Tonight, we are hosting a slumber party for Noelle's 8th birthday. I think the millions of nights I spent chaperoning at middle school/junior overnights, winter retreats, summer camps, fall retreats, lock-ins and sleepovers were the exact training I needed to host pre-tween slumber parties. We've held a handful of girly sleepovers here at the Brem compound and I've learned a few things along the way.
*Never, ever mop your floors before your party arrives. You will spend a bit of the night angry and/or annoyed as you watch your freshly cleaned floors promptly get all messed-up again. Food, drinks, barf, mud - a mixture of these WILL ruin your night. Don't bother until your party is over. You also may end up saying things like, "Oh no! My precious, clean floors! They're ruined!" which really isn't fun for anyone to hear, especially 8 year old birthday girls.
*Makeovers are a BAD idea unless Mommy is there to supervise. Otherwise, they seem to turn into "let's see how much lipstick we can get all over each other's faces" - which may seem fun, until you are the one trying to scrub lipstick off of all of the little girl's faces before they go to bed. Pink cheeks = cute in photos. Pink faces that have been severely scrubbed = not so much.
*If you are taking the girls to a movie, do NOT go without another adult besides yourself. Even if you've forced all of the girls to go to the bathroom before the movie starts, you inevitably have to take one or more children back to the restroom in the middle of the movie. This creates quite the dilemma if you are the only adult, because you don't want to leave small children alone in a movie theater, but you also create quite a scene forcing a whole group of girls to leave a movie that they are totally involved in watching so that one of their peers can go to the potty. Chaos will ensue and you will end up "whisper yelling" in the movie theater. It is not fun.
You may also be on the receiving end of some "whisper yelling" from other movie-goers. That's not fun either.
*Nail polish is great when heavily monitored. Once, I painted over 160 individual nails in one sitting.
*Girls love games. The end.
Tricks to get them to sleep:
*Tell them that they can stay up as late as they want; you don't care as long as they stay in their sleeping bags, laying down and you can't hear them. Works. Every. Time. AND they think they are so cool (and you are SO very cool too!) because they were allowed to stay up super late (but they NEVER make it very long under these guidelines!)
*Tire them out! Tonight we're going swimming. In the past we've had relay races, long games of tag, trips to the park - whatever you can think of to get them some exercise!
*Sugar rush leads to sugar crash. Use wisely.
Six 8 and 9 year-old girls tonight for sugar, tie-dye and mayhem. May the force be with us.
How in the heck did she turn 8?
Here she is when she was 4.
No, I'm not crying. I've just got something in my eye...