Just yesterday you were cradling your newborn in your arms, pulling him or her closer so you could inhale their sweet baby smell. Then you blinked, and they were old enough to head to kindergarten and go on the 42-inch rides at the fair and, finally, even have their very first sleepover.
But as exciting as this time is in your child’s life, let’s be real: It’s equally terrifying for you. Whether your child is having or hosting his or her first sleepover, the potential for (minor yet no less horrifying in the moment) catastrophe looms large in your leery mama imagination.
So in the spirit of being prepared for what lies ahead, here are a few things you can expect to happen during your child’s first sleepover.
1. 3 words: Massive snack consumption
Stock your pantry, because when children gather in groups, it’s like watching Gremlins — they’ll use their cute little faces to talk you out of every beverage and snack in your pantry and then turn into wild creatures running through the house in reckless abandon. Trust me, keeping hangry tweens at bay will benefit all parties involved.
2. It will get loud
There’s nothing quite like the resounding chorus of elementary school-aged children giggling or squealing as they tell one another fantastical stories from their pillow fort. Partially because it seems like such a marvel of nature that such small humans can make such big, albeit adorable, noise.
3. There will be tears
Someone will cry. It could be your kid. It could be a kid sleeping over. Heck, it could very well be you. The bottom line is, someone will get proverbial buyer’s remorse, which will lead to tears. If you’re anything like me, you’ll throw some popcorn and a feel-good Disney movie at the problem. But if all else fails, you may need to call in reinforcements — that is, the family pet or fun older sibling.
4. No lovey or blanky will be left behind
Based on the mind-boggling amount of stuff that a) you pack your kid to head to their first sleepover or b) is brought by your kid’s friends to their sleepover, you’d never fathom anything could be missing. But some way, somehow, someone always forgets the stuffed animal or blanket they just can’t live without on the first sleepover. Save yourself the stress of trying to talk the hysterical child out of needing said objects, and skip straight to having their mom bring it by. There is no rationalizing with a tired child — you know this, Mama.
5. It will become a slumber party, no matter how skeptical you are
They’ll be asleep by 7, their parents said. It’ll be fun, they said. In reality, your kid and his or her buddies will be so amped up about this inaugural sleepover that there may not be much actual sleep involved… at least not at first. Those little rascals are going to fight for their right to party, but don’t worry — they’ll likely poop out just past their normal bedtime anyway.
6. You will call. You will text. You will Facebook stalk.
If your child is at another friend’s house for their first sleepover, your heightened state of mommy panic will shoot out from your fingertips and do things like dial the host mom or form quasi-nonchalant-yet-nosy text messages every hour on the hour. You might even resort to scoping out the host family’s Facebook page. You won’t be able to help it — you just want to check on your little chicken nugget. If you are the host mom, well, be forewarned. You’ll be on the receiving end.
7. The escape plan will come into play
In a perfect world, your child’s first sleepover would go over, well, perfectly. But this is the real world, and we all know that life with little ones is unpredictable at best. All moms (and dads) have a predetermined escape plan in place for their “babies” during the first sleepover, and it will be discussed at least once and possibly even executed, if their little ones decide they would much rather sleep in their own beds. And you know what? That’s A-OK. There are plenty of fun-filled sleepovers in your future yet.
This post was sponsored by Dole® Fruitocracy®.