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Hosting A Sleep Over Party

The Sleepover

When my sister turned eleven years old (I was close to ten at the time) she had a huge sleepover birthday party. There was probably a dozen young girls whom attended and I distinctly remember a wild soiree with lots of fun and laughter as well as catty bickering and hysterical crying. Not exactly sure the cause of all the disagreements and tears. Looking back, I’m sure that it was frustrating for my overwhelmed over-matched mom and I’m unsure where my dad was smartly hiding out that night. There was no plan to keep all the girls busy other than bring your sleeping bag and have cake with ice cream. Err, well, there probably were a few planned activities, I cant recall, however this was the first and only big sleepover party my sister had.

Thirty years later: Olivia turns eight years old and requests a sleepover party. I imagine an out-of-control party with Olivia in tears, crying over one thing or another, a crazed troop of little girls running mindlessly through the house and tauntingly dancing on my broken spirit. Apprehensively, Kim and I agreed to the sleepover party.

We planned the party for a Saturday night and before we sent out the photoshopped invitations Kim called the parents of all the girls that Olivia wanted to invite verifying if each invitee was available and able to spend the night. Six of the eight girls that could attend the BFF Sleepover themed party planed on spending the night.

We arranged for Hailey to spend the night at her friend Parker’s house for the duration of Olivia’s party to avoid sibling rivalry which meant we would be responsible for nine little people (including three of our four). I was excited for a big fun party but I think Kim’s apprehensiveness had turned to fear and anxiety at the reality of this daunting responsibility. I’ll twist the story back to this soon.

If the party was to succeed we needed a plan. Olivia had a few things in mind that she wanted to do and we turned her ideas into activities. We planned a scavenger hunt, a BFF quiz, nail painting, sleepover t-shirt signing, a movie, pizza and cupcakes.

The preparations started a week before the party. Kim picked up t-shirts at local craft store for 2.50 each, not too bad, also bought a pack of blank iron-on screen transfers equating too a dollar per each transfer. I used Photoshop to create a BFF sleepover design which printed on our inkjet and then I adhered the design via iron. This took a bit longer then anticipated and was a good thing I did this in advance of party.

The BFF quiz Kim found online and Olivia had pre-answered the questions the day before the party. The giant pizzas we picked up at Sam’s Club on the cheap. The cupcake-cake Kim ordered from Walmart’s bakery, good quality for the price.  Kim also restocked the nail polish supplies as well.

An hour prior the party, I put together a rhyming scavenger hunt. The Sleep-Over Bandit had dog-napped Olivia’s can’t sleep without stuffed dog Fetchy and it was up to the party crew to find each clue leading them to the rescue.

Did the party go well? Did anyone get over emotional and break down in tears? Were there arguments or squabbling? I’m getting to that.

We had planned as well as we could. Kim’s pre-party nerves manifested into a whole house blitz cleaning. I mentioned to her that the house would likely be a mess after the party and she was merely wasting her energy cleaning beforehand. “This house is a mess!” was her curt response. I couldn’t argue that fact and slinked away without offering to help.

The first activity was the scavenger hunt. The girls raced from one end of the house to the other finding each clue, Olivia, being a gracious host, allowed each friend to read one clue and eventually they rescued Fetchy. No breakdowns or meltdowns at that point but it was early. Luckily the weather was good because in-between activities the animals herded out into yard and played.

The BFF quiz was clever fun. Ten questions about Olivia ranging from her most embarrassing moment (forgetting her homework) to favorite food (pizza). No problems with sore losers and there was no cheating involved but it was just for fun and no awards were given out. Side note: Olivia and I changed the game a bit without Kim’s knowledge so when Kim was explaining the rules of the game to all the kids Olivia and I had to correct her and I think she was a bit perturbed at me for lack of communication.  After the quiz, the party headed outside for more active play.

Next was mannies but this man shied away from the activity. Everyone shared the polishes and buffers and sandpaper-tongue-depressors so no arguments or problems. By the time the paint had dried they were running and playing outside.

The BFF sleepover shirt signing was a hit. Each girl, including Elizabeth and Kim received a custom designed shirt and all the girls signed each others t’s using fabric markers. No fray over who got which color shirt or which color marker, at this I was surprised.

SleepOver T Shirt Design

SleepOver T Shirt Design

Popped two huge sixteen inch cheese pizzas in the oven which were inhaled, not a piece left, there was just enough and unlike a pack of wolfs fighting for the last scraps of meat the girls calmly dived the last few pieces. Like a pack a wolfs there was more running and playing outside.

Then we lit candles on the cupcake-cake and sang “happy birthday”. Followed by ferocious play out in the yard until dusk settled in and the sugar wore off. Surely as the energy dwindled someone would emotionally meltdown but no.

The half dirty dozen that were staying the night got cleaned up and into nighties. I popped white corn in our well used whirly-pop while Kim hit play on the DVD player, Tangled was cued-up but I don’t think any of the little people watched past the first scene, rather gossip instead. I was positive the cackling would induce some heated emotion but it did not.

The sleeping arrangement was precarious and the six remaining girls had to figure out whom would sleep with whom. They negotiated between the bunk bed and one extra mattress on the floor without any arguments and fell asleep with many giggles and silly stories around midnight. A bit earlier then anticipated.

The girls rose with the sun and soon after I was sizzling  up a couple pounds of bacon and whipping together my specialty, Chocolate Belgium Waffles, (pancake mix, cocoa, sugar, eggs, oil, pinch of salt). We didn’t really have a plan for the morning so the girls just played with Olivia’s gifts and other toys and packed up for a prompt ten o’clock departure. Kim busted out the vacuum right after breakfast and I kinda barked at her to relax and wait till the guests were picked up and I felt the cold stare of resentment for it. As it turns out, the only bickering and emotional outbursts throughout the entire party, happened between Kim and I.

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One Response to “Hosting A Sleep Over Party”

  1. April 23rd, 2012 at 6:55 pm

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