Tuesday, November 9, 2010

sleep is for the weak

My boy attended a slumber party this weekend. I am really not a fan of sleepovers in general because my kids act like jerks when they don’t get enough sleep, and they never get enough sleep at sleepovers. My boy usually prefers to sleep at home, although that decision is really only firm in the middle of the night at someone else’s house, not when he’s having fun with his friends at 5pm. Last time he spent the night at a friend’s house, he told me that he couldn’t sleep because he was so sweaty under the kid’s huge blanket, and he didn’t have any water so he had to keep going into the bathroom to drink from the tap. Doesn’t everyone go to bed with water? 

Anyway, he was excited for this party and informed me that the boys all had big plans involving shaving cream for whoever was unfortunate enough to fall asleep first.  When I dropped him off, I heard two of the boys pledging to wake each other up if they started to fall asleep – they were going for an all nighter.

I wanted to be annoyed by this, but the truth is that it took me right back to the 12 year old slumber parties of my own youth. So I just quietly suggested to the mom that she hide her sharpies, then waved and drove away, vowing to enjoy the quiet of having just one child at home before the return of our jerk-infused sleepover monster the following day. 

I don’t know how we did it, back then. I consider myself a night owl, but I can barely make it through Saturday Night Live anymore. I can see how the momentum generated by adolescence, sugar, and mischief would have gotten us through to 2 or 3 am, but it’s those darkest hours before dawn that must have been tricky.  Maybe it was helpful that we had all scared the sleep and the bejesus out of each other with ghost stories, levitation, and Ouija boards. Light as a feather, stiff as a board. Eek! 

I have this one very clear memory of sitting in some sort of chair swing in someone’s rumpus room, feeling the mixed bag of emotions that comes from seeing the break of dawn after never having closed your eyes. The pride and camaraderie are short-lived, because:  1. You’re 12; 2. Everyone else is also 12; and 3. Your mom is not 12, and she’s going to be pissed when she picks you up.

And now here I was, the mom. Driving to pick him up with my own mixed bag of dread and anticipation. I looked forward to the stories and thought if we could keep the mood light, maybe he wouldn’t completely self destruct upon impact. My girl and I pulled up in the Westy and popped the top so that all of the bug-eyed, unsmiling boys could clamor around and check it out. 

It was reported that my boy and most of the others had about four hours of sleep. Kids these days! They don’t even have the sense to scare themselves into wakefulness, they turn on movies and play video games until their wee addled brains give up and shut ‘em down.  Halo is not nearly as disturbing as that story about the girl driving down the highway alone at night, thinking she was being harassed by the trucker behind her who kept shining his brights and driving right up onto her tail at regular intervals. When she finally pulled into a police station to report the trucker, he followed her and jumped out to tackle the madman who had been crouched in her back seat, rearing up to kiiiiiiilllllll her! 

Or the one with the couple making out in the woods, hearing a radio report about a madman ripping young lovers apart with his hook hand. The boy made fun of the girl when she freaked out and demanded to be driven home right away. It wasn’t until he went to open the door and let her out in the safety of her own driveway that they noticed the hook stuck in their car door, as if it had been about to open it. 

I’m not going to sleep a wink tonight.


unmitigated me said...

My younger sister never once made it through a sleepover. Fortunately, in 1970, friend's mom could stand on her porch and watch as younger sister walked back across the street to her mom on the porch at home.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Ooh, what about that one when a babysitter keeps getting creepy crank calls, she calls the cops to trace the calls, and the cops say, "Get out! The crank calls are being made from downstairs!"

When my friend Denise would sleep over, we'd both just read in our beds until we fell asleep. Now that's a civilized sleepover.....


Me, You, or Ellie said...

"Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary" 3 times in front of the mirror? Soo scary.

I don't think we ever used shaving cream, but we did threaten to dip the hand of the first girl who fell asleep into water to make her pee her sleeping bag. Girls can be so nice, no?

I must admit, I think I'm one of the weak ones. I don't think I ever made it all night long without sleep, at least not at a slumber party. Did I, Central PA?


The Lady's Lounge said...

I'm not going to sleep tonight!!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Oh Ellie, that was a movie. That movie was sooooo deliciously scary. I never heard of Bloody Mary until my kids starting freaking out about her after last year. Thank goodness, because I scare easily. Obviously.



better snacks at Beth's house said...

too funny, Beth. I had forgotten about Bloody Mary :)
I do remember "stiff as a board, light as a feather" and the ouji board. I also know I was part of the hot water/ cold water hand dipping...both as a giver and a receiver.
I have NEVER been an all-nighter so Beth could have said that she stayed up and I wouldn't be able to prove otherwise.
I'm always torn between the joy of having one less kid at home and the reality of the misery that the child will bring back when they come home.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Well, it may have been a movie, but it was also a tale we told over and over, as kids -- kids' phone lines were very big then, so it was so scary and so realistic.

I gotta tell you, though: I never bought it.

I have no idea what this "Bloody Mary" thing is, but I do not like it at all.


spooked in PA said...

You say Bloddy Mary 3 times while staring in the mirror and her ghost appears in the reflection (gave me chills to write that)
I'm sure it was based on some story of a girl named Mary's death.

Zip n Tizzy said...

We obviously attended the same sleep overs.

How about the threat of freezing and snapping your bra in half. That was not going to happen to me because,
A) I would never have fallen asleep first, and,
B) I knew my mom never would have replaced my bra.