Two Sides of It: Sleepovers (The Major)

The intellectual values of the Algonquin Round Table live on at sleepovers.

The Fashionista arrives home blurry-eyed, cranky and unable to string together two comprehensible sentences.  The rest of the day, she is ornery and generally unproductive.  Her household chores (if performed) are done in the briefest and most truculent manner possible.  By 2:30 p.m., she is down for a nap.

While she is sleeping, the phone rings.  It is a friend inviting her to another sleepover.

I don’t share Running Girl’s Carol Bradyesque appreciation for the overnight party.  But, that’s not to say that I am entirely against the concept.

Sleepovers should occur sparingly.  They should be permitted for special occasions or as a reward for special achievement.

Alright.  Enough positive stuff about these all-night gabfests.  Now, let’s expose them for what they really are:

  • I guess sleepovers are a good thing — if you’re a fan of completely abandoning your parental responsibilities.  You send your dependent child off for the night, placing all burdens on some other adult.  If you play your cards right, you can even cheap out on two meals — having the “gaining” parent pick up the tab for dinner and the following morning’s breakfast.
  • I don’t necessarily expect that the collection of brains assembled during this affair will come up with a cure for cancer or create the conditions for cold fusion.   Nevertheless, there should be some net gain from these soirées.  The boys in scouting learn how to pitch a tent and light a fire.  Seems to me that the only skill acquired at girlie sleepovers is the ability to apply toenail polish neatly.
  • I have already remarked on the fact that these girls are almost uniformly in a shitty mood the day after the party.  However, please permit me to expand on the degree to which your child’s internal clock is re-aligned as a result of these events.  It frequently takes about 48 hours to get back to “normal.”  There’s a reason sleepovers take place on Friday nights, pilgrims.  The rest of the weekend is required for realignment before a semi-productive return to school on Monday.
  • Let’s discuss communicability of disease.  You’re overreacting, Major, you say?  Not hardly.  How about pertussis — whooping cough — the big W.  This summer it invaded my homestead.  Without question, it was spread during one of The Fashionista’s sleepovers.  Every other household involved in the event was infected.  Bottom line → Sleepovers = massive cootie spreading.
  • How ’bout those who don’t make the cut.  For every lucky girl who gets the call, there are at least two other friends who are selectively “overlooked.”  This leads to third-degree cases of hurt feelings.  Running Girl has expounded on the salutary social effects of sleepovers.  What about the girls left behind?  Cue the Janis Ian music.
  • While we’re on that one — what do you think these females discuss while whiling away the hours of la nuit blanche?  Yeah sure, boys come up.  But, most of the time, the attendees are dishing gossip about those not present.  The only way to prevent this is to have a mom standing guard like a prison yard bull, while admonishing, “Okay, ladies.  Let’s say something nice about Britney and Tiffany now.”  How often does really occur?
  • And how about those moms who permit these events to occur in a serial manner?  I have one family in mind.  Let’s just say that it’s a mom’s job to occasionally set limits — not to fret over whether little Suzie still likes you.  I think it’s pretty clear who’s wearing the trousers in these families.  It ain’t mom or dad.
  • Finally, what about the poor younger brothers?  Don’t you think having all these teenaged girls sleeping in skimpy night-clothing under the same roof constitutes some form of torture?  Let’s just say that the girlies are not the only sleep-deprived members of the household.

Having firmly and decisively established that some moderation in the world of sleepover is required, I’m certain that all of you will hold firm to your parental obligations and limit these events to once or twice a week month summer year now.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

— The Major

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Melania on July 25, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Sorry Major. I’m with RG on this one. Some of the best relationships I still maintain today are with my sleep over buddies from high school. And even more so, my mother herself has a great relationship with these women as well, not to the detriment of relationships with their own mothers, but sometimes your own mom is a little too close to a situation and it’s wonderful to have another mother figure to whom you can reach out when a dilemma presents itself. As an adult i’m so grateful all of these relationships are in tact! Sure, mom had to shush us a few times. Sure there were sleepless nights, and gossip and silliness. But more importantly the trusting conversations about family strife, eating disorders, painful insecurity and stories of heartache and rejection found solace in these nocturnal therapy sessions. Those secrets strengthen the trust and bond amongst us. I believe most women carry more weight and a trusting fondness in the heavier issues discussed rather than which New Kid on the Block we were going to marry! I venture to say that sleepovers as a kid have made me a better parent today!

    Reply

  2. I obviously did not go to enough sleepovers when I was younger. I still have trouble applying toenail polish with ease.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Cecily on July 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I think someone didn’t get invited to any sleepovers

    Reply

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