Sunday, June 13, 2010

The dreaded sleepover party

When I was in first grade my parents invited all the little girls in my class over for a sleepover.

A few went home, my parents called their parents when the girls didn't stop crying.

At least one wet the bed - or the floor - given that we were all in sleeping bags on the floor.

Who knows when we all went to sleep.

And my parents made pancakes for what seemed like hours the next morning.

When it was all over they sighed that it would never happen again. And it didn't. My sister never had her sleepover party.

Sure we would have sleepovers, but these were individual girls and never a sleepover party.

So why I didn't just immediately say "no way Jose" when Leif started talking about a sleepover party, I have no idea. I did say, at the time, well you have to pick 3 kids at the most IF we did that. Trying to play to the notion that he would only get three gifts. Is it awful of me to do that?

What I really should have said was the thing that my friends told their daughter, "nope, you can have a sleepover when you are 7, we can start planning it now".

Leif's proposed guest list has included two of his close female friends. I told him that I was pretty sure that their mommies were not going to allow them to spend the night with four little boys.

"No mom," he replied, "we are big boys."

"Well that just bolsters their case," I told him.

Nope. I didn't think way back when the topic first came up. And so now we are feeling a bit stuck. And yes, I do get that I AM the parent and can just say no. And we tried that.

"Leif," I said, "daddy and I just don't think you are old enough to have a sleepover party."

"I really think that I disagree with you,"he replied, or something like that. His exact words are evading me, but AB and I both sat there looking at each other wondering if he was 5 going on 17.

Yes, I could just say no. But it is hard when he has his heart set on something so strongly.

I have been working to entice him away from his plans for weeks. After the party at Coach Brett's (that was always a very exciting thing when he was littler) a week ago, that he had loads of fun at, I pushed the issue. "Are you sure you don't want a Coach Brett birthday party?"

He looked at me like I was an idiot.

I suggested Rollerena, which was the leading candidate last October thru December, despite the fact that Leif isn't so hot on rollerskates. At the time I was a bit turned off by the notion, but somewhat entertained as I heard "Skateaway" in my head as I whizzed around the rink.

Rollerena is no longer a candidate, despite my mentioning a few times, "but they have air hockey!"

Friends have made suggestions, what about the Children's Theater? The Court Club?

Then I hit on an idea.

"How about Chuck E. Cheese?" I heard myself mentioning to AB one evening.

"Fine," AB said.

So today Aunt Tara and I packed the kids up and headed to Chuck E. Cheese to test the waters.

This is a huge accomplishment for me. I don't do Chuck E. Cheese. See this happened while I was in Colorado and for some reason it hit me then like a ton of bricks. And I never set foot in Chuck E. Cheese again and I cringed whenever anyone suggested taking the kids there.

So it was a huge step forward for me to walk through the door and get my and the kids hands stamped (so that when a child leaves, they make sure it belongs to the person the child is leaving with). Right there? Big red flag, that I am sure is supposed to make me feel better...

We got a pizza, we spent our 35 tokens (about 6 put into games that didn't work). And I told myself I could do this. I can do this. I can host a Chuck E. Cheese party and no crazed gunman is going to come in. Really.

We left after the kids redeemed their 60 tickets for a pink plastic ring, a tiny rubber snack and three lollipops. Total ripoff.

But I told myself I could do this. I can bite the bullet and send out Chuck E. Cheese invites.

Then tonite we set to talking about the options.

And Leif says, "no, I really just want to have a Wii sleepover party with three boys."

Ok. Fine. Done.

I am getting off cheap this year. The cost this year will be a mere one sleepless night.

(Wondering how much I can pay Aunt Tara to hang out downstairs with the boys and get them to bed while I snuggle in my nice bed?)


London said...

WOW! You are brave.
The topic of 'spending the night' or having someone 'spend' has been brought up quite a bit and we've simply said no. A few of the closer friends parents and I have talked about it, and all of us (kids - girls - 7 and 8) say they are too young.

I can't remember when I started the sleep overs, but I'm guessing unless it was our neighbor who had a daughter my age, and I spent the night while my parents had a date, It wasn't until at least 3rd grade, so that's what I'm holding on to with are all her friends parents (luckily).

I can't wait to see/read how this goes. And Good Luck.

Jay said...

My guys sleep over experiences began early. I can recall the youngest guy impatiently waiting until his friends were old enough to agree- but then he has that 4 year-older big brother setting the example. I think you will find your fears unfounded,though. Three five year olds will be unlikely to see 10:30pm, is my prediction

vanessa said...

Really...I might let you have Cate, just so I can get first-handed stories.

Have fun!