This weekend, we voluntarily allowed Chloe to invite some of her friends over for a sleepover. It ended up being a total of 4, 7-8 year old girls, plus my 3 slightly older children. It was Chloe's first real “group” sleepover, and she really didnt know how to be a good hostess, mainly because she only wants to do what she wants to do. Several times we had to remind her that she could not play by herself, but needed to entertain her guests!
My kids are all very close in age, so when one of them have a friend over, they think its a “free for all”, and start vieing for who's going to be the one, to get the guest, to be THEIR friend. So…When Chloe's 3 friends showed up, they started right in. Hannah is the oldest girl, so she really didnt have to do anything to gain their attention. They obviously wanted to hang with the cool, preteen girl:).
Harley always resorts to charm. He offers to take their coats and/or sweater, takes their luggage to the appropriate room, offers to get them a cold beverage, then tries to hold all of their hands, and attempts to lure them in with his singing and dance moves.
Then there is Caleb, who always chooses the most bizarre ways to attract friends?!. I went outside, after hearing yelling, and he was annoyingly laughing, while acting like he was kicking the girls in the face, and stopping just inches from their noses! You can probably already guess who gains the least amount of friends during a visit, just by these characteristics alone:).
But… Its not only my kids who want visitors to think they're cool, I also try to stand out above the rest. I want these kids to think I'm the coolest, hippest mom! Naturally, I already know these qualities are true, I just need them to confirm it…. Boost my ego if you will:)
So… I volunteered to drive the slumber party girls to “Monkey Joes”, the warehouse of inflatable bags, so they could burn off some energy, prior to their slumbering. This was my chance to shine.
Before leaving, I say “Hey girls! We can't leave until we get some jammin out music going. And while you're thinking of what kind of music you'd like to hear, why don't I go on ahead and open the sunroof, in my cool Honda pilot?? Eh girls? Let the wind blow through our hair and stuff”??? Ummm hmm…
I was immediately knocked off my high horse, when they all started talking about their dads having 1 or 2 cars that had a sunroof, but that their dads have sports cars!! I didn't have time to cry about this, because I still had time to pull it together!! So I moved on to the music….
They selected Taylor Swift “We will never ever ever ever ever get back together”. I absolutely DESPISE this song, and of course, they knew all the lyrics. So with the bass thumping, our arms pumping, and all of them singing slightly off key, we rode on in style, and I was cool again. As I was grinning at them, in the rear view mirror, I realized that somewhere along the way I had also, subconsciously, memorized the lyrics. I found my own self belting the tune out, loudly, and completely ON key:). I was AWESOME!
They played at Monkey Joes for awhile, and when they would take breaks, I would entertain myself by listening to their “adult like” conversations. Such as…
Girl A: So, are you kinda getting to be friends with Caleb (my son from above)?
Girl D: stares blankly
Girl A: Because I've basically known him my whole life, and lets just say we never developed a friendship!
Then later, they enlightened me with more knowledge.. “Did you know that every day someone has a birthday, and every minute someone dies”? Fascinating;)
On the way home, I had my “mom confidence” back. We sang more Taylor Swift songs, but their off key ranting wasn't as cute this time, so I started singing even louder, hoping to impress them with my voice range.. But it wasn't long before I realized, they had lost interest in my singing, so I turned down the music, to hear what they were saying. One girl said…”I live in that housing edition”. Then my own daughter said “I know, girl D, you always look like you live in a mansion”!
I again felt deflated. Who was I kidding, these girls were elite to our meager earnings:). Did I honestly think I could impress them by opening the sunroof on the Honda pilot, while jamming out to Taylor swift? Did I think I could lure them in by having the slumber party in the basement, where we set up a musty old tent and decorated it with Christmas lights? These girls couldn't be fooled by this trickery!!
Later, while they were eating cake and ice cream, I learned that all of the girls were babies in their family. They were even younger than their dogs and family pets! Really this could have been the recipe for disaster, and I wondered how they were getting along so well. Then I remembered, that for most of the night..GIRL A hung with Hannah, while GIRL J had been lured in by Harley's charm. GIRL D, was content to hang out with the adults, and Chloe played by herself…so they all were able to run their own show…
After they all tried on my evening gowns, watched a movie, got nestled in the tent, giggled about feeling farts coming on, and placed their new sleeping masks on, to assure a good nights rest, I poured myself a glass of wine, celebrated my successes, and reflected on the evening.
I started to laugh, when I remembered the best conversation I overheard that night. I had asked my daughter Chloe if she wanted to swim first or go to Monkey Joes first, and she said she'd ask her friends. I then heard her say “Lets go swimming last, that way we can go scuba diving in the dark”.
GIRL D: “What's scuba diving”.
CHLOE: “Its when you take your clothes off and go swimming at night. My family does it all the time”!!!!
These are the moments I feel the coolest and proudest…..