Friday, January 25, 2008

The Sleep-Over

I have figured out something kid-related that I am truly good at....

The Sleep-Over.

I'm not talking about slumber parties---the events with 6-10 girls and a high expectation that the night will be awesome. Although I might be good at those, I haven't tried them yet.

No. I'm just talking about your average sleep-over. The one where, like tonight, your girlfriend and her hubby wanted a night out and you volunteered to take her kids overnight. Her kids and your kids are friends. It's a win/win.

I know so many people who stress about this type of "playdate." They cannot get the kids to bed, their houses are trashed, they end up losing their tempers or the kids have major meltdowns and everyone is exhausted in the end. Well, that's just not the case over here.

I rock the sleep-over.

Yep, that's right. I'm even blogging about it while its happening.

Here's what you do.

(1) Pick a Friday night. They're already tired from school and possibly even extra-curricular activities. Like today, mine had ballet and hers had gymnastics. You can't beat a Friday night. If you can't do a Friday, then take them to the park as soon as you get them on a Saturday. Let them burn some serious energy.

(2) Feed them. Feed them immediately so that there's no low blood sugar related stress events. Feed them something totally easy for you, yummy for them, and still relatively healthy with little to no sugar. For example, tonight I fed my crew of four frozen pizza, edamame, frozen mixed veggies, and sliced pear. No fuss. No muss.

(3) Drink a glass of wine. No more, no less. More would make you tired, or worse give you a bit of a buzz which just isn't any good with a group of kids. One is perfect. Just enough to take the edge off.

(4) Bathe them. They love it and it keeps them contained for at least an hour. If you have four, like I have tonight, put two in each of two tubs. It works wonders.

(5) Watch a movie. I know this is standard-issue sleep-over fare, but usually it's done incorrectly. You can't wait until everyone is melting down and over-tired to turn on the movie. Instead, you get everyone nice and snugly feeling after their bath, and you do it close to their normal bedtime. Have them put on some pjs and snuggle up for a movie. Pop some popcorn or eat another relatively healthy snack, and enjoy. Drink water or milk only, please. Oh, and don't expect the movie to put them to sleep. It won't. Read on.

(6) Snuggle them into bed. Don't follow the standard advice on splitting them up if they talk or goof off. Absolutely not. Instead, line all four sleeping bags up in a row, and let them each pick a book. Read said books in order of youngest to oldest (no one can argue with that) and then turn out the lights. Sit with them in the dark until they are asleep. It should take no longer than 15 minutes, what with all the excitement of the day and all. Once they are asleep, then you leave the room, not before. I'm telling you, this method works.

(7) Most importantly, don't try to accomplish anything. Don't even read the paper, and certainly do not try to blog about it while it's happening (but I'm so hot I can do that, heh heh). This is not a night for getting the laundry done, reading a good book, or doing your online banking. This is a night to take care of the kiddos and keep things running smoothly.

(8) Oh and finally, do not sit down. Not until they are all completely asleep. It will just make you tired. I'm very good at this part. Besides, you need to clean as you go. That's right. It's part of the not-sitting-down-thing. Clean as you go.

Give it a try. I guarantee the results.

Oh yeah, that's right. I rock the sleep-over.


the dragonfly said...

I hope I can remember all this when my son is old enough for sleep-overs...


Rose Daughter said...

That is really good to know, for when my kids get old enough. Keep them busy and keep them active. Good suggestions.

Leanne said...

Hmmm. I got one of these going on right now.

I've fed them, and they're watching a movie. I've got the sleeping bags all lined up upstairs but I can't do the book thing 'cause they're THIRTEEN.

They won't sleep tonight, they'll sleep until noon tomorrow instead. But they WILL keep my younger two up tonight with their giggling and talking, and my younger pair will STILL get up at seven am.

By noon tomorrow my younger pair will be very very very cranky.

Shoot me.

jakelliesmom said...

You are SO rockin' the sleep over. Those things scare the heck out of me, but you've made it sound manageable and even, dare I say it, fun. So far, I've only tried a sleepover with my kids in the same room, and it hasn't gone well.

Lisa said...

I so need to live in the same town as you!

Crystal said...

Oh how I wish we could trade off sleep-over visits. Man, if I filled out a list of things that I would wish for I don't think I could come up with anything else. Healthy food, healthy play, a bath, books and a snuggle, seriously you do ROCK the sleep-over.

Family Adventure said...

Sounds like you got it all down to a T. I bet the kids loved it! But watch out -- pretty soon you'll be the star of the neighbourhood. And all your fridays will be gone!

Heidi :)

Candy said...

Where was this sage advice when my kids were that age? They don't do sleepovers any more...they just go cruising in their cars until you want to pull your hair out, never answer their cell phones when they're supposed to, and break curfew by 7 minutes each night, just to push the envelope.

Got any advice for that?

Jen M. said...

All I can say is you're a better woman than I am.

painted maypole said...

i want to sleep over at your house!

bermudabluez said...

I think you really DO rock the sleepover! Sounds like a good plan.