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Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Dreaded Sleepover

Why is everyone so afraid of sleepovers?

...and I don't mean the kids, either. One time - just one! - have I ever had a kid ask to call dad and go home. I'm talking adults. What is it about sleepovers that frighten you?

I have found that these are the #1 easiest parties to give.
  • There's no need for goodie bags (don't even get me started on those.)
  • They're cheap.
  • Kids love them.
  • It's amazing just how many kids love either Lucky Charms or Cheerios Honey Nut cereal.
  • Glow sticks can entertain them for hours. Literally -- HOURS.
  • So can any action figures/Littlest Pet Shop toys
  • Ditto for Legos, flashlights, lightsabers/Nerf guns, and BBQ chips
Our kids take turns getting a birthday party. We started doing this because we were poor, in college, and living on ramen noodles and hope. We continued it because now that we're slightly less poor, out of college, and living on canned soup and student loan bills, the kids can have either a really nice present every year or a great party.

Back to the sleepover: they love them. Ever since they were old enough to have one, they want them all the time. ALL THE TIME. There have been 3 this month. One while Jimmy was at camp, one while Annie was at camp, and now -yes, now- one for Jimmy's birthday. Which is today. You may now send him presents.

It never fails, though: parents always tell me I'm brave or they could never do it or ask me if I'm quite sure I'm stable since I seem so happy about being invaded by a pile of children for 14 whole hours. I'm not brave. You CAN do it. and Yes, I am stable, thank you so much for asking.

14 hours of sleepover:
Hour 1-2: scream hysterically as each new guest arrives. Tell each guest something ASTOUNDINGLY AMAZING. Guest who have already arrived are welcome to add, change, or embellish details. Watch cartoons/play video games AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS even though you're all mere inches from each other because you're so happy to be together that it's almost like you think it's a mirage and your friends will disappear the instant you're not in close physical contact with them.

Hour 3-4: Option a) eat voraciously everything that is set in front of you. Option b)claim an allergy to whatever is being served and instead make yourself a pb & j which you secretly feed to the dog when no one is looking, never mind the fact that said pb & j will cause the dog to lick its face for the entirety of hours 4 and 5 so it's not like you're being that sneaky - you are after all the only one who had peanut butter in the first place. Wait for it to get dark so you can go outside. Play with anything and everything you can find. Birthday party: Option a)Eat half a slice of cake Option b) eat a whole slice of cake, and then randomly finish off the other slices when you think no one's looking. Hey - you have to make up for that pb & j somehow, right? You're hungry!

Hour 5: Run around with glowsticks and flashlights. Get the hose because there's always one puppy pile that gets missed and there's always one kid who will step in it.

Hour 6-9: Laugh at the kid from hour five at random moments. Have a long extended committee meeting over which movies to watch. Make popcorn that some of you will eat, and most of you will feed to the dog to see how high she can jump and catch at the same time without knocking over the lamp. Fall asleep watching the movies.

Hour 10-13: Sleep. Sort of.

Hour 14: Eat afore-mentioned cereals and/or pancakes, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, fruit, juice, milk, leftover dinner, dog food, toast, or whatever. Breakfast is, after all, THE #1-most-likely-to-bring-out-the-PICKIEST-eaters-ever meal of the day. Pack your stuff. Act surprised when host kid asks you to help pick up from last night, but say, "Sure, whatever!" and help out anyway because that's what kids do 99.5% of the time. Decide not to be that .5% kid because chances are you won't get asked back, and everyone likes a sleepover.

Ta-da! Done!

And, if you've done a good job as a parent and let your kid stay up until the wee hours of the morning and then given them sugar for breakfast, they will crash again in about 3 hours and the whole house will be nice and quiet.

You're welcome.

PS. Believe it or not, that was NOT satirical, but the honest truth of how sleepovers go around here. Party on, dude/man/bro/chick/whatever your catch phrase is.

PPS. Best overheard line of all time: Holy Snap, Dude!


Secondary Roads said...

Holy Snap, Dude! ?

The sugar is the crowning touch.

Jennifer said...

We aren't old enough for sleepovers at our house yet, but I remember loving them as a kid. I had them all the time too. Probably for the same reason. I never thought about them being cheap.

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

Martha said...

Great post and it sounds like you've been to some of my boys' sleepovers. Thanks for your visit to my blog!

Holy Snap, Dude! (I am so stealing this, thank you and Greetings from LA.)

Debbie said...

I did always hate sleepovers. Not the sleepover itself- the price my family would pay for days later when the party kid would still be so tired and miserable.

Ida said...

Love it! I remember sleepovers like that when my daugher was younjg.

thatgirlblogs said...

It's all fun and games until some snot parent doesn't pick up on time in the morning. Hate that!

Shanda said...

We're just getting into this phase of life. The first sleep over our daughter went to the mom allowed the kids to pop those "party poppers" (the ones with all of the streamers inside of them) all over in her basement when they sang "Happy Birthday." (Doubt she'll be having another sleep over soon!!) She seemed irritated and overwhelmed at the mess; but I'm sure we all learned a little lesson on WHAT NOT to do!!! Glow sticks sound MUCH cooler and less messy.

I think we are headed in the sleep over direction for my daughter's b-day this year; but I'm thinking I'll start small and not invite the entire class. How many kids to you invite??

Lisa Anne said...

I was never allowed to have sleep overs when I was little. My sister was old and she spoiled it for me. she had one and after that, no more sleep overs ever again!!

I think when I was little I only went to 3 sleep over parties, or at least that I can remember.

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