Nothing good can come of this little tradition.
I remember my first sleepover like it was yesterday. My best friend in fifth grade invited me. We set up our sleeping bags in the basement, her Dad gave us bowls of Doritos and Cheetos and cups of soda, and then he pressed play on the VCR.
Nightmare on Elm Street played. I tried to keep my composure while people’s bodies were ripped to shreds.
When it was time to go to sleep I cried and my father had to come pick me up.
After a few tries I got the hang of it but I never really loved it. People’s houses had litter boxes that smelled, and dog hair all over their couches, sometimes my friend would have a mean older sibling or a scary parent. Sometimes dinner would be something disgusting that I couldn’t possibly eat and sometimes I forgot my pillow or needed a blanket and the choices presented were not to my standards.
Later, I learned to ignore all of that in order to enjoy the perks of the sleepover. Most of my friend’s parents
didn’t care what we did were not home at the time were out to dinner a lot where the fuck were the parents? were not as strict as mine. The perks of the sleepovers included drinking gin from my friend’s mother’s liquor cabinet, inviting boys over, sneaking out, and never sleeping because we were calling boys on a private phone line that was installed in mine and all of my friends’ bedrooms.
One time I slept at a friend’s house and we ended up in a room over her garage drinking Purple Passion and calling boys to come over. A boy who I had been in love with since he moved to my street in the fourth grade agreed to come with some of his friends. While we waited for their arrival we laughed so hard at something that I peed in my pants.
When he finally showed up ready to make out – I had to remain aloof and seated at all times for fear that he would realize that my pants were completely soaked.
This weekend Sam’s friends (2nd graders) were having a Halloween night sleepover and didn’t invite him. Although I was heartbroken for him while he tried to hold back tears, I was secretly relieved to not have the dilemma of having to send him or not. “Well – we had plans to see your cousins after trick-treating,” I reasoned with him about the sleepover.
“I could have seen my cousins and you could have dropped me off for the sleepover!” he said.
“Well – you would be tired Sam – and probably nervous to sleep away from your mother! You don’t want to sleep away from your mother do you?”
I peered into his soul and willed him to agree that he could never lay his head down on a strange pillow miles away from his loving mother.
“Well…..I love you but……..I wouldn’t mind.” he answered softly.
He wouldn’t mind???
He must not know the perils of sleeping over someone’s house!! There could be processed foods filled with red dye and high fructose corn syrup!! There could be soda!! There could be Freddy Krueger and old stale gin!
He must not have seen the episode of Beverly Hills 90210 when sweet innocent Midwestern Brenda Walsh invited Kelly and Donna for a sleepover and and Kelly’s edgy friend Amanda was there and made everyone play “Skeletons in the Closet.” Kelly ended up talking about getting raped and by the end of the sleepover they all realized that Amanda was addicted to diet pills!
Does that sound fun?? I don’t think so.
Sam doesn’t know how easy it is to be mean at sleepovers. He wouldn’t feel comfortable being in an environment where everyone is trashing someone else. For some reason it’s just so easy to prey on a weak and helpless person at a sleepover and spend the night cruelly making fun of them.
Sam must not realize that sometimes when you think there is going to be sleep involved at said “sleep-over” it’s just a cover for a secret adventure.
Sometimes when someone says “Bring a sleeping bag and we will sleep outside in my back yard.” in fact they don’t intend to let you sleep in their backyard at all.
I don’t want to let my children sleep without me!!
Really nothing important or good comes of sleeping in someone else’s home. Let’s face it.
The sleepover is never really safe. It will always be loaded with fears and anxieties.
Even as adults, there are drawers involved for your toothbrush and personal items and certain protocols that have to happen. Going home after the sleepover can be akward and sad…..
They don’t call going home after an adult sleepover “The walk of shame” for nothing people.
Let’s just nip this all in the bud right now.
I am not letting my children sleep away from me until they are 21 years old.
If anyone is looking for the Gaga’s – we will be home in our own beds....where we belong!!!
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