I'm being fueled by two cups of Peet's coffee and may need more. Last night my nine year old daughter had one of the rite of passage events which we hosted---the slumber party! Now, don't get me wrong, the girls had a splendid time, but mom, dad and Koda the dog are moving a bit slowly this morning.
The night started off with the grand arrival. Sleeping bags and luggage a tow. And the excitement, the anticipation, the screams of what was to come. After a nutritious meal of Costco cheese pizza as well as carrots with ranch, the girls were split into two teams for the featured activity of the evening, the scavenger hunt. Nancy and I both captained teams. The girls were rearing to go and ready to beat the other team into submission. The scavenger list included household items like paper clips, straws, blue ribbon and pennies (the Neiman's need to pay the mortgage!). My team had a bit of difficulty getting the neighbors to open the doors. This is the burbs after all and folks are concerned to open their cocoons to anybody after 7 PM. But we did succeed in finding all our treasures even though my wife's team beat us by a good ten minutes. After the loss was rubbed in our faces, prizes were given to all participants, Silly Putty and colorful nail files. The smiles were back.
Next on the agenda were ice cream sundaes. The biggest decision so far this evening. Vanilla or peppermint or a scoop of both. Plus fudge topping, sprinkles, maraschino cherries and whipped cream. Finally a bit of silence. But short lived as the sugar rush kicked in to high gear.
PJs were quickly put. HSM, Hannah Montana and other Disney stars of the moment were abundant on the girls, pillows and sleeping bags. Not to mention Miley Cyrus's "Party in the USA" blaring from the IPOD speakers. Note to self--buy Disney stock on Monday. Next, Nancy and I were treated to a rousing Chorus Line routine of "Gobble, Gobble" from last week's all school meeting.
The square root of "wound up" pretty much explains things around 8:30. Most of these girls are usually being tucked in around now, but the energetic sugar laced cries of "what's next" were abundant. So to slow things down a pace, we took a vote on a movie. Thank goodness for on-demand. They settled for a Disney fav, "The Princess Diaries." A nice selection, no witches, no death, no dwarfs! Just Anne Hathaway looking like she stuck her finger in a light socket before her Oprah-like make over.
This kept things quiet for about an hour until a trio of girls bored with Mary Poppins playing a rigid queen decided it was time for a good game of Sorry. After the movie and game playing, teeth were brushed and the giggling and game playing resumed.
Around 11, Nancy and I huddled to see how we could force sleep upon eight unwilling victims. How do we end the fun and games? Simply telling them it was time for lights out crashed and burn. Even punishing them by telling them we'd be taking M&Ms off their morning pancakes if the talking continued had little impact. What finally worked... yours truly sitting in the basement acting as the silence cop. Presto, they were asleep in minutes. Good thing, looking at the clock, the carriage had just turned back into a pumpkin.
My blissful sleep came to an end at 7:15 to the sounds of laughter and girl talk. Stumbling downstairs I came across eight wide awake girls having potato sack races in their sleeping bags! They all excitedly recounted who woke up first and then who woke them. After the pancakes with a few less M&Ms were inhaled, bags were packed and sleeping bags were rolled up. The fun was coming to an end. As parents began to arrive, good byes and hugs were shared.
While I did not get my beauty sleep, this was an experience I will always remember. Good times were had by all, except for maybe Koda who had to be dragged out of his crate of refuge this morning. I'm left wondering what comes after the slumber party and my guess is more of the same, but at other friends' homes. Yes, payback time. All parents need to experience the joy of eight screaming pre-teens. Just be armed with plenty of caffeine the morning after!