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My mother let me have exactly one sleepover party when I was younger. I think it was my 11th or 12th birthday party. Or maybe my 10th.
Whatever the age, my memory of it was that we ate cake and played games and slept in sleeping bags in our finished basement and had a great time.
My mother’s memory of it was not as pleasant. To this DAY she talks about that night as the worst night ever. We went up and down the stairs too late at night, my father had to tell us to go to sleep WAY too many times… and then we were up super early, and loud, and she was pretty sure I’d never have another sleepover party again.
I wanted more sleepovers, and sadly never got them.
So I promised myself I’d let my kids have as many sleepovers as they wanted, whenever they wanted. I was going to be THAT cool parent that had kids over all the time, and they could stay over whenever and however often they wanted!
Which, you know, is silly.
Because sleepovers are crazy.
Owen had a sleepover party for his birthday last month. We had 6 boys in this house; 5 of whom slept stayed the night.
It was actually crazy.
And here are a few things I learned.
1. They need supervision at all times. The kids that came over are a good group – generally well behaved, polite, and decent kids.
But there’s something about a BUNCH of them, together, that makes them come up with these Very Bad Ideas. It’s like they all have to one up each other or something, so that you go from Oh, wouldn’t it be SO COOL if we raced cars? to Let’s race cars and smash them into the walls and see if they break to Let’s race cars IN THE TOILET AND FLUSH!!!
It’s best if you make sure there’s an adult within earshot, monitoring their activities.
2. They won’t eat much, but food crumbs will inexplicably migrate. I was actually really surprised at this – not only did I expect we’d have no pizza left over, but I had also planned on at a half hour of eating time with the pizza and the ice cream cake.
I think we got maybe 5 minutes out of them, and not one of the boys even finished their one piece of pizza. The ice cream cake went over a little better – maybe 7 minutes of seated time, eating.
They did eat the snacks, though… and I’m still finding pieces of pringles in the cushions of the couch.
3. You will likely need earplugs. Holy crap, 6 boys together are LOUD. We have a pretty quiet house; O’s a pretty quiet kid and there’s only one of him. So I knew that the party would probably be chaos. But the yelling took me by surprise.
Apparently it’s a “thing” for 7 year old boys to scream like they’re girls. (That was one of the activities of the night, too.)
4. They are either on – being crazy and loud – or they’re sound asleep. When the last holdouts finally fell asleep – three in Owen’s bed, two on the floor in sleeping bags – I went in to check on them, and I was kind of just amazed at how, an hour before that, they were yelling and jumping and tickling. And then, out cold.
My favorite, though, was that one of Owen’s best friends was laughing – which is why I went in there in the first place – IN HIS SLEEP.
All things considered, I actually kind of enjoyed having them all over. I didn’t mind hosting a sleepover party, and if Owen wants more of them, I’m game.
Maybe only once in a while, though.