well. Couldn’t be more proud of our almost 2 year old!