So Your all probably wondering how Friday night went.... It was fun. Full of giggles, dressing up, dancing. Sadie had a blast. It was nice for me too, I got to chat with grown ups while Sadie's friends where always redirecting her when she got distracted. They were so enthusiastic to include her in everything they did. I didn't mind staying an hour later than we talked about, she was just so happy. Then the sleeping bags where brought out. It was already 10:30 and a movie was going to be put on to lull the girls to sleep.
I knew it was now or never. So I started the exit process. For those of you know Sadie, you know she has this face, it's the sad face. The saddest face you will ever see in fact. Our family calls it "the face" and it will break your heart the moment you see it because it is only made when Sadie is genuinely deeply sad. Social story went out the window. We had a five alarm melt down that ended with me dragging a 45 lbs. child out the door, screaming, crying, kicking, head butting. It wasn't pretty. I suddenly felt like an alien to Kylie's mom (not her fault she was being more then gracious) It was just one of those times where you want the ground to open up and swallow you whole. I just wanted to get Sadie out of there so her friends didn't have to watch her act like a crazed animal.
I hated it, I almost asked if I could sleep on the couch, but I knew I couldn't give in. Not only did I want to follow through with what we talked about in her social story but Hubby and I made a decision before we had kids that they wouldn't be allowed to spend the night anywhere except families houses. Who knew these hard decisions would come up so quickly! After wrestling Sadie into her car seat I shut the door and quickly, my goodbyes and Thank yous as I peeled out of the drive way (peel out added for dramatic effect). There was nothing I could say to stop the sobbing. I spotted the iPad at the corner of my eye and handed it back to her. Suddenly there was silence, a little sniffling and then "Do you think Baby Hedgehogs are soooo cute?" She held up a picture of a hedgehog on one of her apps. "Yes Beebs Baby Hedgehogs are so adorable" After that all was well.
I don't know that I could have done anything differently, I mean what kid isn't going to be upset if they're at a sleepover and then can't sleep over. However, if I find myself in this situation ever again I will probably bring her social story with me, usually I don't like to do things that set her apart from other kiddos but I think I just have to while she's still young. Next I will have to have a HUGE reinforcer waiting for her immediately after ward, and I mean HUGE like puppy waiting in the car huge! If I can't pull off a puppy it will have to be something that trumps a sleepover and then that will be written at the end of her social story. If your not familiar with ABA tactics this probably sounds like I'm creating a spoiled brat but actually the more positive experiences Sadie will have to associate with leaving a party or any fun event the easier it will eventually be for her to leave without the tantrum. It's my job to set her up for success so that someday she can do this all on her own.