21 July 2011

Sleepovers

You know how whenever your kid has a sleepover, you wonder whether everything will be okay? Are you going to get a call in the middle of the night, please come get your whimpering mess of protoplasm? Are you going to have to call someone else’s mother, your child is scared and wants to go home?

I settled the two little girls on the floor in their sleeping bags, with pillows and stuffed animals deployed, and read them An Awesome Book (which is indeed awesome and you should run right out and buy several copies now). Then I went downstairs, watched an episode of Weeds, and went back up to bed. The little girls were sound asleep.

I was reading, and still awake, when the little girl who isn’t my daughter came sobbing into my room, I can’t sleep, I want to go home. I tried comforting her, futilely, and called her mama. They came and got her, but we left her stuff and her sleeping bag for rounding up in the morning, not wanting to wake up the still sleeping child of mine.

I went to sleep.

Sometime later, who knows when, the little girl who’s mine came sobbing into my room I can’t find her. She climbed into my bed with her little cold feet and told me she’d been all over the house looking for her friend who wasn’t in her sleeping bag. Why’d she go home? Why’d she leave her bag? Why was she scared? Can she come back for breakfast?

All was well in the light of day, but these are the things they don’t tell you about.

16 comments:

Bibliomama said...

My daughter, after years of happy problem-free sleepovers,came home at ten-thirty from one (where she had slept over before) last week. Even a good track record is no guarantee of success - so not fair! But the last time Angus lost his sleep-over friend it turned out he was just buried in the covers and able to sleep through my husband bellowing his name. That was amusing.

FreshHell said...

I've never gotten the call on either end before. I hope you ended up getting some sleep!

painted maypole said...

the only kid I ever had to have go home at night was the neighbor. my own child always does fine, except once at my parents house she refused to sleep in the basement because she was surrounded by dirt and there were too many doors (???)

slouchy said...

Sometimes it is so hard to be a kid.

susan said...

Aww......we are fans of the Sleep Under around here, where kids have dinner, change into jammies, do the whole getting-ready-for-bed routine including songs and books, and then head home for the sleeping part. But then, I have a most unindependent sleeper on my hands!

De said...

I've never heard it called "Sleep Under," but that's what my daughter has been proposing because she's mad that the boys and girls are starting to split up because of sleep overs.

It dawned on me about a month ago that sleepovers need not be inevitable. I'm still on the fence. So far, we've only done relatives, some have gone fine, some have ended abruptly.

Once I went home from a friend's house. They thought I was creeped out from playing ouija, but the truth is that I have to sleep in total darkness and the streetlight was in my eyes. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Kyla said...

One weekend BubTar had two friends sleepover who deserted him. He was all broken to bits about it. Luckily, at his age now, there isn't much of that missing Mommy and Daddy business.

KayTar has had to come home from my mom's once or twice, usually because I called and talked to her and she started to miss me an unbearable amount after that.

Rima said...

And this is why my child is not having a sleepover until she's at least ten. Maybe twenty.

She Curmudgeon said...

And here I was the kid who was so socially anxious and worried to be thought uncool that I just laid up, unable to sleep, the whole night rather than ask to go home. (Well, that and my mom not having a car thing, but still.) I never could sleep at others' houses, but one didn't turn down the invite back then-- it's still the sign of whether I really find someone simpatico, if I can share sleeping quarters with them.

My nephew loves to sleep on my chest. His heartbeat puts me to sleep. And he says, all three years of him-- "You're bony, like Mama. Like sleeping on you."

Yeah, kid. Me too.

Schadenfreude Warehouse said...

If there's anything worse than dealing with the fears of your child, it's trying to quell the fears of someone else's child. Despite all your experience, it's totally uncharted territory. Those days are long behind us, but I'm feelin' ya, sister!

Jody said...

I had to make that 1am phone call last fall, with a fourth grader. We blame Howl's Moving Castle, and that feels especially awful, letting another person's child watch a movie that freaks them out when they wake in the dead of night. At least Elba woke up with her friend so she knew what had happened.

mayberry said...

Oh, that's hard! Poor kids. We're about to have sleepover #2 of the week 'round here, so cross your fingers, I guess!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I always made it clear to my kids and the ones that spent the night here that if you make the commitment you need to stay--it is so unfair to the other child if someone bails on them in the middle of the night.

I don't think I ever even had anybody want to go home. Of course you have to know the kids you are dealing with and some kids just aren't ready for sleepovers until they are much older.

ifbyyes said...

I was totally that kid. I have always had insomnia, and it was worse in a strange house with my friend asleep.

As long as my friends were awake, I enjoyed sleepovers. But if they rolled over and went to sleep immediately, I got lonesome and was like "why am I here?"

anymommy said...

Aw, I actually remember really clearly having to leave a friend's house as a kid because I was scared and wanted to go home. Long night for momma.

MDTaz said...

I remember the sleepover that I couldn't sleep-over for: I don't know what came over me (and I didn't then, either) but I just had to go home. We'd had dinner, and we were outside in the yard swinging on a big fat tire swing that hung from a tree, having a perfectly sleepoverish fun time, and then like a dark blanket this feeling of missing my mother fell over me and I started to cry and no talking me out of it, I wanted to go home. I think I was 8 years old. Seems like it was just last summer...