Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Middle Schoolers: Sleepovers

Sleepovers, the tortuous ritual we somehow get coaxed into about every other weekend. Why? I still cannot answer this question. Momentary lapse of reason, temporary insanity maybe.

We, as parents, get totally taken advantage of when it comes to sleepovers. The children, they empty the dishwasher fold the laundry without asking, and when we gloss over with that mushy look that's something between pride and insanity, they know they have taken control of our tiny parental minds.

"Could I have a couple friends sleep over?"

"Sure dear." No questions asked.

First fatal flaw.

A couple friends...
usually means I have six girls total between the ages of 11 and 14. They hole up in their room. It begins with quiet. This is just a ruse to make us think nothing bad is going to happen. Soon enough it sounds as if a herd of elephants is stampeding upstairs and you're pretty sure at least one of the girls will meet an untimely death.

You venture up to check on them. You enter the room and they're all sitting quietly on the floor talking. "What's going on?"


"What was all that noise?"

"We were just bouncing the soccer ball around."

You leave them in their said circle, close the door, and wonder if the World Cup finals had just been played in your daughter's bedroom.

So, you go back to your movie, or whatever it is you're doing, crocheting, facebooking, drinking yourself into oblivion, and revel in the momentary quiet.

It starts again...
You fear the ceiling will cave in atop your head. You brave the stairs for a second time. By the time you reach the room, again the girls are sitting in a circle on the floor wearing smiles like something from the Village of the Damned. You're suprised there's not a pentagram surrounding them.

"What have you guys been doing?"

"Just talking."

"What was all that noise?"

"What noise?"

You back out of the room quietly, close the door, and wonder, only for a second, if their will be a human sacrifice made that evening.

But that's just the beginning. Earlier that day your wonderful, dutiful children have asked if you will buy stuff for rootbeer floats. You agree as they've earned it by doing their chores and both scoring goals in their soccer game the week before.

Second fatal flaw.

The sugar high begins...
At least now you know you're not crazy, because the noise races down the upstairs hall like a poltergeist, thunders down the stairs like rhino, and runs in circles through your living room, kitchen, hallway, back to the living room, again, and again, and again, all the while giggling and screeching. You begin to get dizzy, your head starts to pound. You feel like you will faint or vomit or both.

"Hey, why don't you guys watch a movie." Good idea Mom.

So they finally sit, with popcorn, and pop, and doritos, and anything and everything edible in your house that they can get their hands on, while they watch Mean Girls, or Ten Things I Hate About You, Juno, or Whip It, whatever angsty teen movie they're in the mood for.

They sit on the couch and chairs with their iPods and cell phones, texting, facebooking, etc during the beginning of the movie. Peace. This brand of quiet lasts about ten minutes. Then it's group trips to the bathroom, commence with the giggling. Up for water, more popcorn, juice, pop. You put up with it, you have to, you don't have a choice. The only way to stop it is to send them home, yet you don't want to be THAT mom. You go in your bedroom, lock the door, and hide until the movie ends.

Bed time...right.
You send them up to the bedroom, have them lay out their sleeping bags, crawl in them again with their iPods and their cell phones. This quiet lasts a little longer because they want you to think they're going to sleep. It could last thirty minutes, and hour, usually it lasts until you fall asleep.

Then you hear a scream...
Then giggling, then loud talking, then yelling, then stomping, pounding, thundering. You send in the big guns, Dad. He tells the girls to keep quiet. Lather, rinse, repeat. and again. and again. Repeat until you're so deliriously tired that even their voices that carry all the way to China and the stampeding can't keep you awake.

Then what do you do? You clean up after and reward the little dears, you who've found have stayed up until 5:00 am with a breakfast fit for queen, french toast, bacon, sliced strawberries, juice.

The parents can not come soon enough.

You vow never again. Of course, never again becomes, until-I-forget-how-horrible-it-is. And in two weeks you're doing it all over again.

Yeah, we're the ones in charge.

That's all for today.



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My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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