A Word About Sleepovers
Sleepovers have been the topic of many of my rants. It’s no secret around these parts that I am not a fan. The kids usually expect the answer to be no. It doesn’t stop them from asking over and over and over again but the answer still remains no. I’m not even sure when I started to hate them. Was it after Nico’s first one where he stayed up all night and was the crabbiest kid ever the next day? Was it the time he got sick and missed almost a week of school? Maybe it was the time that there was a lice outbreak at one of the birthday parties found out after the party (we escaped the lice but the fear of it almost happening remains). I don’t know when it was. I just know that I do.
So it really is no surprise that I have more to say on this topic. I might be in the minority and I’m okay with that. I still hate them but I can feel myself wanting to say yes to Belle more than I say yes to the boys. When Nico was Belle’s age, he had sleepovers all the time. I hated them but he still had them. They were usually at trusted friends’ houses and those kids stayed here, probably more than he stayed there. My dislike for them made it so that if we were doing them, they had to be at my house. I feel like I was close to Nico’s friends. Even now, I love those boys like they were my own sons. I know them. I know they are good kids. There have been many times they were sitting around my table eating snacks or breakfast talking about school, sports or girls. I don’t think sleepovers are a good idea at Nico’s age (I’ll tell you why in a second), but I sure do miss having those boys around my table.
Nico ruined sleepovers for Tommy. I’m not sure how to explain it other than boys come up with some crazy ways to occupy themselves once the parents go to sleep. Nico’s friends liked to cook at around 2am. I will spare you the details of when I woke up to something burning in the middle of the night. Tommy, at one of his rare sleepovers, decided to collect all the socks and make a “sock football”. Hearing your son dig around in everyone’s drawers at midnight tries even the most patient of mothers. Tommy thinks that sleepovers are a license to drink as much Coke as he possibly can so that they can stay up all night. Not cool.
This is why I feel bad for Belle. The worst part about Belle’s sleepovers are that she and her friends laugh…a lot and loudly. And that makes me remember all the sleepovers with Debbie, Annie, Jenny, Tina, Cindy, Gina, Nikki and Natalie and Noel. It makes me remember how being with your girlfriends is the best feeling because you think the same things are funny. You talk about your dreams and boys and your fears and somehow, you feel okay knowing you aren’t alone. You fall asleep talking and you feel like you are a part of something…that someone accepts you for who you are. Belle and her friends are really no problem and they like to hang out in the kitchen talking to me and that makes me feel good. I love that I know these girls. Girls are super sensitive and just someone not noticing that she has a new shirt on is enough to make her mad. Girls are no less exhausting than boys. Boys make me physically exhausted. Girls make me mentally exhausted.
I’m not sure how I am going to deal with this but with twins, it seems rather daunting. See, if Belle has a sleepover on Friday, then Tommy is sure to ask for one on Saturday. That means a whole weekend of sleepovers. Or the alternative is Belle does it one weekend, Tommy does it another but then that is two weekend that I am doing something I really don’t like. I can’t do them both on the same night because then it becomes a boy/girl sleepover in 6th grade. The other weird part is that because they are twins, it is really strange for girls to be sleeping here and have Tommy here or boys here and have Belle here. I’m probably making more out of it but I think back to when I was younger and if I woke up at a friend’s house and Rob or John or James were there, it would be totally weird. I mean, they would have seen me in my pajamas with bed head. That’s what the twins deal with and Tommy handles it fine because he really is that laid back but Belle…oh Belle, you can’t just wear a t-shirt and underwear when Tommy has a friend over since they might drift upstairs while you are sleeping. Luckily, that hasn’t happened but it is a fight on the rare occasion that Tommy’s had a friend over (she doesn’t like to sleep with the door closed otherwise that would be the obvious solution). She can’t be downstairs until midnight with them because I’m going to fall asleep and if I fall asleep, I won’t go get her to tell her to go upstairs and then it becomes a boy/girl sleepover in 6th grade and I can’t have that.
I’ve harped on here more times than once about Nico constantly asking me if he can sleep somewhere or if his friends could sleep here. I swear I am going to change his name on my phone to “Mood Buster” or “Night Ruiner” because if those are skills, he’s found his calling. There are several reasons why I don’t think teenage sleepovers are a good idea.
1. Sneaking out
3. Sneaking people in
4. The later the night, the more stupid the tweets, FB statuses, Instagrams and Vines.
5. All logic escapes teens when they are hungry.
6. It’s too easy to make bad choices knowing you aren’t going home to your parents.
I was a teenager and I slept at my share of girlfriends’ houses. One time in particular stands out in my mind. I was sleeping over at my friend, Annie’s. Annie had her license but we were sophomores so she couldn’t have had it for very long. I only had my permit and I never drove other than in Driver’s Ed. We decided to head over to the neighboring town to hang out with some friends. She drove us there and I remember feeling like it was so cool that we didn’t have to get a ride from our parents and that our parents didn’t know what we were doing. It was a great feeling of freedom. We stayed there for a while and then Annie lost her contact and couldn’t drive. So in all of our infinite teenage wisdom, we decided that I would drive home. It doesn’t matter that I had little to no experience or that it was illegal. I got in the driver’s seat and drove us home. I remember being scared. I remember us screaming that we were going to die. I remember us erupting in fits of laughter at how funny it was that we were doing it. I have to think that her parents weren’t home because how would we have explained that I was driving?
See, now this is a funny memory for me but when I think about Nico doing this, my blood runs cold. In a car driving???? With one of his friends and without a license? Anything could happen. I don’t want my kid to be doing that. And teens today? A lot more is going on these days with teens. They have access to way more than we did and with all the social media, they are still pretty dumb. They still think that posting something hilariously illegal isn’t going to be found by anyone and that just the other teens will think it is just as hilarious. It’s scary as a parent of a teen to have so much that can go wrong while your teen is just trying to be a teen.
I know that all of this stuff could happen whether they are sleeping over or not but parents asleep + the need for freedom + teen logic = Nothing good.
I’m sorry. I think they are a bad idea which is why I will only say yes if it is an emergency situation or I need someone to keep him for the night and only with parents that I trust. Okay, that isn’t true. Once in a while, if they catch me at the right moment, I’ve been known to say yes but let’s not tell them that.