Now don’t look shocked. You know you’ve met ‘that child’.
The friend your child is dying to invite for a sleepover; the one who who is a terrible influence. The one who somehow manages – within thirty minutes of entering your house – to undo every good lesson or positive form of behaviour you’ve ever taught your kid.
You gladly invited the friend for a playdate once as your child was desperate to have them over. This was a mistake.
A mistake you made because you did not possess The Knowledge.
Had you done your homework, you would have learned NO parent wants this kid back in their house. So you went ahead and had them over for a playdate, forever known from that day onwards as the playdate from hell.
And THAT was when you realised this particular friend is the demon friend.
You feel bad because this is someone’s beloved child after all.
However, the fact is you just about got through that experience.
Frankly, you’re still mad at yourself for what was a totally avoidable case of PTSD.
Not Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The other one:
Parents’ Thoroughly Shit Decision-making.
But what is this fresh hell? NOW your child wants an actual sleepover with demon child?!
Cue Psycho shower scene music. It cannot be!
You’ve tried to get out of it but you feel so bad for your child who asks so little of you and doesn’t throw tantrums about anything.
So you think to yourself that it is your duty as a parent to say yes and just tolerate the consequences (even if you’re the one who feels like having a tantrum right now).
Here’s the thing. Apparently it’s frowned upon to water board young guests as a deterrent against bad behaviour, before they enter your house.
So how will you handle this child’s behaviour and make sure this doesn’t turn into the sleepover from hell?
I’ve come up with a few rules you could print out, insist they read, sign before a witness.
Here you go anyway.
TO THE GIRLS:
1. If your idea of having a good time involves jumping on my furniture then I must warn you my idea of handling this involves super glue and duct tape.
2. Please don’t just help yourself to the contents of my fridge and kitchen cupboards without asking me first (at which point I will say no) especially when it’s your first time here. I know, I know…call me old fashioned.
3. Try not to use my sofas to wipe your hands. I know Malta isn’t the most modern of countries we actually do have a sink AND running water.
(Otherwise, Honey Bunny, it’s you, a cleaning cloth and some muscle-on-hand-print duty.)
4. Movie and popcorn? Sure, no problem. Standard.
Popcorn stuffed down the sofas and stamped into the rug? Not so much. (See point 3 for consequences).
5. Don’t even think about using bad words to look cool, especially in front of my two younger kids. (Besides…they already hear enough from their mother.)
6. Ditto sarcasm. I could run a master class on it honey.
i) You know when you say you don’t want to eat so I order enough pizza for the others and then you decide you’re hungry after it arrives? Not cool, my dear.
ii) You know when you say you’re super hungry and then the pizzas arrive and you refuse to eat? Also not cool.
iii) If I spend my precious time, (which I could have wasted looking at Pinterest housecleaning tips and recipes that I’ll never ever use) cooking you a nice meal and you try either i) or ii), you can use that nice phone of yours to call your mother and explain there is no point her fetching you in the morning as you’ll be here til you finish every morsel.
8. Don’t even think about spending literally hours on the computer. May I suggest a mind-blowing alternative: it’s called ‘socialising’.
Put your phone away. You didn’t come here to do selfies and hit instagram. Let me introduce you to a new social network: it’s called ‘outside’.
9. Please take your personalized goblets and plates, that took us an age to make together, home with you. Arts and crafts don’t come naturally to me and you’ve no idea what self-restraint went into my coping with you dropping glitter EVERYwhere and waving those damned markers around. So please let it not have been in vain. Take that crap HOME sister.
10. If you can put your phone inside a fancy case and put that inside your designer sleepover bag, then I’m pretty sure you can handle putting your dirty undies inside the bag too. My floor is not a storage device and I’m pretty damned sure I’m not paid enough to handle someone else’s kid’s panties. Hang on…I’m not getting paid for any of this…
To The Boys:
I know I don’t have your attention for long so I’ll make it short and snappy. Like me.
1. Please try not to ask for fizzy drinks and TV the minute you walk through the door. Ask me once, I’ll be polite but firm. Ask me twice, you may hear my teeth grind. Ask me three times – actually just don’t ask me three times.
2. Don’t open up every puzzle, lego set and board game my son owns and throw the contents all over my house thinking that’s how you play with them. No there are no batteries, you don’t proceed to the next level after you’ve injured or killed someone and they don’t ‘switch on’ via a remote. You’ll live…you might even like it. Old school is cool kiddo.
i) Put the toilet seat up. Just do it.
ii) Watch where you point that thing. Just do it.
iii) Don’t forget to put it back down again. Just don’t.
By the way, remembering these three rules will make you very ‘popular’ when you’re a bit older. If you don’t know what I mean now…you will.)
4. Don’t bother looking in every storage box, basket and hamper I own, searching for toy guns. You won’t find any in this house.
If you ask me why I don’t have any, you’ll actually hear my eyes roll backwards. In fact, if you’re that desperate to play a game which involves pointing a weapon and aiming with deadly precision, I already suggested one: see point 3 ii).
5. See point 7) of the girls’ rules re: dinner etiquette. Ask your mother for a dictionary if you don’t recognize the word etiquette.
Right, I think that just about covers it.
Enjoy the sleepover.
YOU CAN TELL ME…HAVE YOU HOSTED THE PLAYDATE/SLEEPOVER FROM HELL?
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