9 years ago, the other four Mom’s and I, hold up these little bundles of joy! A little baby girl, so sweet, so cute, so adorable…
Fast forward to yesterday. In retrospect, I’m not sure what the best age is, to allow 5 girls to over run your house for that many hours. From what I have been reading, age 9, even 8, is the official start for being a tween. From what I could tell last night, some are further along that path than others, with my daughter seemingly a front-runner.
My daughter had an orthodontic appliance removed from the inside of her mouth this week and to celebrate she asked for a candy party sleepover. She has had very few parties at all and even fewer sleepovers. So my motto is, “go big or go home.” And boy did we.
The orthodontist heard about the plan and created not so little goodie bags, with light up toothbrushes for each girl. (She thought this was a great idea – a candy party!) We bought several bundles of candy and each girl brought a fair amount of loot. A couple of the Mothers thought I had lost my mind at drop off, last night.
My daughter organized the agenda, with the pomp and circumstance that they still enjoy at this age. 4pm arrivals, hot tub, speech. 5pm or 6pm dinner, (she wouldn’t commit and didn’t seem to understand that the hot dogs still needed to be cooked). 7pm first movie and 9pm second movie.
Her first lesson in planning a social event came to light when only one person arrived on time. The last one arrived at 5pm. So that made dinner closer to 6pm, but still on track. Because they had got so warm in the hot tub, they were able to eat outside and then they ran and played until 7pm. (I wishfully hoped that all the energy was being spent, but that was a pipe dream I have continually held on to since my children were toddlers). We are enjoying a lovely slow saunter into cooler weather. The only thing that really keeps the days getting cooler is the sun tilting away from us.
The evening was really fine and relatively quiet. (I even had a little snooze waiting for them to be ready for bed). But there was a lot of candy being eaten in the TV room, and the giggling and screeching and jumping and thumping was building up.
The sleeping arrangement was the problem. One kid was on a top bunk. In hindsight, I might have just spread everything out on the floor in the living room and not worried a bit. But as they were getting ready for bed there were antics going on around the bunk bed that was reminiscent of monkey behaviour. I think, I heard a reference to “watch me”, as a stunt was launched off the bunk bed.
About 10:45pm, there was an initial setting of rules and lights out. But the toothbrushes from the orthodontist had these lights on them. Then my daughter couldn’t find hers and wanted her flashlight instead. And there were tears about that, and a new rule about no lights of any kind was set, 11pm now.
At 11:30pm I went down the hall and told them, again, they could talk all they wanted, but they should not be jumping around, which I could clearly still hear. I told them in no uncertain terms that if I came back down the hall again I would split them up into separate rooms which would pretty much ruin the whole idea of a slumber party. I could hear grumbling as I left. I had the posture, voice and presence of my Dad, (this schtick is burned into my memory from seeing it so often), I almost laughed out loud.
Towards Midnight it was slowly tapering down. Every few minutes, less noise and less moving around in there. When I shut out my light, they were on their own. I can sleep like a rock. And if I can’t there are ear plugs and noise cancelling head phones, that I know how to use.
I asked to be left alone until 8am. 7:43am I looked at the clock as I heard tip toes and whispering. Breakfast is evidently going to be a short-order-cook kind of affair, not the everyone-eat-what-I-picked, that my daughter had envisioned. And, they are already into the candy again, some more than others.
Every surface in the house feels sticky, both to touch and underfoot. There is a sweet, combined with a slightly sour smell in the 2 rooms that all 5 of them have taken over. I already topped up the tub last night and put in a special treatment that makes the water crystal clear again. Sometime this afternoon, I am going out there to enjoy the warm, clean water and muster up the energy to clean up the rest of my house. I should have scheduled the cleaners for tomorrow.