I love this week’s post for Summer of Love.
Why? Because my guest writer, Missy from Literal Mom, gets it. She knows. She knows that sleepovers suck. If your kid hasn’t had sleepovers yet, this is a must-read guide of what to expect. If your kid HAS had a sleepover, you’ll laugh your ass off, because she nails it. Thanks, Missy!!!
I am so thrilled to share a Summer of Love post with you today. As a matter of fact, as soon as Gigi and I confirmed my date, I developed an immediate and debilitating case of writer’s block that lasted until a morning where I was so sleep deprived I couldn’t even think. And sometimes that’s when my best ideas come. Crazy, I know.
Summer brings fun, frolic and frivolity. And sometimes, though even writing the word makes me shudder, sleepovers. I look at sleepovers as one of those developmentally necessary milestones in a child’s life that I could really do without. As a matter of fact, I got Big G all the way to NINE years old before I succumbed to one.
That took some doing and I’m as proud of that accomplishment as I am of the fact that our dog is almost potty trained after 2 years.
The truth is, it wasn’t really on Big G’s radar until she switched schools last year and learned that all the girls had been doing sleepovers since Kindergarten.
So, to help any of you who loathe sleepovers as much as I do, who think having a root canal without novacaine is more fun, who would rather scrub the toilet out with an old toothbrush before hosting a sleepover, I present to you my Sleepover Primer.
Why do I hate them so much, you ask? Because I am like a little baby who needs her sleep and anything that messes with my sleep (that isn’t self-induced, like staying on the computer until 1 in the morning), goes on the “Bad Thing” List.
Top 11 Appropriate Expectations for a Sleepover
- Someone’s going to cry.
- If there are siblings, that one’s going to feel left out. Plan accordingly. Like letting them do anything they want with you. Computer? Ice cream? Paint Daddy’s toenails? OK.
- They will go to bed a minimum of 2 hours later than normal. And think it’s too early. And “they’re not tired!” And it’s SO NOT FAIR you’re making them go to bed so early (even if it ends up being 3 hours later than their normal bedtime).
- They will wake up a minimum of 1 hour earlier (Refer to #1 – this is the window where the crying is most likely to commence. By you.)
- Alcohol won’t help – you have other people’s children to caretake. Have a mimosa the next morning when you say goodbye to the little darling.
- Eating all of the same junk as them might help. And really, don’t waste your money on “healthy choices.” They’ll eschew that like a socialite might eschew pumping her own gas. Inconceivable.
- No matter how well you plan it, they’ll have other plans. So plan nothing. Seriously. Plan nothing, or else you’ll be sitting in the kitchen by yourself making rainbow colored rice while they create a fort in the living room with couch cushions, lamps and all of the bedding from upstairs.
- No matter how long you remain standing, available, yet not needed, the MOMENT you sit down to get a breath, someone will need you immediately. Same with going to the bathroom. Any time you use the bathroom there’s going to be a major emergency. Like, “MOOOOOMMMMMMM, Little Iggy’s LOOKING at us. Get her away!” Things of utmost importance like that.
- Establish yourself as a MOM NOT TO BE RECKONED WITH from the moment it starts – otherwise they’ll try to manipulate the shit out of you. For example, if you stop in Justice and bet lobbied to get sleepover Webkinz because that’s what your guest does for HER guests at sleepovers, the answer is NO. Mrs. Literal Mom just took you to see a movie and out to dinner. The trip to Justice is for lip gloss, not Webkinz.
- Getting back to #7. Do plan for something completely unexpected. Like, say, puke or a tornado. That way, you can be pleasantly surprised that it turned out better than you thought if neither of those occur.
- Get back to basics! Go to bed when they do. No matter how much you want to stay up until 1am watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey marathon. You will regret it. And you’ll thank me at 6:30 in the morning when a bunch of bleary eyed kids wake up and think they’re ready to take on the day. While crying.
And on the flip side, when the sleepover’s at someone else’s house . . .
- Enjoy the time they’re gone, because when you pick them up, it’s going to be painful (for you).
- Go out, have a few drinks, relax. Go to bed early. Or stay up late – whatever floats your boat.
- Work out the next morning.
- Have a leisurely breakfast with The Big Man and your other child(ren).
- Take a shower. Pamper yourself.
- Do some deep breathing before pick up to fortify yourself. Drink a Red Bull, with or without vodka, depending on the time.
That way you can be prepared for the tears. Because sleeping away from home is hard. Effectively navigating multiple personalities for 18 hours is hard. Eating other people’s food is hard. Going with the flow is hard. Wanting to do things that others don’t want to do is hard. Being in control of yourself is hard.
In others words, growing up is hard.
So whether it’s at your house or someone else’s, be ready for the tears and be ready to provide a shoulder to lean on. Because that’s what moms are for. Kissing the boo-boos away. Even if the boo-boo is on the heart.
Especially when the boo-boo is on the heart.