Friday, May 22, 2009

A Birthday Sleepover

I am typing as quickly as loudly as I can, in the hopes that the six little girls who are loudly talking and giggling downstairs will get the hint that they are keeping me up, and that, nice as I am, I am not going to allow them to get into trouble.

The seventh little girl, my twelve-year-old daughter, has been asleep on the couch since 11:00 p.m. Four others left earlier in the evening. I have had ten girls as guests in my home since 12:00 noon. Add to that my own four. It has been one happening day!

We started out with lunch: potato bread, and a large variety of lunchmeats for all. I was surprised at how much soda the girls drank. We don’t drink it in our house, but I had some in the house from the First Communion.

It was in the 70’s today, perfect for the girls to hang out in the backyard for most of the hours. They played volleyball, football, softball, and basketball. They went for a walk. When they got back, I had my toddler in the kiddie pool. It was perfect timing, because they were getting hot and otherwise might have retired to the house.

The feet went first into the kiddie pool; then some splashing started. After a little of this mild play, cups of water started to be thrown, until there was a full blast good old fashioned water fight on my deck, and every girl was soaked. All the towels came down, changes of clothing were made and the drier filled, and a truce was called. The girls had cooled down and were ready for phase two of their backyard play.

For dinner I served hotdogs, green salad, and macaroni and cheese. Again, this is not my usual fare, but it was quick, easy, and inexpensive. They raved about it. “You are the best cook in the world!” they declared. And I knew they meant it!

Cake was white with white whipped frosting. All ingredients served today were double-checked to assure against the chance of contamination with any traces of peanuts. One of the girls has a peanut allergy, serious enough that she has to carry an epi-pen for the rest of her life. Walking through the food store, I got the feel of what it must be to be in her mother’s shoes. Imagine having to check the labels on every packaged product. I was going to buy bagels, but the baker could not vouch for them as being 100% free of peanuts.

After cake, they settled into the house. They got comfortable in their pajamas and picked a movie. It was a new one I had purchased for my daughter: Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time”, based on the novel by Madeleine L’Engle. That ended at midnight, and the television is off now, but here I am at 1:00 in the morning still waiting for them to go to sleep.

One of the things I really cannot get used to is the cell phone usage of these girls. They are always texting, calling, and sending pictures. It makes me feel uncomfortable because I do not know whom they are contacting. Yet their parents have given them free usage of the phones, so I don’t feel like I have a say in how they use them, even in my own home.

Every time I tiptoe down the stairs, I see the light of several cell phones go under the covers. Are they using them as flashlights? I have no way of knowing.

I will be up at 8:00 to make pancakes, because some of them have to leave early. My busy typing seems to be working. The whispering is getting sparser now. Now the question is: once they have gotten to sleep, will I be able to, now that my mind has been active?

And, will I ever do this again?


Karen said...

You are a brave woman to have a sleepover with all those girls! I will be very happy if I can totally avoid having a sleepover party for either of my girls, but I suspect I'll have to encounter this mom rite of passage some day.

Loren Christie said...

This sounds like a really nice party. The cell phones drive me crazy. I always let mine run out of charge so I can't be bothered. My kids aren't getting them until college. -Loren

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

Hi Karen and Loren! For better or for worse, the sleepovers will be in both your futures, I promise you! My son hasn't had any sleepovers because my husband says boys don't do sleepovers - they just hang out in the woods all night and drink beer. Hmmm. But girls do seem to do alot of "bonding" during these things, and I think it made up a little for the fact that it is really hard for her to make plans with her school friends - because the school is a few towns away. I didn't think so many girls would say yes! I'm glad I did it this time, but I don't think I'll do it at this scale ever again.