difficult child had his birthday party yesterday. We went to a laser place and there were 10 boys. They rough housed a bit, but nothing out of the ordinary. I made a special pizza for difficult child but he didn't eat at all while the other kids ate their pizzas. He did eat some cake, though. Oh well. I let him open his gifts as they came in, instead of waiting until a prescribed time. It actually seemed to go more smoothly that way, and the kids all paid attention, one by one. (Shades of The Explosive Child. Box C. ) They came out of the game all sweaty and happy, and compared their printed-out scores. We drove home with-one friend, and difficult child's bmom, bgrandmother, and half brother. They had a boatload of gifts, and difficult child opened them all at home. He prefered it that way. They gave him an expensive pr of basketball shoes, fleece sports hoodies and matching pants, and a "real" football. He was a happy camper! They also had a trunkload of clothes, and this yr, brought him out to the truck to choose what he wanted, instead of just dropping off a bunch of clothes. He was very, very picky. It was actually pretty funny. I have to say he chose well. And they didn't buy any baggy sag pants, which was a good thing. difficult child, his friend, and half brother played football for a few min. in the yard. They had a great time. While they played, bmom sat in the truck, and bgrandmother asked if they should keep driving up for this ... it seemed a bit awkward. I said it was partly the age ... difficult child isn't into hugging and kissing any more, and barely gave his bmom a passing glance. But I said if they didn't come, he'd miss them. If they do come, he's a bit embarrassed. It's a tough call. I told her I would ask him, with-o being too obvious. That's my task for the wk. Anyway, I have to say, this is the best birthday we've ever had with-difficult child. I personally hated the loud music and the laser employees were disorganized, but in regard to difficult child specifically, it was PERFECT!!!!! Woo hoo! We go out for sushi Wed. night. That's the end of the celebration.