But is that what you do with little girls? I mean I know it's different to parent a girl. But I don't get it because I have boys and they just verbally abuse each other while we're driving down the highway, roof open, windows down, rain pelting our faces, while Garbage or Joan Jett, Concrete Blonde or really early Melissa Etheridge or some other Angry Lesbian Music turned up to 11 blast from the speakers in the Highlander with me singing at the top of my lungs to provide my own white noise and drown out the screams from the backseat. Ya know...it's the Anderson Family Circus up to it's usual shenanigans. But, it's been worse, the boys used to physically abuse each other while I was driving...at least that's no longer happening. Always see the light. Do not Hapkido your brother. Ous!
Anyway, we didn't realize the bag had been left behind until all of our party guests had vacated. It wasn't a gift bag. It was a lumpy grey bag with pastel colored elephants, and a white ribbon drawstring closure. Oh my.
When I saw it sitting near all of our shoes and boots near the front door, my 8-11/12 year old son yelled, in what seemed like slow motion, that the child had left her stuffies. I knew this had the potential to go south really fast because:
a. She is four and had some challenges in leaving the party (I've been there and completely understand, so I'm not judging).
b. My 11-1/2 year old is developmentally five and I need to find a good hiding spot for whatever stuffed animals are in the bag because my child could loose it for any number of reasons including but not limited to being sad for her because she won't have her animals tonight, or when we have to return them it could get ugly.
c. Fuck I hope none of the stuffies are cats because cats are his autism thing. Please Jesus, no cats.
d. They live on the other side of the county. We've gotta coordinate a drop off. Dad's are both employed by PC; maybe they can coordinate. (Hahahahahahah!!!!! Right?! Translation: the moms will coordinate the dads. Obviously.)
Like any parent facing a potential stuffie emergency, I immediately grabbed my phone and saw that my friend texted me about 90 minutes prior, notifying me of the drama. I replied that we would happily keep the animals secure for two nights. Understandably, the little girl was very sad, but was somehow convinced that the animals would have a fun vacay at the Anderson Abode.
Not that she wouldn't have lived, but you know...it's a bummer for any kid to not have their favorite...seven...stuffed animals on hand at any given moment. I get it. My kids are stuffed animal whores. The collection they each have is enormously ridiculous.
So, anyway, we took care of the Magnificent Seven: Sally, Sarah, Catty, Pickles, Sprinkles, Lettuce, and Ballet Dog for a Spontaneous Weekend Getaway...
Heh...and you guys thought I was gonna say that Randy and I were going away for a weekend, didn't you? Hahaha! That's a fantastic idea! But do you realize how much planning it takes to coordinate a weekend trip for the parents of a special needs child?
Anyway, the Spontaneous Weekend Getaway was delightful! The Magnificent Seven were wonderful house guests! The boys and I had fun picking out which had been named what and our conclusions are:
Ballet Dog is the only dog and has little pink feet like a ballet dancer (ok it's a gimme)
Lettuce is a bunny (that's fuckin' brilliant!)
Sprinkles is the little pink cat with multi colored dots and they look like sprinkles (how am I doin?)
Pickles may be the rainbow caterpillar because he's the same shape as a pickle...?
Catty is the bigger tan cat...?
I'm lost on Sally and Sarah but they're cats.
Are you fuckin' kidding me? Goddamn four-year-old left three goddamn cats at my house after the Biggest Birthday Bash EVER? Fuck. Because my son's special needs head is going to fucking explode when he finds out. Jesusfuckinchrist. I mean, seriously? I've got to hide these, stat!
Because cats are my autistic kid's thing. Typically, people on the spectrum have a "thing"...and it can change over time. But their thing is something they deeply care for...or are fixated on...and his thing is cats. It has been for years. Wants to own a cat, but Dad is allergic. Bummer. But even so, we all know it would end up being my job to clean the goddamned litter box and I am not a litter box cleaner, so, no. His "thing" for a long time was Angry Birds (all versions, no, really)...and so we took that and ran with it...my family language is Levels.
My bigger concern was that my son on the spectrum was going to struggle with letting the stuffed animals, particularly the cats, go back to their owner, but he actually did really well...because all the stuffies need to stay together! We need to respect our young friend and her belongings. Let's be responsible and keep all of her stuffed animals together in their bag. Yes, fantastic idea, Nathan! It's their sleeping bag! You are so clever, son....
I texted my friend a few pics of the unplanned but very well-behaved house guests so that her young daughter would feel comfortable knowing her crew were being well-cared for. I mean they were here for two nights, so it's kinda a big deal when you're only four. And because we don't leave the house on Sundays. It's our stay-home-family-I-kicked-their-asses-in-Wii-Bowling-AGAIN-day. Oh! And this past Sunday was my husband's official 50th birthday. So, there was that....
We kept our house guests busy with lots of fun activities, including...well...here is their photo journal. Because I didn't want to inundate the little girl's Mom's phone, or potentially annoy the shit out of her and forever damaging our friendship. Right? But, there's some stuff that simply needs to be shared in a photo journal.
I present: Spontaneous Weekend Getaway....
|Fancy dinner on Saturday night|
|Tuckered out after a long day of partying. Seen with Isaac's animals.|
|Nathan shared his Sunday morning breakfast of carrots and Annie's Mac&Cheese|
|Helped me grade a little....|
|Helping to vacuum. They did great!|
|Supervision and security details|
|A little more TV....|
|Birthday Cake break!|
|The slide needed drying off!|
|Our swing set can be intimidating, so boys were helping the Magnificent Seven|
|Learning to swing....|
|On the tire swing! So fun!|
|The Magnificent Seven's multipurpose bag. He did this all on his own.|
|Look out! The Birthday Boy is getting in on the action!|
|WHOOPS! Everyone is ok but let's take a break and do something else!|
|Big dog trying the slide alone! So courageous!|
|Isaac helping Lettuce steer the ship|
|Isaac helping Lettuce be a spy|
|Nathan climbing the frame|
|Climbing the rock wall! So brave!|
|Nathan helps Ballet Dog while Isaac helps Catty (?)|
|Isaac giving a spot to 2 of the 7|
|They had some tough decisions but they each chose nice colors!|
|Bike race Wii Sports Resort|
|Daddy's Birthday Dinner: It's Taco Night!|
|Tuckered out after a busy Sunday! Seen in Nathan's bed.|
I told you my kids are stuffed animal whores.
As you can see, we kept the Magnificent Seven quite busy at their Spontaneous Weekend Getaway! I think their favorite was the rock wall, which was really quite an adventure! It was actually quite fun for us that she accidentally forgot her bag of stuffies: it gave us a creative outlet...and a different way to teach and learn helping someone else, being kind, responsible, and respectful, and trying to turn a negative into a positive. We also enhanced our Team Anderson skills...which needed a little help, given we were all fried from the 50th Birthday Party.
My husband took the Magnificent Seven to work with him on Monday morning, and the little girl's Dad picked them up. I am happy to report that all transfers went smoothly and they have been safely returned to the child, who is understandably beside herself over seeing her stuffies! And, while my vocabulary is absolutely not G-rated, I do hope she gets the chance to look at the pictures of the adventures we had on our Spontaneous Weekend Getaway with the Magnificent Seven!