Tad Goes Bowling

Last Saturday, while the Webmaster dealt with fitting in the molding in Ane’s room, I took Tad to a birthday party.

A sweet little girl from church, Lana, had invited him to her birthday party.  Parties are always a big deal for Tad, because it’s such a recent development for him to be invited to kids’ birthday parties.  Lana, who has always been very kind and tolerant of Tad’s antics, was having her birthday party at a local bowling alley.

Her birthday theme was puppies, and each kid was given a pair of ears on a headband and then offered the chance to be “made up” with a nose and whiskers.  Initially, I thought Tad wouldn’t want to do it.  But he insisted.

The headband with the ears was more of a problem, since it was tight on his head and he doesn’t wear headbands normally.  He handed them to me and told me they were “too ouchy.”

And as for actually bowling?  If it involves knocking things over, Tad is really into it.  And not only is he into it, he was actually pretty good at it!

On his second time up, he bowled a spare.  He knocked down nine pins, and then actually managed to aim his ball at the last one!

However, the concept of a “foul line” was a bit much for him.

He also reveled in doing pratfalls in the especially slippery lane, just beyond the foul line.  He was mad each time I dragged him out of there to let someone else bowl.

It’s also a good thing that Tad’s sensory issues aren’t as profound as they could be, because that bowling alley was screaming “sensory overload.”  The music was loud, the lights were dimmed with the blacklights on, there were colored laser lights making patterns on the wall, and occasionally the smoke machine would go off and fog up the lanes a bit.  It was a bit much for me, and I think Tad did feel the atmosphere kind of pushing in on him a little, because there were a few times when he came up to me and said, “Mama, squish me.”

Translated: A little heavy pressure hug to reset his internal barometer.  To him, it’s like grounding a live wire in his head.

Tad was also the only boy at the party.  There were a couple of other girls from church (two sisters who we know) and two more little girls who were either school friends or neighbor friends of Lana’s.  Tad did not notice one bit.  Since it wasn’t a “girl” party, and he had such a concentrated activity to do, he was not bothered by that at all.  There were multiple birthday parties going on, and some of them were for boys.

So, lots of kids running around (though only 6 in our party), loud music, plenty of noise, and darkness.  I’m honestly surprised that Tad didn’t short out.

He was fascinated with the ball return, though.

He was using a blue 6 pound bowling ball, and if another ball came up before his did, he’d try and shove it back in.  Not that he could, but he was funny about it.  I could tell he was really trying to figure out how this thing worked!

He cheerily kept knocking pins over, taking turns pretty well (with Mama standing over him), taking breaks to eat pizza and apples, drink orange pop, sing “Happy Birthday” and eat a vanilla cupcake (from our favorite cupcake shop, Trophy… mmm… I had one, too), and watch Lana open her present from him (he gave her a Hello Kitty beauty kit.  Tellingly, after Lana thanked him, she gave me a hug and thanked me, too.  Smart girl.  And a real sweetheart).

When the lights went on full, the two-hour party block was over, and the bowling leagues were starting to come in.  It was time to go.  I managed to convince Tad of that after he realized that the kids were all leaving and the bowling balls were being put away.

As he and I got in the car, I asked him, “Did you have a good time, Tad?”

“Yes, Mama, I have good time.  I so happy.”

It gives me joy that he can find happiness in the things that other kids enjoy doing.  And I think we’ll have to take him bowling again.

One Response to “Tad Goes Bowling”

  1. Lisa
    October 12th, 2011 07:34

    Looks like he had a ton of fun! The high school kids that I work with volunteer with the Northshore Wrangler program (you have probably heard of it?), but I thought of it because bowling is one of their favorite activities to help with.