By Diane Ako
I might be a little crazy, but I had a sleepover at my house with not one but two little girlfriends. Things that always seem like a great idea in the afternoon become less of a great idea by midnight.
We had invited one of Olivia's schoolmates over, and as it turned out, the neighbor was available, too, so we had her over. Two six year olds and a nine year old= nonstop twitter.
The terrific thing is that they all got along well. Sometimes, little kids can fight and pout, but this weekend, everything went smoothly.
The assumed challenge is a lack of sleep for parents, and in some ways, extra work in prepping snacks, meals, and crafts for double or triple the kids. I believe the extra work is mitigated by having a playmate to entertain your child for x number of hours, though.
I unleash the children outside to play, but when it was dark, after dinner, we painted nails, and I didn't think to set the house rules first, so like, 20 bottles of nail polish were opened at once, and some left uncapped and a spill hazard.
The kids rushed from manicures to the next activity and left a slight mess, so as I was cleaning up, I myself knocked over a bottle that I thought was capped, but wasn't. Luckily not on the cloth chairs. No harm.
That night, they stayed up really late chattering. I've learned from experience that if I try to put the girls to sleep at 8 (what seems like a normal time in our house), they will stay up talking anyways, and then come out of their room half a dozen times for random and sundry ailments.
My experiment this time was to let them stay up until 10 p.m. when they would be tired enough to fall asleep, or fall asleep quicker than if I tried at 8 p.m. That worked, because there were only three forays outside the bedroom to ask me for something or other.
They ended up falling asleep around 11 p.m., which was a little bit to my dismay since I've said here many, many times before that I favor a bedtime between 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Lately, it's been 9 p.m. I was struggling to stay awake by watching a movie on TV.
The next morning, I was awoken by chatterboxes at 6:45 a.m. I absolutely do not get it. HOW in the world are they so energetic??? I am so beat.
If I strain my brain to think back three-something decades, I vaguely remember being so excited at sleepovers that I, too, could get by on much less sleep, but that really was a lifetime ago. Having extra time and energy just seems like a faraway and nostalgic dream to this busy parent.
I really like that Olivia enjoys herself during these sleepovers, and while I don't mind the extra work, it does take a certain frame of mind to work up to it.
What age do you think works best for sleepovers and what tips do you have for managing it or making it more fun?