Monday, October 03, 2005

The Slumber Party From Hell

Yes, being a slumber party, I didn't expect much sleeping to be done. I must say, however, that I'm used to my, now 13 year old Girl's slumber parties (HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRL!!!!). We had four boys between the ages of 8 & 10, including SmallBoy. Simple enough, right? I figured that if we kept it small, that I would be able to keep control of the goings on. HA! Was I ever wrong!

The boys arrived promptly at 7 and SmallBoy was elated. He took them all on a tour of his house - he had even partially cleaned his room for this. Then it was off to video game land. I figured I'd go a little easier on my time limit since this was his party and with that many boys, there needs to be something to occupy them while preparing food, drinks, etc...I think they started with one of the Mario games, or perhaps Super Monkey Ball 2 (none of which I am coordinated to play. My skills don't extend much past Pong...ok, definitely Pac Man, but nothing beyond that). The boys were very, um, what's the word...yes, enthusiastic. There were screams and shouts and "Oh MANs" every few minutes. As we cooked the hot dogs and the tater tots, we could hear them bouncing and jumping and just being boys.

Oh, funny side note: SmallBoy really wanted pizza for his party food, but one of the boys doesn't eat cheese, so we figured hot dogs would be great fun for them. However, PC, Girl, and I REALLY REALLY wanted pizza. Oh we were so bad! PC had a pizza delivered and, instead of trying to sneak it through the room in which the boys were playing, with the smell wafting through the air, he met the delivery guy outside and walked around to the back of the house with the pizza. Yes, we were bad. We went so far as to stash the pizza box and keep watch to make sure none of the kids were coming when we had pizza in our hands. What wonderful examples we were setting! Thank God we weren't busted.

Back to the boys....While we were consuming the contraband pizza, the boys took a break from the video games and ate their hot dogs, well, sort of. Of the four, I threw out two hot dogs that were only missing one or two bites each. The tots, well, no one touched those. It may be because they were in a hurry to get back to their games or, perhaps, because I made the most God-awful mistake of being out of ketchup. They were very open to using BBQ sauce instead, but that was for the hot dogs. I guess tater tots & BBQ sauce must not be "it". Back to the video games. This time I hear jumping, like before, but the sound was a little muffled. I went back into the living room to find one boy jumping on my sofa while playing the game. I said to him, "Listen, I know that your mother doesn't let you jump on the sofa at your house. The same rule goes at our house." This was met with a wonderful little response of "So. I don't care." I was floored. If MY child had said that at someone else's house, I would have given my permission to have taken him aside and have him chewed out. That's just wrong! You don't talk to adults like that. Needless to say, the video games went off and we opened presents.

After presents, we did the cake thing. Funny thing was, we didn't have any birthday candles. We thought we did, but we must have thrown them out after the dinner on SmallBoy's actual birthday. We punted. I thought about using a votive candle, but that would have left too big a hole in his cake. Instead we settled on a dinner candle. The kids thought it was hilarious and sang the "you live in a zoo" version of Happy Birthday....ok, I confess, I started it. All of the boys thought it was hilarious and then continued on with some other ending about cartoon characters on different television channels. It was fun. We fed them cake and had a momentary break from the screaming.

Finally, after more games, more of the same "so, I don't care," remarks from another one of the boys, and an attempt at a movie, 11:00 rolled around and I decided it was time for them to crash. The boys got ready for bed - they all actually brushed their teeth, I was shocked. We pulled out the sofa bed and made them all comfy. Getting them settled was a joke. They, of course, had the giggles and were cracking themselves up. Then there was the dog. She wanted so badly to play with them and to be a part of the party, that she curled up on one boy's sleeping bag when he got up. Of course that made them scream and giggle all over again. Finally, after sitting on the stairs for a half an hour and threatening no more sleepovers, they all calmed down enough that I felt comfortable going to bed.

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-YAH!" That's what I woke up to at 1:15 am. Yep, sure enough, the boys had snuck back out of bed and hit the video games. Having a Girl who frequently has sleepovers, I expected this. However, I forgot that these boys don't have a whole lot of sleepover experience yet, especially in the how-to-get-up-again-after-lights-out-and-wreak-havoc-without-waking-the-parents department. They were toast. Mean Mom banished the games and sent them all to bed. I think that was enough to scare them into submission for a few hours, or at least until 6:30 when we were woken up from our not-long-enough-slumber to the same screaming noises. I caved finally at about 8:00 and went downstairs.

PC headed out for donut holes for the kids and coffee for Girl, himself, and me....LargeBoy was conveniently out most of the night before and still sleeping throught this noise. As the wild beasts devoured the donut holes, I made bacon & eggs for the three of us. Well, after the feeding frenzy was over, the beasts picked up the scent of the bacon and descended on the kitchen. "We want bacon and eggs!" (OH, PM I can hear you now, trust me!) Because, and only because, I had mentioned bacon & eggs to them the night before, did I consent to feeding them another round of breakfast. This time, we were all over the food consumption though. Every few minutes, one of us would go in and make sure that they were eating. I wasn't wasting my buy one - get one free bacon on them if they weren't going to eat it. I could have made Fat Sandwiches with that (PB & Bacon on toast, hence the name). They finished the food and were finally sated. While their food settled, I had them pack up their bags and then sit down and play a board game - Simpsons Clue. As we neared the pick up time (THANK YOU, GOD - yes, I went to church yesterday and gave thanks), I sent them all outside. Well Hyper boy 1 and Hyper boy 2 took off around the block on SmallBoy's scooter while SmallBoy and Nice Calm Boy played and, eventually, set off to find them. Moms arrived and HB 1 & 2 saw them, and took off. We waited them out. They left. It was over.

Lesson learned: Next year, no sleepover party. Let him still have Nice Calm Boy over to play and even to stay over. They're really good friends and, I think, they both need each other's friendship. Next year, lay out the house rules, making sure to add in that Mom will not be taking anyone to the ER, so no one had best get hurt. All in all, though, I think it was a success and SmallBoy was happy. Despite the chaos, it was really a huge step in social interaction for SmallBoy. He did try to control a few things, but I think, as with most kids, it was his house, his games, and he wanted to make sure that everyone was clear on how to do things. He didn't make up new rules (which is HUGE), he didn't quit if he was losing, and he let the kids do as they pleased. He was happy, and that is really all that matters.

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