|Multiple animal cheers.|
Up until now, I have avoided the sleepover party. I would think the reasons for trying to avoid a sleepover party are obvious. But she has been invited to quite a few, and I knew my time was coming.
It was clear that despite sleepover parties being highly stressful and almost certainly sleep depriving, subject to hissy fits, homesickness and way, way too much sugar, it was my time. It was Sarah's time.
Because, when she turned 8, I said she was too young.
When she turned 9, I said our house was too crap.
When she turned 10, our house was being renovated.
When she turned 11 I ran out of excuses.
I would just like to say upfront that I love Sarah's friends. Many of them have spent many hours at our house, they have come (individually) for sleepovers. They are a bunch of smart, funny, fabulous chicks, who are well on their way to becoming completely amazing young women.
Some are indeed showing a strength of personality that will serve them brilliantly throughout their lives, but can certainly be strenuous to manage on an 18 hour visit at my house. Especially when at least 8 of those hours I wanted them to be asleep.
I know 10/11 year olds need more than 8 hours sleep but one must be realistic.
So at 3:30pm on Saturday, 7 little (but getting taller), fresh faced, very excited girls arrived at our house.
That morning I had spent 2.5 hours laboriously constructing a treasure hunt which I had fondly thought would take them at least an hour to complete. They had to run around the school and local suburb, solving clues and completing tasks.
It clearly wasn't complex or long enough because 20 minutes later they were all back at my house, clutching their bracelet prize and looking at me with sparkling, sugar bright eyes, waiting for the next thing.
'Go and play'! I shouted (or should I say croaked because I have a cold and was losing my voice). 'Go downstairs and play and then you can do the chocolate game'.
They ran downstairs into the rumpus screaming. Soon a lot of screaming from the back yard indicated they had chosen that as their screaming point. A little while later the screaming moved across the road to the swings on the corner.
I counted down the minutes until we could leave for Teppanyaki dinner while hoping that everyone stayed happy and uninjured until then. This was while intensely managing Issy who DOES NOT cope well when the attention is not on her. She even had a friend over who I thought would dilute the situation, but she was relentless in her quest to follow the big girls.
Needless to say, they didn't want a bar of her.
Just before we had to leave they all came running and screaming back home to change for dinner.
Into their onesies.
Teppanyaki didn't know what hit them when 7 (8 including Issy) girls arrived for dinner in their onesies. We had two owls, three giraffes, a panda, and two rabbits (I think).
With an almost unbelievable level of noise and enthusiasm, they caught their bowls, their eggs and their rice. They ate their heads off, sang their lungs out and stuffed themselves with cake.
|The cake. With Onesies.|
I was careful to prearrange the car seatings so everyone had a friend and carsick prone people were duly noted.
I made the bed up as one enormous mattress constructed of two pull out couch mattresses, Issy's old single bed mattress, lots of couch cushions and a cot mattress. They all picked a pillow from the pile and settled into a possie. There was no fighting about who was near whom because they were all sort of piled on top of one another like puppies.
I made a humongous bucket of popcorn which they devoured while watching movie 1.
At about 8pm I lost my voice entirely. The screaming continued but became intermittent, possibly during boring parts of the movie.
Midnight feast was requested at 9:30pm to eat during Movie 2.
At 10pm I went to bed, partly because I was exhausted from my extensive preparations, but mainly because I'd been out at school Trivia night til 1am the night before. Self inflicted misery.
Needless to say they were all still wide awake at this point, so I asked them to stop screaming for the 54,321st time, and maybe to think about sleeping soon? As I could only talk in a whisper I'm not sure if they heard me.
I asked Mike to stay up til eleven and speak sternly if he heard talking. He was as tired as I so he may not have made it to 11. I wouldn't know because I was already unconscious. He said they were quiet(ish). I suspect they just stopped screaming and started whispering.
We heard nothing during the night. Not a peep, not a night visitor, not a scream. We were two floors above them which was a very pleasant place to be.
According to them, they all talked for hours, like 3am or something. Hopefully not the one who had a dance comp this morning.
By 6:30 they were all awake, there was a bit more screaming and they all ate pancakes.
And then at 9am it was over. The screaming stopped. I dismantled the enormous floorbed thingo.
I have been nervous about this party for weeks, but in hindsight I don't know what I was worried about. They were beautifully behaved, they were polite, and kind to each other. They have fabulous senses of humour and some of them are developing a clever, quick wit which I love (parents you may know this as talking back, but when it's not your own kid, you can't help but admire their debating skills).
I expect there will be some scratchy behaviour this afternoon. And for that I am sorry.
I will be ready for my next sleepover in about 5 years. Or maybe 20.