This is more about DC’s ability (or inability) to choose between two or more options than it is about Halloween but Halloween is a factor in this particular story.
DC takes Halloween and the costumes he chooses, pretty seriously. It seems as though we used to have more parties to attend and more costumes to put together than we do now, but this year we knew there would be the basics, Best Buddies, Camp and Halloween night. The camp party was scheduled for Saturday at noon and Best Buddies for Sunday at noon.
A couple of weeks ago it was announced that the Best Buddies party was being rescheduled from Sunday to Saturday at noon; the same day and time as his camp party. I knew this was going to be a battle. Not only would he have to pass on one party and give up on one costume, but he would have to UNDERSTAND that he could not do both.
First of all – it was on the calendar and when something is on the calendar, it is engraved in stone.
Second of all – This was not something getting cancelled, which is usually cause for some trauma, but he gets over it. This is not “Mom” making a mistake on a date, where there is no choice involved – which is not fun either but he gets over it…… eventually.
This is him knowing about and planning on attending both, and now having to make a choice between them.
DC cannot always grasp this concept. He does not always understand, as many times and ways I have tried to explain, that if he chooses one that means he can’t go to or have the other.
It is not that he expects to “have it all’, it is more like he thinks of choices as being what he chooses will now come first and the thing he did not choose will still come later, just not at the originally expected time.
The many years of explanations and the times when he had to make a choice and did not get to do or have whatever he did not choose, does not seem to stick or help him understand any better the next time.
I knew for a fact that DC was not going to be the only one who might have a difficult time understanding that going to one party means not going to the other.
Originally, when I first explained the change and conflict to him – the chose the Best Buddies party, but when it was explained that he would not be able to go to the camp party, he changed his vote and went with camp.
After a week of him yelling at me at random intervals that he wanted to go to the camp party, I stopped explaining that it meant he could not go to Best Buddies. There is always a point where the explanation causes more anxiety than the choosing.
Even though I never want to see that heartbroken look on his face after I was sure he understood the choice only to discover later that he really did not, I stopped mentioning the Best Buddies party.
He continued to randomly yell about wanting to go to the camp party for the next week as well. I continued to tell him that he was going; no worries. There was no more mention of the Best Buddies Party on my part or his.
I still waited a little while before telling his Buddy that he would not be attending just to be sure he did not change his mind.
On Friday morning (the day before), he brought up the Best Buddies party out of the blue but I told him that he chose camp and I already told his buddy that he would not be there.
No reaction….. Phew!
On Saturday morning he mentioned a few friends that would be at the Best Buddies party, not at camp. I again explained that he chose the camp party. He was getting his costume on at the time which distracted him so I did not get a reaction about his party choice.
He went to camp and had a great time. There was no mention of Best Buddies.
He even found a “Captain Hook” to go along with his Peter Pan costume. (bonus theme and he loves babies!)
I was sure he would start on the Best Buddies party as soon as the camp party was over, but he mentioned nothing about it when I picked him up.
I haven’t heard anything since.
If he does not mention it by the time Halloween night rolls around, I am home free and I will know that he “got it” – but as long as there is time in his mind for another party before Halloween night, I cannot be sure.
I am thinking positively (with fingers crossed) because it really seems like he understood….
We will see.