Sunday, August 23, 2009
My daughter celebrated her 10th birthday awhile back.
In a moment of profound weakness - or stupidity - I agreed to her hosting a sleepover at our house for half a dozen or so 4th-grade girls.
The girls show up Friday evening, and I hand them brand-new, beautiful colored chalk and direct them outside to the driveway, imagining to myself that they will spend hours of delightful, artistic, harmonious bliss, creating beautiful masterpieces of art that can be shared with the entire neighborhood.
Much to my dismay, the girls all come back running into the house in 2.36 minutes flat - announcing they are done with sidewalk art - and 5 pairs of eyeballs stare at me, waiting for the next activity. I take a peek outside and instead of Renoir, Monet or even Picasso-like masterpieces, I see a few scribbled phrases such as, "Sara is a dork" and "Brandon is a poop-head." Okay - so much for art - obviously these girls are into gym, right?
I send the girls to the backyard to the jungle gym, where they each hop on the swingset - swing up - swing down - hop off - and come running back to the house, announcing they are "bored" and "now what?!" I firmly tell them they must spend at least 5 minutes on the swing set - no exceptions - and so off they march, looking as if I've sent them into battle or something. Okay - they're not into gym, either.
At the end of the 5 minute purgatory spent on the swing set, the pizza man arrives (thank you, Jesus!) - and I discover what the girls ARE into - food. I have never seen two large cheese pizzas disappear so fast - I had to hold my teenage boys back or else, they, too, would have been snarfed in the ensuing madness of pizza and soda pop. Dinner lasted all of 4.1 minutes.
I bring out the cake and ice cream, and we spend 7.2 seconds singing the "Happy Birthday" song - off-key, of course - and I realize the girls aren't so much into music, either. My ears are still sore.
Cake and ice cream disappear in record time, and so I pop some popcorn. The popcorn is consumed in less time than it took to pop in the microwave.
It is now time to put the girls in the mini-van and take them to the show, where we're going to watch "Ponyo", a new Disney release. My hubby is the designated driver, and he glares at me in the front seat as we wait for five girls to figure out how to buckle themselves in - all squealing, laughing, giggling, touching, punching and snorting. If looks could kill, my hubby would have sent me to the grave right then and there. "You owe me", he whispers as we drive to the theater with our precious cargo.
At the theater, we stand in the concession line for what seems like 32 minutes as each girl makes up her mind of what flavor of icee to drink (geez - there's only 2 flavors - red or blue!!! How hard IS it to make a decision??!! Pick one, already!) and what candy to choose from (okay, I understand the indecision here - there's like, 50 flavors of candy in the case.) I smile weakly at the people glaring at us from behind, and mouth a silent apology - and then say, "Sleep over" - and the looks from the patrons turn from anger to pure sympathy and pity. I think I even heard someone say, "We're so sorry."
After (finally) getting our food, the girls skip into the theater and we all sit down and watch what I have to honestly say (sorry, Disney) is the worst movie that I have seen in....say....my life. Seriously. Ninety minutes of pure torture for hubby and me - but the girls sit there, transfixed, munching their candy and slurping their icees. Life is good in their world.
When the credits roll, I roll my eyeballs back from the inside of my head and round the girls up to head home. It is now 10:30 pm - time for bed.
I carefully lay out everyone's sleeping bags and pillows as the girls change into their pajamas and brush their teeth. I sweetly tell them that they can chit-chat until 11:00 pm and then it will be lights off. The girls all smile at me, so angelically - and I pat myself on the back for being such a good manager of all things sleep-over. The girls lay in their bags, talking and laughing and giggling - and life is good. At 11:00 pm, I go in and turn the light off.
A few seconds of blessed quiet - and then the gates of hell opened; each girl became possessed by an evil demon spirit which took over their sweet, innocent bodies- pillows were flying, girls were screaming and laughing, feathers were floating, and hubby and I looked at each other in shock. We would take turns that evening, going into the hell-hole, demanding peace and quiet and ordering the girls to bed. Silence would then ensue for about 2 minutes and then the decibel level would begin climbing, all over again - reaching eardrum shattering levels.
At one point - it may have been 1:20 in the morning, I walked in right when one of the little demons said, "Let's pull an all-nighter." I said, "Let's not." And gave them a look of pure determination and pure "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore - go to bed NOW!!!!!"
The girls finally drifted off around 4:30 a.m.
At 8:00 a.m., I walked in the room - flipping on lights - cheerfully announcing, "Rise and shine! Your parents will be here, soon!" The girls groaned - and I smiled, gleefully. They had their fun the night before - now it was my turn. What sadistic pleasure I took in waking those girls up that morning - am I horrible?!
As the parents arrived to take the little demons - I mean girls - home, hubby and I collapsed on the sofa. Daughter came skipping up and said, "That was fun! Can we do another sleepover next weekend?"
I will leave it up to your imagination, dear readers, on what our response was.