Monday, January 28, 2008

Mad Science!

No, this isn't about the Geier's, or any other practitioners of scientific hocus pocus.

Mad Science! was the theme for Buddy Boy's birthday party with his classmates (was I only dreaming, or did we really have birthday parties when I was a kid that weren't "themed"-our parents would host them at the house, we'd play some silly games like pin the tail on the donkey or pitching clothespins into milk bottles, have some cake and call it a day).

As readers of this blog will recall, I was just a bit anxious last week that we would have enough kids coming to even have a party. My unspoken fear was that Buddy Boy was being ostracized already as the "odd kid", and that no one wanted to attend his party because of that.

Liz mounted a phone campaign to "follow up" with all of those that hadn't RSVP'd, and we ended up with 12 kids total, out of a possible 20. Certainly a respectable showing (I would have been satisfied with 6-7, including our own 2, so 12 was great). The scientist came in and performed most of the usual type stunts that kids like, while providing some education along the way. Things like demonstrating the amazing water absorbing properties of sodium acrylate (the stuff that's used in disposable diapers), a Tesla generator, how different metals burn with different colors, and (of course) fun with dry ice. All of the kids made their own 'slime', which they got to take home with them.

Instead of gifts, we had each kid bring a book, and then we had a book exchange. It seemed to go over well. One very thoughtful young girl, who admitted that she didn't like bugs at all, brought a book all about bugs that she thought that Buddy Boy would like. He ended up picking a different book, "Diary of a Fly'.

Two hours (three with set up and take down), no major incidents (I don't count the one kid at my end of the table who was eating the cake by putting his face in it-he was being encouraged by some of the other kids), all of the kids seemed to have fun, and Buddy Boy and Sweet Pea both liked it. Not a bad day at all.

Maybe we should sponsor a couple of Mad Science parties for all of the so called "scientists" spouting all sorts of idiocy regarding autism's causes and "cures". It might raise their level of science education.


Moggy said...

Hi there! I'm a newbie to your blog (as of earlier this month) -- I'm very glad that the party went over well! After you mentioned the possibility that kids wouldn't show up, I was worried for him the last few days, too.

Thinking back to birthday parties when I was a kid in the 80s... Hmmmm. The closest to a "theme" we had was that the paper plates & tablecloth often had the same cartoon character (or other interest, like bugs) on them; the games were the same basic things our parents had played. Little kids had a few guests at home for their party, while kids in/near the pre-teen stage had a dozen or so friends at the roller-skating rink or some other favorite place to go.

Your Buddy Boy sounds like a very neat kid, by the way. Happy belated birthday to him, I hope this next year of his life is the best yet! :-)

Casdok said...

Mad Science parties - exvellent idea!!!

Sharon said...

Happy Birthday to Buddy Boy! My Duncan will be 8 in June so they're both millennium children.

The science party sounds great. I have to admit, all my children's parties have been of the old fashioned, non-themed variety, with much running around the garden. It's easier done when all your children were born in spring or summer months.

Niksmom said...

Sounds like it was just the right blend of things. I love the book exchange idea!

misha_k said...

Late Happy Birthday to Buddy Boy.

That's great the party went so well. It's sounds like everybody had a really good time. It's encouragement and hope for me. My son, J, is having his first sleep over birthday party this weekend. I'm both excited and nervous about it.

Steve D said...

Happy birthday, Buddy Boy!

Joe, I'm glad it all went well. So much for Pin the Tail on the Donkey, eh?

Maddy said...

What a fabulous idea! And the book exchange. !2 is more than respectable dearie, and I get very fretful with the lack of RSVPs too.
Best wishes and many happy returns of the day

Daisy said...

This sounds like great fun! I want this theme party for my next birthday. Oh, wait. I'm a grownup. Darn.

Ange said...

wow? You had a theme? I am so not a party mom. Glad all went well and that the party was a success!

Marla said...

I am so glad the party went well. A good number of kids! The book exchange is a great idea. I will have to remember that for next year.

kristen said...

Okay. The book exchange is brilliant. Beyond brilliant. I'm stealing that idea, just so you know.

And I am so happy you had a nice turnout and that your son enjoyed his party. I'm not a fan of birthday parties, so much angst for us moms and dads and our sweet little square peg kids. BUT, thrilled this was a success.

Club 166 said...

Thanks everyone for your well wishes.

One of the reasons I was worried is that Buddy Boy is included almost totally in the typical classroom this year, which is a change from last year. I feared that we had made a mistake in putting him in with the regular class, and that he would be ostracized.

My wife Liz came up with the book exchange idea, although she may have borrowed that from someone else or read about it somewhere. We bought three extra books to bring with so that a)if any kid forgot to bring a book they could still participate, and b)so that the last kid to pick still had a selection of a few books to pick from. One of the best things about this idea is that if you do it instead of gifts, you don't have to write thank you notes (which take forever at our house)!