Sleepover sleeplessness

I am recovering from this weekend’s sleepover for 10 year olds.

I survived this weekend’s sleepover for 10 year olds. Just about. I was really, really, really trying to be good and look like a fun mum, but I cracked at midnight and then again at 1.30am. I just need sleep. One of the girls had been over around six months ago and said after I had got cross at circa midnight because no-one was going to sleep, in particular bonkers daughter who was the life and soul of the party and could easily stay up all night dancing and singing, that, and I quote, "this is the worst sleepover ever". I had some ground to make up. I had started the party at 2pm, which I realised subsequently was far, far, far too early, given that they were all staying till 11am the next day. We headed over in the ice to the cinema. So far, so good. We were late – naturally [we are always late] – but only our usual 3 minutes. The film, Nativity, had started so we grabbed some popcorn, but not drinks. In our family, drinks in the cinema are not only expensive but mean the parents get to miss the best part of the film by having to yo yo in and out of the toilet all the time. We have a total ban on drinks for children in cinemas. Unfortunately, the other kids were thirsty within, ooh, five minutes of the film. I had a diet coke so shared it round. One of the children said it made her feel sick to share a straw. Bad mum mark number one. We got home and I offered everyone juice and water. Everyone wanted the flat diet coke and lemonade we had bought earlier in the week. I texted my partner – bring more coke. He was picking up KFC. Too late. We had to make do with flat diet coke and lemonade. Bad mum mark number two.

After what seemed like hours of people running up and down and generally traumatising the guinea pigs, we coralled people to the bedroom area. We even managed to get bonkers and big girl daughters to leave rebel daughter’s bedroom at around 9.30pm and agree to go to sleep, if only by convincing two of the big girls to cuddle them up. So far so good. I was very tired. I had slept twice in bonkers daughter’s bed the night before and then cuddled up big girl daughter in the dead of night, all with an aching upper arm [the nurse said the swine flu jab might hurt my arm a bit as it went straight into the muscle. She wasn’t wrong]. Bonkers daughter has an infected spot for which she is taking antibiotics and had woken at 1am demanding to be taken to the hospital. Bonkers daughter couldn’t sleep on one side of her body due to the spot. I couldn’t sleep on one side of my body due to the jab. In the end, we didn’t really sleep at all. So I wasn’t in the best frame of mind for a sleepover. By midnight my partner was asleep and half the girls were still partying, loudly, while the other half were desperate for sleep. I went in several times. I tried reason. I tried humour. Nothing worked. In the end I threatened to ban all subsequent sleepovers for eternity. A little over the top maybe, but it seemed to work. Until 1.30am, when the screams and giggles of two of the girls who were sharing a mattress reached my ears, and those of bonkers daughter, who climbed into our bed. I knew big girl daughter would not be far behind and I also knew that my partner, big girl daughter, bonkers daughter and I don’t fit in the big bed. I tried to ignore the noise emanating from rebel daughter’s room. It got louder. I thundered in. They had woken one of the pro-sleep group. I threatened to wake up my own sleeping rebel daughter and get her to tell them to be quiet [I said "shut up" as I know that this is equivalent to a swear word at school and I was going for broke]. It seemed to work. Big girl daughter came in, as expected, circa 3am and I decamped to the bottom of the bed. Bonkers daughter awoke at around 4am and said she was going back to bed. Fantastic. A spare space for me in the main bed.
Everyone ate and drank non-stop from 5pm to 11am except for the brief sleep part and luckily the heavy snow that was threatened didn’t come and we weren’t snowed in for days. I am sure I am down as some ogre mother in many people’s books, but the main thing is that rebel daughter had a great time and she is now 10. I can hardly believe it was 10 years ago that I stayed up all night just looking at her, thinking she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. And, alongside her two sleepless sisters, she still is.  

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