We attended Nicholas Allen's 5th birthday party on Monday night. It was a superhero theme, but we are notsomuch into costumes, so we just showed up as ourselves - super enough :) Let me preface this entire post by saying that Feeb did an awesome job with the party and just about every kid seemed to be having a raucous good time.
My little guy was completely overwhelmed. There were a lot more older kids than we anticipated and they were all in costumes (many with masks) all charging around, being loud and hitting one another with swords, light sabers, whips, you name it. Jack freaked out in his own little way. Not in the meltdown kind of way that normal 2 year olds do. But by going directly to - you guessed it - the doors.
We spent the majority of the party trying desperately to find a door to open and close to make everything in our world OK. At one point, the birthday boy - in complete Batman regalia, including mask and supercool wings - got right up in Jack's face and growled. Fantastically entertaining for a 5 year old. Jack went into shutdown mode. Poor little guy. At that point I felt like I was no longer doing my job as a mommy because Jack obviously didn't feel safe.
We stayed for about an hour - long enough to open and close every door on the first floor about a million times and scarf a few cheesy poofs, and then bid our friends adieu. He and Derek were by far the youngest kids at the party, so I guess his reactions were age-appropriate (although Frat Boy Ulrich was partying it up in the sandbox), but I still felt self-conscious that he should have been having a good time, running and laughing and playing with other kids.
I so admire Erin;s parenting style. She is so laid back and accepts her kids for who they are. I am still living by the "normal" rules - something I know I shouldn't be doing and, with Jack, i just CAN'T - for both of our well being. He's a sensitive kid. And that is OK. I just want him to be happy. I am thinking that may mean skipping a few birthday parties in the future.