Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Things I’ve Learned from a Sleepover

My daughter just celebrated her eighth birthday by having her first sleepover. Actually it was her first, her friends’ first and our first as parents. Yup, we were all sleepover virgins. So as a first time sleepover parent I learned a few things and what better place to post them than as part of Oh Amanada’s Top Ten Tuesday post.

  1. Air Mattresses aren’t really designed for sleeping on. Call me foolish but I always thought the purpose of having an air mattress was so you didn’t have to sleep on the hard floor. Turns out air mattresses are really designed to be slides off the bed, trampolines, lean-to tents, barriers to keep siblings out, basically everything and anything but sleeping on. The girls ended up sleeping on the floor UNDER the air mattresses.
  2. Labeling a room off-limits only attracts siblings. I think if you have the space, each child should have their own area, their own room. We’re fortunate enough that all 3 of our kids have their own rooms. The kids play well together but sometimes everyone needs personal time. Our kids know to respect each other space and stay out of each others rooms unless invited. That is until the words ‘Do Not Enter’ are attached. My daughter and her friends were in her room, the younger 2 were told to stay out but the ‘Do Not Enter’ label is just too enticing. Sometimes the 2 youngest would play together just outside my daughter’s bedroom door, flirting with the danger of being caught.
  3. The later the evening the louder the sleepover guests become. Maybe it’s because there’s less outside noise, maybe it’s because the girls are overly tired. Maybe it’s because I’m overly tired. Whatever the reason, as the sky got darker the sound from my daughter’s room seemed to get louder.
  4. The more warnings you give the louder the sleepover guests become. I expected the girls to be excited and get loud but I had two younger kids who were trying to sleep and I didn’t want to be the one trying to console them when they were woken mid-dream from fits of laughter coming from down the hall. You would think the obvious solution would be to tell them to keep their voices down. And each time I made that request they were quiet initially but the noise level would increase to the next level and rise from there.
  5. The term sleeopover is a misnomer. You would think by the term ‘sleepover’ the girls actually do some sleeping. Not these girls. I think in the future the sleepover should be called the stayover.
  6. Sleepover guests can function on very little or no sleep at all. It was 1 a.m. and my daughter and her friend were still awake chatting and giggling, though much quieter at this point. I was asleep before they were. In the morning they told me they all didn’t go to sleep until 6 a.m. I remember laying there thinking how much ‘fun’ it was going to be getting the girls up for church the next day. But they were up before more and they were cheerful! Why can’t my daughter wake-up like that every day (on more sleep)?
  7. Family rules don’t seem to apply. My daughter is usually very good at following the rules at home though I have noticed lately she’s been pushing the limits more. I’m sure this is just the start of what’s to come. But through friends in the mix and she’s a little more daring. She knows she’s not suppose to jump on the bed but at the sleepover bed jumping was the first thing on her list. No water before bed, but all 3 girls were in the bathroom many times getting a drink. Perhaps she wants to look cool in front of her friends. Maybe she thinks I won’t call her on breaking the rules. When I did remind her politely she stopped (at least when I was looking). It is a party so I tried to be a little flexible too.
  8. Kids at a sleepover require more food in a night than they do in a week. My daughter is a good eater, always has been. Some nights she eats more dinner than me, though I don’t know where she puts it. Oh yah, she eats it and I seem to wear it. There’s something about a sleepover that stirs up a kids appetite. They had snacks when they arrived. They ate dinner. They had snacks at the movie. More snacks at home. Midnight snacks. Crack of dawn snacks. And they still ate breakfast. It must be all that trampolining they’re doing (see point 1)
  9. I’m not as cool or as hip as I think I am. My daughter was excited about her sleepover and who could blame her. She was having 2 of her friends over for almost a whole day and night. No homework or school assignments just talking and joking and giggling all night. At first my only fear was some child wanting to go home early, a child not having fun, but that didn’t happen. No, as the night wore on I found myself worried about something getting broken in the room, the siblings being upset about not being able to join in, the kids not getting any sleep. I felt I was in there telling them to stop jumping, stop yelling, stop laughing so loud. I realized that I was behaving like a grumpy parent and not the cool, hip parent that I’ve always thought I was. (see all the points above)
  10. I would do it again. Yes, even with the late night and jumping and occasional fights, I would let my daughter host a sleepover again. I would be more prepared now having done it the first time. Okay, maybe not more prepared but certainly less unaware. Like anything, it can only get better the more you do it right? Now I’m off to console my 3-year-old. I told her she’s too young to have her own sleepover.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. My daughter is 7 and we haven’t done the sleepover thing yet. I’ll keep all this in mind though, thanks!

    Reply

  2. i remember sleepovers…they were so much fun. I’m glad you weren’t permanently scarred.

    Reply

  3. Been there! Your post brought back some memories of when my daughter first started having sleepovers.

    Reply

  4. […] It was the best 5-cents every spent. You can still buy these now. Last Tuesday I talked about the Top 10 Things I Learned from my Daughter’s (and my) First Sleepover. Writing the post and reading the comments had me thinking back to my own sleepover days (and I’m […]

    Reply

  5. Posted by Lisa on May 11, 2010 at 12:31 am

    very funny ! brings me back to my own childhood sleep over days !

    We have not attempted the sleepover yet…. in fact it hasn’t even been on the radar screen …. we have 4 babies – oldest son is 8 in July , daughter 6 in October, 2nd daughter – 3 on Friday and youngest son 2 this Halloween and thankfully the sleepover hasn’t been spoken about – I’m conflicted because the sleepover is somewhat a right of passage and I certainly enjoyed my fair share of sleepovers… I am hesitant though…. as our family has experienced a ‘horror’ story and this has really made me think twice as to the ‘safety’ – I did declare a few years back that sleepovers can be at out house but I wasn’t going to allow them to go to a friends….. am I being overly protective? or is this a fear of our time? would love to hear someone elses perspective –

    your post was amusing and did bring me back to the good old days – i think a sleepover might be in our future !

    Reply

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