Reasons I have learned to hate, hate, hate sleepovers, slumber parties, etc. for my almost nine-year-old daughter, Caroline:
1. Lice. Okay, so we've never had to deal with it, but the thought of lice or ticks or anything that latches on and sucks your blood freaks me out.
2. She fell out of a friend's bed once and fractured her collarbone. This occurred during a night when Jack went on the sleepover, too. My husband and I celebrated this rare night off in style...we went out to a hot new restaurant with some friends (friends without kids, so we were buckled up for a late night and a long ride) and then went to a wine bar -- the definition of a rowdy night out those days. At 1:00 am I was marveling at how fun I was. Like the old days! Makeup, hair, expensive HEELS! No, I wasn't dancing on the bar like in my college days, but I wasn't sound asleep on the bar, either. Went home, fell asleep happy we didn't have to wake up early with the kids. Until the 5 am call from my friend, Marie, saying I needed to take Caroline to the ER....I wasn't terribly worried about Caroline; I was more concerned I'd be profiled on Dateline NBC for getting a DUI while picking up my kids from a sleepover.
3. She tends to not sleep, at all, not a wink, not a blink, at someone else's house. If you have a little girl, particularly a little girl given to dramatic mood swings, you can imagine the nightmare of living a few days with a kid who has been awake all night. By the time she's back to her sweet self, I generally feel like I've been run over by a truck.
4. She peed all over her sleeping bag during a first-grade slumber party. Enough said.
So tonight, she has the first of many March slumber parties (everyone, myself included, clearly got amorous in June 2001). To further explain my angst, I'll give you one note about tonight's hostess...the last time Caroline spent the night there, my (normally excessively polite) daughter told the mother she was bossy when she told Caroline to go to bed at midnight. The mother did not think it was funny.
So anyway, Caroline's sleepover instructions now look like this:
Sleep. Seriously. REM sleep.
Don't break any bones.
Don't wet the bed.
Don't make any remotely smart-ass comments to anyone.
Be happy tomorrow. Be nice to me. Please.
I make it so unpleasant and rule-oriented I am surprised she goes, but she goes, with incredible enthusiasm.
I think I need to go to bed to rest up for tomorrow's battle.