FILED IN: Parenting


So, how old should a kid be before he/she is ready for a sleep-over?

In my opinion, sleep-overs are like stay-at-home-moms (an oxymoron, really) because (having hosted a few, all-nighters)  no one EVER sleeps!


January makes for great sleeping weather and The Boy (he’s turning 10 this month) had a friend sleep… I mean… stay over not too long ago and, after his mom dropped him off, I asked for his backpack, pointed out where he and The Boy would… ahem… sleep (I mean, the couch IS right next to the front door) and then knelt down real low (I could hear the poor kid’s neck muscles straining) and went over our house rules.

"Basically, there aren’t any."


He’s NOT my kid and  he WILL eventually go home and, you know, tell his mother about everything, that he wasn’t supposed to do, anyway and it’s NOT like I expected them to actually sleep, or anything.

But, the kid is an only child and he still seemed a little weary – I recognized that confused sort of… WUH-HUH?… way he shook his head, right away – so, I continued.

"Want something, go and get it; spill something, clean it up and try not to break anything, ‘mkay?"


I mean, it was the weekend, the hubs was scheduled to work AGAIN (stupid bank!) and (living in a houseful of females) heaven knows, The Boy needed a little testosterone fix!

"Can we go play football in the mud?"

[blank stare]

"SURE, and then we’ll have a big bowl of M and M’s for dinner and Mrs. Thompson will teach you how to spit in lots of different colors!"

[eyes go wide]

"For real?"

[hands on hips]


WHAT?  I was trying to be funny and you had to see the poor kid’s face.

"But, how about pizza and then we’ll go to Blockbuster and rent a few games instead?"


"Um…er…um…you ARE so cool…can I call you Liz?"

Why, yes  I rather do enjoy being a goddess (thanks for noticing) and gosh, but I love it when my kids’ friends think I’m nice.

Especially, at non-sleep-overs!

"I’m wed-dee for my sweep-over, Momma!"

[eyes go wide]

"WUH-HUH…how come SHE gets to go to a sleep-over?"

Mini-me was only 6 (at the time) and my oldest kids weren’t allowed to sleep-over anyone else’s house (except for their grandparents) until they were…um…much older, since I was…well…a lot meaner, then.

"Because, it’s a mini-sleepover!"

Really, there were sign up sheets at the girls scout  troop meeting – Mini-me was awarded 7 badges, that day – and my husband and I first thought that it might have been a bad idea, since 6 is a bit too young for a sleep-over, right?


So, I decided to call her leaders to cancel and then – while looking for their phone numbers – I was glad I took the time to, you  know, actually read the letter.

"Our troop, however may still be a little to young and will not be sleeping over – maybe next year – pick up your Brownie at 10:00 p.m."

Well, that’s fine then.

"Thing Two wet me use her bag!"

Yes, Mini-me was VERY excited (10 o’clock is when all the cool kids go to bed, you know) and I pig-tailed her, just for the occasion.

[eyes go wide]


Yep, this must have been the right place, there was absolutely NO spots open to park!

"Holy Hannah Montana, there are A LOT of girls here!"

Who knew there were THIS MANY Brownies in town?

"Take her things…she won’t need her sleeping bag…there’s no room to spread it out…oh, and you better take her jacket home, too!"


"I’m sorry…say that last part, again…I couldn’t hear you over ALL THE COUGHING!"

Man, but this was NOT a good place to be – especially, in the butt-crack of cold and flu season –  and one of the leaders must have seen (and totally mis-understood) the weary look on my face.

"Would you like to stay?"

[eyes go wide]


Why, yes, I did run out of fellowship hall pretty darn fast – oh, and to the lady with the high heels and fur coat…sorry, for knocking you (and your kid) over like that – but, I just HAD to get out that snake pit of germicidal little maniacs!

Don’t get me wrong.  I love MY children.  But, I believe that – having four kids, so close together – I should, at least, try to give them opportunities to experience some independence, sometimes.  I do, however, try NOT to expose myself to uncomfortable situations, if I don’t have to, or anyone else’s kids, for that matter.

So, I had Garth (not his real name) go and pick her up after work – after all, he DESERVES a sick day – stupid bank!
Last month, my middle girl turned 13 (I know, I don’t know how that happened, either) and invited 6 of her friends over for a, well, you know and my husband Garth (not his real name) and I barely survived.

This month?

“It’s my turn for a major sleep-over, right?”

The Boy’s guest list, at last count, is up to 12.

“I invited more, because it is cold and flu season, just in case.”

Oh, yeah – December and January birthdays pretty much suck, too – and if anyone else needs me, I’ll be upstairs…asleep.