Frozen bras. Sneaking out to teepee houses. Watching Children in the Corn. Consulting the Ouija Board. I wasn’t ready for the world of slumber parties when my girls started asking about them about the time they started school…so that’s what? Four! Little girls find the words slumber party and grab onto them like a treasure. For several years, I could project the slumber party world into the future and not worry too much about it.
Then some indulgent or inspired mom who wanted to grant her seven-year-old’s deepest wish for a slumber party sent an invitation to real sleepover. “I’m sorry” I told the pleading brown eyes, “You are old enough yet.” Parents need to say no sometimes. It is rarely easy.
Within the year two or three more invitations came. I sighed. Really? How many 8-year-olds really want to be away from home all night?And is one night of fun worth a whole crabby weekend? What are these moms thinking? Maybe I am the crazy one?
Saying no was getting old. But I persevered because even though I worked hard to get to know the families of my girls’ friends, I didn’t know much about them beyond the behavior of their kid and how often they smiled in the school parking lot. Too much could happen at a slumber party. And usually, there were husbands and sons home. And well, males made me nervous. If a husband or son had a porn problem, I knew no mom would admit it in the parking lot at school.
My daughter, now 10, has attended exactly one carefully chosen slumber party (sometimes she doesn’t want to go). Currently we have a case by case slumber party policy.
My sister-in-law and her mom friends, they’ve tackled this whole slumber party thing in a brilliant way: the lateover. Knowing little girls’ fascination with slumber parties, and knowing that a day with an elementary girl who is short on sleep is no fun, this group of moms, who all trust each other, have regular lateovers with their second and third graders. The girls (I think there are 5 or 6 of them) get together at a house in the evening, eat, play games, giggle, paint nails, all the fun stuff. Then they change into their PJs and snuggle up with blankets and sleeping bags and watch a movie. Parents arrive about 10 pm to pick up their princesses.
I’ve never had many close mom friends with girls the same age as mine. But I could easily host lateovers and I know the other parents would love it (girl squealing already taking place at mere suggestion).
All the magic of sleepover, not many of the problems. Perfect.
I borrowed the clip art up there from Zippo party supplies, but you should check out their slumber party page. They have fun ideas for games to play whether it is a lateover or a slumber party.