Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kid sister at the sleepover

Right after Kindergarten ended, we hosted our first kiddie sleepover. That was a year and a half ago but I still haven't quite recovered. So when Primo asked if another one of his friends could sleep over, I was hesitant. I mean, I knew it was time to go again, but that didn't mean I was ready. How can a mother of two young children, both colossally shitty sleepers, ever be ready for a night of even less sleep than usual, particularly when there's nothing for her to gain, aside from her child's happiness?

But, I reasoned, we might as well do it before the dead of winter sets in, and along with the cold temperatures, the non-ending streak of sicknesses. So I agreed to extend the invitation, and the next night, Primo's seven year-old BFF was deposited at our doorstep for the evening.

I wasn't at all surprised that Primo and his friend Larry were over-the-moon and heady with the thrill of what was to come. But I was pretty shocked to see Seconda so giddy with excitement. In fact, her excitement, while very sweet, pretty much trashed our plans.

We had counted on surviving the sleepover by sending Seconda to sleep at my grandmother's house upstairs, an honor which Primo enjoys every weekend and which Seconda has never enjoyed since it is very clear she will exploit my grandmother's indulgences to her full advantage, staying up all night and eating whole cartons of Breyer's ice cream. Primo gets spoiled, for sure, but he has the self-control to tell my grandmother when its time to turn off the video games or TV or put away the cookies. He polices himself.

With Seconda, there will be no one policing. This has struck a chord of terror in our hearts and we've told her she has to show us, first, that she can go to bed like a big girl before she earns the privilege of a Nonnie Free-For-All. But on the night of the Larry sleepover, David and I decided we'd give her the benefit of the doubt, mainly for our own sanity. We told her she could try a sleepover at Nonnie's -- a prospect which delighted her until she figured out WHY were were extending the invitation, which was that there was a way more exciting sleepover having at our place. One which, I should add, she had no intention of missing.

"I'm staying here!" she announced after Larry had cracked open his overnight bag and taken out his PJs.

"But what about the sleepover at Nonnies?" I asked, trying to mask my desperation.

"No, no, no!" she replied, "I'm staying here at THIS sleepover."

And that is how what might have been a peaceable, stay-up-til 10pm sleepover, morphed into Das Krazy Nachtmar. Because while I am fairly confident David and I can outlast Primo and every other seven year-old boy out there, we are no match for Seconda, even on a normal day, much less when she is excited about something.

To hear what happened after lights-out, you'll have to tune in tomorrow for PART TWO. Yes, folks, a real cliff hanger. TBC.