I didn’t run away or hop a shuttle to DIA, so I think I can safely say our very first experience as parent hosts of a slumber party succeeded. Will we do it again? Only if slumber parties are the same as going into labor and giving birth and you forget the painful details and are left only with the rosy glow of six 9-year-old girls, squealing (screeching) in delight for nearly 12 hours.
First, there was the Silly String war in the driveway. Yes, I was the willing supplier of the munitions. I didn’t quite foresee the instinctual desire to aim directly in your target’s face. Then there were girls piled on the tree swing, and a few leg scrapes against the very sharp bark of the locust tree.
At dusk, there was pizza, carrots and grapes. Yeah, those carrots really flew out of the bowl when one child made the observation, “These carrots are slimy.”
Then there was the raucous play in the neighbor’s yard, some kind of pig pile scenario that resulted in one child running back to the house, crying, with blood pouring out of the corner of her mouth.
Hair feathers for girls, and men?
Then, one by one, each sweaty-headed girl returned to our porch where a kind woman let them pick out feathers and tinsel to put in their hair.
I forget at which point we ate a cluster of puffy white and chocolate cupcakes with 2 inches of lard-infused frosting on top in the shape of a swimming pool.
I think it was my darling daughter who was first to stick her face into the smear of white and blue and red.
Then there were some offbeat cartoons on YouTube, that I found myself quickly assessing for age-appropriateness or lack thereof… Unicorns are cute, but wait…Oh, sweet! Harry Potter puppet figures…. but wait….
As my husband said, the Internet truly is the Wild West. No ratings, and plenty of rudeness to go around. We ultimately settled on funny cat videos, which seemed the most entertaining for all. We ate popcorn and all was – briefly – well.
Sleep, please just go to sleep
Then the dark of night kicked in. It’s all a blur at this point, but suffice it to say I ended up splitting the six girls up into three different rooms. Some kids were still wild-eyed as the clock tipped past 11 p.m.
By midnight, blessed silence…until 6:20 a.m., when the patter of feet and squealing resumed and I no longer had the strength to prevent them from waking the neighbors on what should have been a peaceful Sunday morning. They poured out the front door like a football team headed into the Super Bowl, and I’m pretty sure it was just as loud.
Parents, think twice before you agree to host a slumber party. Or, consider limiting it to just a couple kids, or maybe your child and a doll or stuffed animal. And know that the following day will bring a potentially disastrous blend of fatigue mixed with despair that the party’s over and maybe it didn’t go exactly as planned. And some of those feelings might just carry over into Monday morning when it’s time to rouse your new 9-year-old for school.
Then again, it might be like birth where the harsher memories fade, and one is left with only photos – no sound – of happy, smiling children doing what children do best: having fun.