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Sleep at a slumber party? You must be dreaming

Sleep at a slumber party? You must be dreaming
Sleep at a slumber party? You must be dreaming
Published in The Messenger on 9.14.07

I’d like to find the genius who invented the slumber party.
The name is terribly misleading. In fact, it’s an outright lie.
No one — and I mean no one — every really slumbers at a slumber party.
If you’re a 10-year-old girl, that’s the whole point. It’s sort of a rite of passage, spending the night dishing about boys and giggling with your friends.
But if you’re a 40-something-year-old woman, it’s a sure sign you’ve completely lost your mind when you agree to let a gaggle of giggly girls invade your home.
It’s official. I’ve lost my mind.
When my husband Tom and I told our 10-year-old granddaughter Kaylee that she could have some friends over sometime for a sleepover, we had no idea that “sometime” would come sooner than we thought. In fact, within just a couple of days of our mentioning the notion, Kaylee called us on it.
“So, what about this sleepover?” she asked.
The sleepover — which, to my thinking, involved inviting two or three friends over to order pizza, watch movies and crash on the couch — quickly escalated to a full-fledged slumber party when Kaylee stumbled onto a children’s party supply catalog that had arrived in the day’s mail. Perfect timing, huh?
Within hours, I found myself ordering a full slumber party package that included balloons and streamers and tableware and diaries and souvenir picture frames and bracelets and an autographable pillow case for the little hostess … and so on.
It was abundantly clear that I was in way over my head.
The next few days were packed with talk of meals and snacks and what movies would need to be rented, while the final hours to countdown were spent cleaning house and filling helium balloons and making the snack table look like a bed with clever use of a pink sheet and a pillowcase that would have made even Martha Stewart proud.
And, yes, I now know that cleaning the house before the party was a complete waste of time, thank you very much. What can I say? I’m a rookie.
Once the girls arrived, it took a matter of seconds before our previously peaceful family room was transformed into a virtual no-man’s land that more closely resembled a college dorm room with its piles of purses, clothes, shoes, makeup, nail polish, blankets and pillows.
From then on, the house buzzed with a flurry of activity that included facials (complete with fresh avocado mashed in the food processor), eating, bracelet-making, eating, games, eating, lots of chick flicks and — did I happen to mention this? — eating.
It was an eventful evening, to say the least. My highlights included:
• Watching the girls enjoy a relaxing night of pampering one another with facials — followed by my tediously picking smashed chunks of gunky green avocado out of my bathroom carpet.
• Seeing the tires on my husband’s lawn tractor-driven wagon nearly flattened by the weight of the precious cargo as he chauffeured the girls around the yard like they were a carriage full of royalty, complete with them giving their best beauty queen waves.
• Checking on the girls at 3 a.m. only to be told that their soft drinks were all watery and needed to be freshened. After all, what else could I possibly be doing at 3 in the morning?
• Hearing one girl respond with “Decaf, please” when asked about her choice of breakfast beverages.
• Seeing one young guest shatter her old slumber party record by actually staying awake until 5 in the morning — and then boast of the accomplishment to her completely horrified mother.
By Saturday afternoon, as the party wound down, the once giggly and now glassy-eyed girls had migrated from the trashed family room to my un-trashed bedroom to flop across my bed and watch movies.
In the end, the house was still standing and we all survived the night. The only reminders of the girls’ visit were a small red Kool-Aid stain that was easily removed from the carpet, one bedroom clock that had been reset to the wrong time, a handful of paper wads crammed into one of my shoes and — most surprising of all — a stack of handwritten notes tucked into the nightstand next to my side of the bed.
I found the notes after the girls had gone, as I was clearing away the remnants of their revelry. They’re probably just messages scribbled to one another, I thought to myself. But closer inspection revealed they were thank-you notes penned to me in each girl’s best cursive.
They said things like “Thank you for letting me stay with you and for being so kind” and “Thank you for letting me have an awesome sleepover. I really enjoyed it.”
You’re welcome, girls.
And you’re welcome to come back any time — as long as I’ve had a nap first.

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