The other day I was ambushed by two adorable 5th graders. They had the sweet smiles and the super-politeness down pat. They wanted to ask if Callie (who goes by her given name, Amanda, at school) could have a sleep over with her friend.
I need to stop here for a moment and explain that I have a difficult time with the whole “sleep-over” thing. When I was growing up, I quickly realized that my parents did not like them at all. I remember going to four sleepovers at my school friends’ house. Once in intermediate school, and three times in High school. I do not recall ever having any of my friends over to our house. I hated asking my parents if I could go, because I already knew the answer would be NO. I don’t remember why, on those few occasions, they said yes. Regardless, the general (unspoken) rule was “Don’t even ask, because the answer is no.”
I’m not sure why they were like that. Whether they just didn’t want the hassle of arranging it, or the worry of something bad happening, or even having their kid being exposed to other people’s lifestyle. Probably all of the above. As a result, I have a really hard time with the idea of sleepovers for my kids. I have all those same worries I just mentioned. So, I was completely taken off guard when those two very sweet girls came skipping up to me on Thursday and we had the following conversation:
Little Girl: “Um, Amanda’s Mom, Amanda said you told her she could come to my Halloween party on Saturday night, so, um, could she, like, please have a sleepover at my house tomorrow night? You know, she can, like, um, stay all day and, like, help us get food and other stuff like that ready before we have the Halloween party….” [insert two brightly smiling faces]
Me [Holy crap did they really just ambush me like that? What the crap do I do?!!]: “Did your Mom say it was okay for her to sleep over?”
Little Girl: “Um, no, I didn’t ask her yet, but I’m going to ask her tonight.”
Me [Huge sigh of relief]: “Well, have your Mom call me if she is okay with it. I’ll have to think about it first and see if we have any plans or not [we DON’T, darn it!].
Now, I was fairly relieved at that point because I kept thinking that in NO WAY will this be ok with the little girl’s Mom. She is planning a Halloween party for a bunch of kids, and why on earth would she want to have an extra one underfoot an entire day early? I was also a little panicked because I’ve never seen this little girl before, and I certainly don’t know her Mom. I was thinking that on the off-chance the mom says YES, that now I have to go through the entire process of meeting the other parent, figuring out if they’re a psychopath out to harm my child or if they really are sane and my daughter is going to be safe with them.
I asked Mister what he thought about it, and figured he would agree that she shouldn’t go. I was incredibly surprised to hear him say it sounded like a good idea, and that she could benefit from the socialization. That was a LIGHT BULB moment for me. I never even thought about sleepovers that way. Then I remembered how much I always wanted to go have fun at my friends’ houses, but never could. I could clearly see that Callie was very excited about this, and I realized that I do not want to take her fun away. I don’t want her to get hurt either, but I know I have good Mom instincts. Now I was kind of hoping the Mom would be okay with two giggly little Tweens under feet for 24 hours.
The little girl called later and said her Mom was ok with it. I told Callie about a bazillion times that if she got really scared or any bad feelings that she should call me and I’d come right over. I also told her that everyone gets weird-ish kind of feelings when being in a new place and doing something different, and that those will quickly go away. She reassured me many times that she understood and repeated my cell phone number to me. Then she gleefully packed her clothes while I did the best I could to put aside whatever outrageous scary thoughts that were trying to creep inside my head. I had many horrific ones, I’ll tell you that. I met her Mom after school yesterday, and she was very nice. I had no heebie-jeebies or worries of closet psychopaths. Callie merrily skipped off on her weekend adventure, and I went to bed shoving any bad “but this could happen” thoughts out of my head.
I must admit to having a hard time with not knowing for sure if she’s ok. I wasn’t going to find out until I picked her up after the Halloween party tonight. I wanted to have an excuse to call her last night, but I didn’t want to embarass her with a “good night” phone call. I wanted to call her first thing this morning, but I didn’t want to interrupt her current enjoyment of [supervised] freedom from the family. However, Mister just came by and read some of this. He had no clue I felt ambushed or that I was so nervous about sleepover type things. Apparently, I handled myself pretty well yesterday. He said, “You know, it’s not inappropriate for you to call and make sure Callie is behaving herself and not creating any kind of difficulties by being there today.”
It took me all of two seconds to pick up the phone and call. All is well. I’m told she is being super helpful (exactly like Callie), and she and her friend have been decorating and baking since this morning. Sounds like a perfect sleepover to me. What a relief. And I’m going to have an exhausted, but very happy, little girl come home tonight.
Letting my little girl enjoy her dash too,