Anatomy of a sleep-over

Sleep-overs were always so much fun when I was a kid. I can remember spending the entire day playing with a friend and then conspiring to convince one set of parents to let us have a sleep-over. We'd dash across the street, put on our best puppy dog faces, bat our eyelashes, and then screech with victory when they said yes. We'd try to coordinate our jammies, pick out a movie, get excited all over again over a late night snack (which NEVER happened unless a friend was over) produce/direct/star in our own plays, get out every board game known to man, giggle, be loud, stay up late and get up early. Yep, sleep-overs were so much fun....when I was a kid.

If you recall from yesterday's post, there are reasons grown-ups don't do sleep-overs. And if you think back to a post from last week, there are reasons I, personally should not be having sleep-overs in my home. Since we are now on our 8th snow day this year, I should not even have my OWN children in my home; feel free to come and take one or two. But I figured other kids would be a good distraction and keep not only my kids from killing each other, but from ME killing one of them (MY kids, not someone else's).

From a child's perspective the evening was full of fun, games, movies, popcorn, make-up (just for the girls thankfully) dancing, no fighting (again, from the CHILD'S perspective here) and the requisite staying up late. From the mom's point of view, the evening was more like this...the children arrived and within minutes my front entryway was an instant explosion of bags, sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, suitcases, boots, jackets, mittens, hats, and stuffed animals. The small herd buffaloed their way upstairs and proceeded to spread said explosion of blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, and stuffed animals all over the nearest bedroom. They were relatively cooperative in putting pajamas on, although I did have a brief moment of panic when I realized that one of the three girls did NOT have matching pj's...thankfully she was ok being the "odd man out". You never know, while I was waiting for them to notice that 2 matched and 1 did not I was mentally figuring out how I could fashion a pair of 2 piece turquoise pajamas with a smattering of hot pink reindeer on the legs. Luckily I dodged that bullet. They played upstairs for quite a while and were relatively quiet (meaning no screaming and the running around did not result in the chandelier crashing into my dining room table). They got out a game and an instant chorus of "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM" started billowing it's way downstairs...apparently the toddler decided that she too, wanted in on their game. Apparently it's not in the rules to mismatch the board game pieces, throw the dice, steal all of the pencils and confiscate the board itself. She was shuttled off to bed and that presented a new problem: keeping the other 5 quiet so as not to wake her. Anyone who has ever heard 5 children constantly shushing each other knows it's actually a hell of a lot louder than a Bon Jovi concert. Completely defeats the purpose when the volume of their repeated "SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" breaks the decibel barrier. So doors were closed and a movie was agreed upon...praise the Lord. But within minutes doors were reopened and slammed multiple times, feet were heard stampeding around, and I peeked in to find that none of the 5 were sitting quietly watching the movie...they were reenacting it. High School Musical 3 has a multitude of characters and dance numbers; well each of the kids had chosen a role (after much bickering over who got to be Gabriella) and when it was "their turn" they of course had to get up and dance...and channeling their inner elephant while they did so. I was hopeful that the promise of popcorn would bribe them onto their blankets so I didn't have to resort to Benadryl and duct tape. It worked until one of the dance numbers resulted in 2 bowls of spilled popcorn and an upended glass of ice water all over a "favorite" blanket. The popcorn was cleaned up, water and tears were mopped up, the blanket was replaced and the movie resumed...for about 37 seconds. I had just settled in with a book when all 5 busted into my room in a sheer state of panic. It was hard to decipher what exactly had happened because every single one of them felt it was THEIR job to deliver the horrific news. The movie froze and then skipped all the way to the end. Definitely cause for a 5 way meltdown. Not for mom though, this presented the perfect opportunity for the little darlings to go to sleep. One by one they each drifted off; the last giving in sometime around 11:30. Now, I don't sleep very soundly when it's just my own kids in my house. Having 3 extras resulted in more broken sleep than I had ever experienced with a newborn in the house. With each little noise I heard I expected to see a head pop up by my bedside wanting to call mom and dad. By 4:30 I was pretty sure that wasn't going to happen so I drifted off until I heard movement around 6:45ish. I crept towards the bedroom silently praying that they were still sleeping and would stay that way until at least 8:00. Well, any mom knows when you pray for that, the exact opposite will happen. One of them was up and heading towards the adjoining bathroom. I whispered for her to be quiet so as not to wake any of the others, just as another emerged from under a cocoon of blankets. As they both made their way to the bathroom I reminded them to be quiet...yeah, right. One tripped over a stool and stumbled, prompting the other to start giggling, and both began the "shhhhhhhhs" the door slammed, the toilet flushed, a body was tripped over and I instantly had 5 children awake. Awesome.

Luckily breakfast was uneventful (even though all 5 wanted something different and WHY DOES SHE GET THE PINK PLATE? resounded throughout the kitchen), blankets have been folded up and put away, children are dressed and not having school AGAIN means another full day of playing...outside, or at someone else's house, or another state, or in traffic. Sleep-overs were so much fun...when I was a kid.


Sneaky kind of Freaky said...
February 9, 2010 at 10:01 AM

But now you've earned three sleep-over obligations. Those other parents will HAVE to take yours (leaving the baby alone and sleeping like a, well, baby) while the bigger buffaloes stampede someone else's house! Good Work!

redfraggle37 said...
February 9, 2010 at 10:43 AM

ohhh sleepovers generally never went that well...sigh. So excited for the day my kid is old enough that i can ship her off for a night to someone else's house ;)

Meg said...
February 9, 2010 at 6:42 PM

for some reason I was just thinking about sleepovers from when I was little, or even jr. high, and how we would always sneak out and roam the streets, thinking we'd had totally done it under the radar... and just thinking about it now, how could we POSSIBLY have not kept our parents up all night?! they probably were thrilled when we left so there was a modicum of peace in the house until we "snuck" back in! hahahahaha
I'm so looking forward to hosting slumber parties for Nia in our tiny little house... :|
hehe :)

Leave a Comment