My kids love sleepovers. They've been doing them since they were quite small because we've always been a little short on babysitters while we lived abroad and sometimes farming them out to stay with their friends was the easiest solution for nabbing a night out with Nobby. Easiest for me of course, I think Rose did the first one and ended up with all the kids in one room as they were too excited to be separated and she felt obliged to sleep with them in case of any trouble in the night. I'm amazed she ever offered again.
Of course palming your own kids off on others means you have to return the favour and we certainly do our bit. Though Nobby still greets the news that we have small guests with a little bit of head holding, some shoulder-sagging and a couple of 'oh no's. I can't say I blame him; despite the up side of being banned from all contact with the child in question in case I embarrass them in front of their mate, there is the down side of the endless showing off when they emerge in search of refreshments and the inevitably very late night.
One time Poppet was still up chatting at 3am, but of course it was all her friend's idea , probably had a gun to her head, or at least a 'stay awake or I'll tell everyone at school you still wear Hello Kitty Pjs'. As a parent you're torn between the usual bellowing 'Go To Sleep' across the landing or more polite interjection, just in case little friend has a sensitive countenance. I once looked after the daughter of a friend of mine who never, ever raises her voice and is as unhurried and placid as a sloth on Valium. One of mine did something typically spectacular to raise my ardour, probably something either dangerous involving pillows or messy involving chocolate knowing my two, and caused me to shout. The poor little lamb burst into tears of fear and bewilderment until her big sister informed me 'My mother never shouts.' I'm not sure I'd truly believed it until then. Whatever she's got I want some.
Anyway, Pickle had a sleepover this past Friday night. All went well and they spent the obligatory 5 hours between home-time and bedtime ensconced in a game in his bedroom, only coming out for a bit of sister-baiting and grub-munching. I often find the guest is incredibly well behaved when they come here. Perhaps that's because I have the word 'ogre' tattooed on my forehead? Or Pickle's wound them up with stories of how I reduce small children to tears with my shouting. Naturally he'll have embellished and totally left out the part where he sat on the dog, chucked half his breakfast on the floor, mislaid each and every essential part of his uniform and THEN decided to tell me about the homework he'd forgotten to do.
They even went to bed quite easily and I only had to re inflate the airbed twice. The drop-off next morning was another matter though. This is what was supposed to happen:
I text Mummy and check what time she wants her son back and can we save her some time by dropping him off on our way into town. She texts me back yes, 1pm at his grandparent's house would be great. I do the drop-off at the agreed time and we all gaily drive off to town for a mooch.
Now here's what actually happened when you take the women out of the equation and add a couple of curve balls:
I text Mummy to check when and where to drop her son. She confirms 1pm at his nan's as Mummy herself is away for the weekend.
Suddenly Poppet announces she's not feeling well and I find out she has a temperature of 101 degrees and won't be going anywhere. Poppet starts to wail that she really is well enough to go to New Look and can't possibly take nasty medicine and go back to bed.
Nobby valiantly steps up and loads the boys into the car at 12.55 with much 'have you got everything?' checks and heads for the drop-off.
Little friend's Dad arrives on my doorstep at 1pm to collect now absent son. I tell him he'll be at his nan's in about 30 seconds, he says 'Good because he's being picked up there at 1 pm for a day out.'
Nobby texts me at 1.15pm to say they are in the queue for the car wash, still with little friend in the car because he wanted to see what it was like. I have no numbers for Nan, Dad or person sitting waiting at Nan's house so desperately text Mummy to let people know there is a delay.
Nobby delivers little friend to his nan's at 1.35pm, person picking him up is cold and distant.
Nobby texts me at 1.45pm to say he's discovered little friend's coat, school bag and lunch box in the back seat of his car.
Next evening Mummy texts me to ask if I've seen her boy's school shirt and jumper.
Still, it would have been a boring weekend without all the shenanigans, at least you can rely on the men to entertain.
And in that vein here is the joke from the lovely Mr Pickle (all his own work apparently):
A teddy bear turns to his mate and says 'Are you hungry?' and the other bear says, 'No thanks mate, I'm stuffed.'
Mothers; Know your limits...
3 days ago