Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Importance of Prep Work

Today is a birthday party for a friend of Will's. The party will be held at the local baseball practice auditorium. As you may have guessed, so far baseball is not one of Will's strong suits. The funny thing is that he LOVES the game. So he and his friends will be playing wiffle ball at this baseball practice place, and Will's Dad and I are naturally concerned that Will is going to feel comfortable, not have any outbursts, and understand the logistics of the game.

We have spent the hours before the party playing baseball. This is no small feat, considering that there's a snowstorm outside, so the baseball practice has to be held INSIDE. We found a nerf-like foam ball, and a plastic bat, and we've been holding a mini-baseball game in our kitchen, with our basement door as first base, the refrigerator as second base, the dishwasher as third base, and the entry to the family room as home base. It has been awesome! We've been going over game rules, building up Will's confidence (he's hitting a mean ball lately!), and going over the social nuances of what will happen at the party.

Parties are historically a nervous situation for us as Will's parents. Do we stay through the whole party? Do we leave? Will he do OK socially? Will all the noise and confusion bother him? That's why we do so much prep work with Will. We try and anticipate what will happen at the party, and recreate it at home for practice purposes. You can't do this with every social situation (how does one recreate a laser tag scenario at home?), but you can try your best. We just hope that it makes the party more fun and less anxiety-ridden.


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