Sunday, July 31, 2011

Eight Years and Torture

For the last two birthdays, The Big One has begged me to have a sleep over for her birthday party.  This time, when she begged, I gave in.  I'm not sure why, but I think most of it was guilt because her Dad was going to be gone at the time, and I wanted to make sure she still had a wonderful birthday.  That, and there must have been some sort of temporary insanity that allowed me to to agree to do this a)by myself, b) with an infant to care for as well, and c) with 6 other little girls.  Actually, we invited 9, knowing that not all of them would come.
I ended up with 6 guests, plus my three children, all by myself, for a very girly, Hello Kitty themed birthday party sleep over.
As I am actually blogging about this, you may assume that I survived.  You would of course, be correct, but don't assume I survived unscathed.  I'm pretty sure that the amount of stress that I incurred cost me years of my life.   I would guess one year for each guest.  Six years are gone that I can never get back.

I planned the best I could for this party.  I bought a new Wii game that they all could play, Smurf Dance Party, and it was also physical.  My idea was to get them dancing for hours so that they would be exhausted before bed.  We picked out a movie to watch once they got settled in bed.
Though, some of my planning caused more stress than it should have.  I should have had pizza delivered, but instead I opted to let them make their own.  I should have just had cake and ice cream, but instead I made the cake and decorated it myself, then we did make your own ice cream sundaes to go with it.  Those two things probably cost me a good 2 months of the year I lost, but by no means was it the worst part.  That falls squarely on the shoulders of the girls themselves, in particular, three of the girls who did the greatest amount of damage.  Three little girls that I will very generously just call "high maintenance".  Let me assure you none of them were maliciously bad, but they each have their own personality twists that I should have taken into account when planning, and didn't.  In all fairness, I didn't know one of them at all until after the sleepover.  One of them would not participate with the group.  She was constantly somewhere else, no matter what I tried to get them to do.  If the other girls were smurf dancing, she was in the back playroom, trying to go through every bin of toys, toys for younger children mind you, that she could.  If the other girls were playing "Don't Say Hello Kitty", a game devised by my own child and not unlike the baby shower game where you can't say "baby", she was in the back room (again) playing with the play kitchen.  If the other girls went to the back room, she was pacing back and forth between my stair well and me, repeatedly asking me why she couldn't go upstairs and play.  When it was time to lay down at night, the other girls all gathered together to sleep in their sleeping bags, and she would inch worm around the room in her bag, until she hit the guinea pig cage.
And oh the poor guinea pigs.  This event probably cost them time off or their short lives as well.  I swear that I must have said "don't touch the baby" and "don't touch the guinea pigs" at least 40 times each in about a 18 hour period, that did include some sleep.
And by some, I mean a very few hours.  When it was time for bed, I couldn't get them to sleep.  It wasn't so much that they weren't tired.  I just couldn't get them to stop talking.  Again, one in particular, ad different one, wanted desperately to talk ALL NIGHT LONG.  Finally, about midnight, I told her to actually zip her lips, and that she wasn't allowed to speak again.  I lay on the couch, and "shhh"ed her every time she started talking.  After about 40 minutes or so of that, they all fell asleep.
Since most of the girls stayed up very late, I expected them to sleep at lease a little in the morning.  I was wrong.  Very wrong.  They were all up by about 7am.  The Big One was mainly the cause because she was up, and ready to go instantly.  She ran to her room, threw on a dress, because she needed to look snazzy at 7am on a Sunday, and was ready to go.
I was prepared for the morning.  I had cereal, muffins, fruit, and croissants all lined up so that they could get what ever they wanted.  I'm may be crazy, but I wasn't crazy enough to think I was going to cook.
By the time i got them fed, dressed, and then put everything away, we only had a little time left.  Score one more for thinking ahead, I had a craft project.  I had them decorate frames with hello kitty pieces I cut out with my cricut.  Then, when I get back the pics from the party, I'll give each one a framed pic along with their thank you note.  Anyway, that project was a huge success, and was the quietest my house had been for since the whole thing started.  Lesson learned, keep them busy!

Still, this was certainly a learning process for me.  Sleepovers of more than two children at a time are hereby prohibited until a girl reaches the age of at least 14 where I will no longer be cool or needed by her.  At that age, I will be able to set food out on the counters, lock the doors to the house, set the house alarm so that no one can get in or out, and then go hide in my own bedroom, with door locked, until everyone is gone.  That I will do anytime.