Saturday, December 22, 2012


As part of this year's Christmas festivities, we decided to let The Rock Star have his first real sleepover. Oh sure, he's slept in the same room as his cousins before. He's stayed the night with grandparents. And once we watched our Associate Pastor's girls when they were out of town at a youth event. But this was his first ever invite-the-friend-over-and-party-'til-you-fall-dead-asleep kind of shindig.

W is in first grade. He goes to our church. His parents are good friends of ours. They also happen to live less than two miles away so if it had all gone downhill fast, we could have called them for backup. (Or for pickup--whichever proved necessary.) W came over last night at 5:30. Troy picked up pizza and I made a salad which W wouldn't touch with someone else's fork. No matter. My children eat enough salad for the entire neighborhood to benefit from its nutrients. In a recent video I took of The Little Buddy, I asked him what his favorite food was and he replied, "Sawid!" I don't actually think that's true but it was pretty funny. As long as we're all sitting around talking about salad let me just say that I simply do not understand how there are actual people in existence, W included, who won't eat salad. My own kids have been eating it since they were itty, bitty toddlers and I, myself, just might not be able to live without it. Whatever. More for me, I guess.

W ate his pizza, though, like a champion so I wasn't worried that he'd wilt away to nothing overnight. The boys played and then they decorated and consumed gingerbread cookies. At 7:00 we put a Christmas movie on for them and I set about distracting The Bud.

Troy doesn't have any brothers. I don't have any sisters. So this raising same gender children thing is new territory for us. This was Garrett's first ever sleepover and he's six. It wouldn't exactly be fair to let his three-year-old brother tag along for the whole thing. Matthew took a shower. He got good and lotioned with shea butter. If I've never mentioned it here, let me just say that when you rub shea butter on a kid, you may as well eat them right there when you're finished because they smell like something delicious from the oven. It's a wonder that my baby, who I've been shea-ing for four years, doesn't have pieces missing. Then I put him in bed and read him two stories. And that's when he flipped his ever loving lid.

The big boys were being quiet and well behaved in front of their movie. "But when am I going to sleep with the other kids?" my youngest asked me.

"Well, they're not in bed yet."

"I want to sleep in the other room with the big kids," he informed me.

"I'm sorry, but this is Garrett's first sleepover and he's six. You're only three. You'll get to have sleepovers too, when you're a little bit bigger--"

And if you heard wailing and gnashing of teeth last night around 7:45, that was coming from our house. It took me a good long while to get him calmed down. I had to rub his back. I had to sing multiple songs. I had to kiss him and hug him and leave the light just so and the door open a "witto more."

The movie ended, the teeth were brushed, and the boys climbed into their sleeping bags. I told them they could talk for awhile if they whispered. Let me tell you. Those boys talked like prize winning women. They yakked and gabbed and chatted nonstop. At one point we saw shadowy figures outside our bedroom door. "What are you doing?" Troy asked. They giggled.

"We're spying on you!" Garrett answered.

"Get back in bed!" I said sternly, thankful they couldn't see the "little-boys-are-weird" smirk on my face.

They scrambled back to bed and talked some more. Finally, just after 9:00, which is well past both of their normal bedtimes, I told them it was time to go to sleep. Not five minutes later they were dead to all the world.

I woke up at 5:05 because someone was using my bathroom. I realized the light in the playroom was on. When a groggy Garrett padded out of the bathroom I asked, "What are you guys doing?"

"I was going potty."

"What is W doing?"

"Sleeping," he said, confused.

"Oh. Good. Go back to sleep," I said. At just after 7:00 I woke up to both of them standing next to my bed.

"Can we watch Scooby-Doo?"

So they watched and they played and they had pancakes and bacon and they brushed their teeth and they got dressed and they played some more. I was picking things up off the floor of the boys' bedroom and I found W's underwear. I have no idea why I asked him if they were his, knowing full well that they were but I held them out and said, "W, are these yours?"

He cocked his head to the side and pondered them for several seconds. Then, he reached out his hand and said, "Well, I'd better take them home just in case."

Funny things those six-year-olds.

It was a smashing success. Well, except the devastated three-year-old. When W's mom showed up with his little brother, Matthew threw his arms around B and they ran off to play together. Maybe someday it'll be their sleepover. But for now, I'm fine with just one of my kids being old enough.

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