The boys had their second sleepover at our house last night. Now that I’ve hosted two, I’m obviously an expert on how to throw a successful sleepover. So I’m here to tell you how to do it without losing your mind.
1. There’s safety in numbers. At first I though maybe I was a tad looney tunes when I told each boy they could invite one friend to spend the night. Remember, I’m still a novice at this whole sleepover thing. But I felt feisty or confident or crazy or all of the above and said the words aloud, so the boys each invited a friend.
Smart move with four kids versus just three. No one ever got “left out.” Each group of boys played in their own unit and together with the other unit. The only time one child wasn’t included in an event was when they took turns playing “Eight Days a Week” on The Beatles Rock Band game for an hour. I didn’t even have to tell them to take turns. I just shut the door to the basement and locked myself in my office because an hour.
2. Have books to read handy. For you, not them. You’re a super cool mom for even allowing the sleepover. You earned bonus points with yummy pizza and cookies. But they don’t want to play with you. Go sit in your room or your office or another part of the house where you can’t be shot with Nerf darts and read all the books. I read two books of poetry and a bit more of the novel I’m avoiding.
3. Have a plan and plan for it to be ignored. I put a bunch of newer Netflix movies in our queue just in case one (or more) decided they’d had enough of video games and Nerf wars. I also meant to start a small fire in our fire pit to make some S’mores, but I forgot. Oops? I threw the movie option out there during the 9:00 cookie break, but they were having too much fun. Okie dokie. Back to reading.
4. Food. Have it. I made enough pizza dough for four (large) pizzas, but they only ended up eating almost two. I baked enough cookies for a small army, which meant that I had cookies for breakfast with my coffee. We also broke out some snack foods later in the evening. They probably would have eaten everything in the house if it had been an option. And I’m just talking about my two boys. Don’t forget breakfast foods. Maybe you could make Mickey Mouse pancakes. I can’t, but I make epic waffles.
5. It’s best if you can take a nap the next day. I’m not a napper. I have to be exhausted in order to fall asleep in the middle of the day. I napped for two hours today. So, I’m just sayin’ that if I needed a nap like that, you might wanna plan to hang out in bed most of the day.
6. Have plans the next morning. Nothing stinks more than having to say goodbye to a friend or to drop a friend off at their house. I heard many, “But can’t we hang out at his house now?” And, “I don’t want so-and-so to leave.” But so-and-so had a football game (it was our week off) and after we dropped off the other child, we had to stop at the library. We probably didn’t need to, but it was my excuse and got us out of there with only one trip outside to look at a pet rabbit. Not too shabby.
That’s about it. I really didn’t mind the volume (my office is on the opposite side of the house from the kids’ playroom). I think they felt so exhausted after a good hour of Nerf wars followed by an hour of “Eight Days a Week” that they fell asleep rather quickly. In fact, it took me longer to fall asleep than the kids (but, you know, insomnia).
Oh, and of course, make sure you have some coffee for the morning. And afternoon. Because hooboy.