Sometimes, the best thing you can say about really stupid brilliant ideas is that you’ve survived them. The Great “Sleep”over of 2012 has come, has gone, and it kicked my ass. But, Saturday afternoon when Gracie turned to me and said, completely out of nowhere, “Yesterday was the best day of my life, Mommy!” seemed to make it all worth it.
I’m pretty sure I lost a little more than half my mind. The rest of it is still twitching. But I shouldn’t complain – it was the best day of my baby’s life, after all. And why not?
The sweets: The Candy Meadow Room cake from Willy Wonka didn’t come out quite like I had envisioned, but Gracie thought it was the coolest thing ever. A fudge river, fudge waterfall, green spiky grass, lollipop and cotton candy trees, flowering brownie bushes, gummi bears and gummi cherries… it was tricked out. And – my favorite – ready in plenty of time for the party. We’ll ignore the part where the brownie pops I spent two hours making went untouched, or that time that Gracie’s (wildish) friend Big A. shook a soda in order to spray her friends.Thankfully(for flipping out on other people’s kids is generally frowned upon), I caught her as she was shaka-shaka-shaking it and told her that was not a good inside activity. Ahem.
The sweets: themed variety: The kiddos loved making their own lollipops. Painting some of the depressions different colors to make fancy, multi-colored lollipops was apparently the best! thing! ever! And since they lost interest after one pan, no one was sugarhigh. For too long. Sort of. We’ll ignore the fact that I ordered about $20 too much of the candy melts for Corrie and I have already planned Cakepop Day at Casa de Katie. FTW!
The pukemeister that wasn’t: Did I mention that Bee came home from her dad’s house on Thursday night all pukey? No?Because she did. She threw up three times at her dad’s, twice at my house, and woke up four times during the night. She said she felt better on Friday, so, like the mean mom I am, I sent her to school because I had to cover the office and no one would believe me if I called out sick. I spent the day sacrificing small woodland animals and trading karmic wishes with the universe if only Bee stayed in school. And because I had successfully made plans to ship her off to her dad’s if she was sick again, the little booger didn’t puke once. The upside: Bee not only stayed healthy, but she was the best behaved kiddo at the party. (Dear pod-peoples: I might be slightly freaked out here, but don’t you dare try to trade me back for this PodBee. I like her. Lots.)
The sleeping: Ha! HA! HA HA HA HA HAAAAA! Sleeping! At a sleepover of 8-year-olds! HA! I made everyone get pajamafied and lie down at 10 p.m. I shut the big lights off and everything. At 11 p.m., I threatened to shut off the movie, and at almost midnight, with only two of them still awake, I cut off their electricity. No more TV for them! But the joke was on me because at 2:30 a.m. (TWO-THIRTYA.M.!) I woke up to the sound of screaming and laughing. I flung my bedroom door open and saw all the lights (ALL THE LIGHTS!!!) on and a pillow-fight frozen mid-swing. Gracie tried telling me she was trying to sleep, but Big A. and Little A. were being too giggly. “Trying to sleep while coloring in your color-me-purse?” I asked. I flipped out a bit, rearranged everyone’s sleeping bags, reiterated my expectations of QUIET and SLEEPING and shut off the lights. And I only had to repeat that twice more in the next ten minutes before the pea-soup spewing out of my rapidly rotating head convinced them I was serious.
The upside: I finished an entire book (Stephen King’s new Dark Tower) while waiting for the chilluns to get sleepy. Well, actually, I read most of it Friday night, and then finished it off over coffee while I hid in my bedroom from the scary, sleepless zombie-children. Between reading my book and texting with my dear childhood friend with whom I spent many sleepovers on the other (ahem: fun!) side of the equation, I think I kept my sanity from leaking out my ear.
The Aftermath: Saturday morning wasn’t nearly as bas as I thought. The girls played outside (Sorry neighbors! Shrieking childrens are not exactly fun at 8:30 in the morning. That’s why I let them play outside. Ahem.) while I inhaled coffee. Gracie’s friend across the street had to leave early because of a soccer game (and I was sad, for she was the best one there), and then Big A. just kinda walked out the door an hour later. Yes! Seriously! I was in my bedroom reading and I heard the squeaky deadbolt turn and the door open. When I walked into the living room, Big A. was gone. Thankfully, her dad answered when I called, frantically, and said he had her and all was well. And after an impromptu lecture to the remaining girls that you DO NOT leave without telling a grown-up, so were we. In fact, Bee, Gracie, and Little A. played so well for the remaining hour and a half that I was almost sad to see Little A. go. She had staved off the exhaustion and the whining and the inevitable clean-up, after all. Heh.
But, like I said, we all survived. Rooms were cleaned with surprisingly little resistance. Tears stayed banished. Naps were taken – although, admittedly, but Mommy only. And as a reward (for me!), we all went to see The Pirates late Saturday afternoon. I thought it was a rather clever way to stave off the meltdowns that were sure to come if we tried to power through on our own.
Gracie might have had the best day of her life on Friday, but I think all three of us at Casa de Katie can agree that Saturday night was the best sleep of our life. The Great “Sleep”over of 2012 is over…and only 364 days until we have to survive the next one.