Last night our ten year old son had a sleepover party at our home with three of his friends from school. I’m just going to number the children since I don’t remember any of their names. Laid out before you is the list of last night’s events….
Kid 1 arrives fifteen minutes early with his mom. My son sees them pulling in the driveway and hurtles the couch from a stand still position and races to the door. I made my way to the door and already these two are talking a mile a minute with an enthusiasm of long lost buddies. I should point out that they saw each other only two hours prior as school ended. Kid 1 is so excited to be at our home that he almost runs through me to get to the next room. He stops dead in his tracks, then turns and gives his mom a hug and says goodbye.No sooner had I shut the door than Kid 2 arrives with his mother. My son and Kid 1 run into the damp driveway in socks and jump around the car like puppy dogs waiting for the door to open. You’d think Kid 2 must be a celebrity or something the way they were acting around the car- peering into the window trying to open the door. His mother gets out of the car with him and she stares me down and promptly tells me this is his first sleepover ever and if he needs to- he can call her any time. Mind you- I’ve never met this kid or his mother, and earlier that day I dyed my hair purple. Kid 2 gave his mother a big hug before she left. She was probably regretting bringing him to our home as a tall skinny freak wearing an “Ewoking Dead” T shirt and donning purple hair was about to lead him away.
My son was now in full “show off all my stuff” stage and spoke in a quickness that surpassed even the best auctioneers. Only five minutes in our home and Kid 1 is asking for food. I told him I’d be bringing out a veggie platter and popcorn once the last kid arrives. Two minutes later, he’s asking about pizza. Less than two minutes after that he’s asking about potato chips and cola. You’d think this kid doesn’t get fed regularly. At least he had manners and said thank you after every answer I gave.
A few moments of my son bragging ended and the three of them ran to check out the backyard, only pausing briefly to grab a bottle of water. Water which they’d only sip and ten minutes later be asking for another bottle. I remember times like that, but I was usually drinking beers at a house party and I was in my early twenties.
Kid 3 shows up. Late. His father drops him off with a suitcase. The father was about to leave, turned and asked his son for a hug. This interaction appeared robotic and almost like the father forgot how to “dad” for a moment. I am now afraid that his son may be moving in as I glance down at the suitcase in my hall.
Kid 3 runs through my home to the back yard leaving the door wide open. Kid 1 re-enters the house asking again when pizza was being served. I tell him it will be here when my wife gets home. He then runs back outside in his socks. All I could think was that their parents are going to kill me over laundry.
All is quiet in the house as the volume outside has been turned up to eleven. I brought out the veggie platter and look over to see Kid 3 has decided to scale the outside of the tree fort. Kid 1, Kid 2 & my son were practicing wrestling moves oblivious to Kid 3 doing his Spiderman impression fifteen feet off the ground. Staying calm I call over to the group that there’s food. Like vultures they hurried over and ate only the cucumbers. Kid 1 asks about pizza. Again. I’m cursing my wife’s name since she set this party up knowing she wouldn’t be here until later. It’s only been five minutes since the last kid showed up. Kill me.
The next hour or so involved wet dirty feet running in and out of the house, some piano being “played” and arguing over what to do next. Kid 3 was disagreeing with every suggestion, even I was beginning to hate this kid. Pizza arrived with my wife. She is now a goddess as the boys see her pull into the driveway with the food. Screaming boys ran inside, “washed” hands (but don’t know what a towel is to dry said washed hands) and rushed to the table for food. Kid 1 grabbed two pieces of pizza and immediately dismantled all of the toppings, discarding them in a pile never to be eaten. Kid 2 began telling one line stories. “I’m an adopted velociraptor. My brother is pregnant. I like to comb my hair. Wanna hear about my play?” Dude- your monologue is more than enough for a one-man show. I do not need to hear about something else.
Kid 3 is eating a piece of pizza and trying to run back out the door into the rain. My son is laughing at everything going on. My wife, two daughters and myself sit silently as we eat pizza at the far end of the table. The boys run back to the theater room and begin watching Star Wars. Two hours of silence had begun. My wife knows that I hate her at this exact moment, so she goes to hide. I crack a beer and play some cards with my daughters for the next while, relieved that everything is slowing down.
The movie is over and the boys are noisy again. Arguing over playing video games or watching another show. Referee dad enters and tells them they can watch two short cartoons on Netflix, then bed. The shows are over, so I go back in and tell them it’s bed time. Kid 3 says to me, “can we play musical chairs?” (I’m not joking here, he actually asked this.) the other three boys look at me with concern in their eyes. My response was, “Why would I want you playing musical chairs right before bed? The answer is no, don’t be ridiculous.” Kid 1 & Kid 2 sigh relief. Into their sleeping bags they get. Kid 2 is combing his hair. I looked away for a moment turning off the screen and stereo, when Kid 2 somehow jammed the comb into his gums and began screaming and crying. He finally calmed down and they went to sleep. Miracles do happen!
Screaming and laughter is coming from the theater room. My wife investigates (because I am pretending to still be sleeping) and tells them to keep it down.
I can’t deal with the noise anymore. I go downstairs and give them a final warning about being quiet. This works about as well as telling people at a Trump rally to calm down. Kid 1 is asking about breakfast. I look down and shaking my head and start a pot of coffee. Then crawl back into bed. I proceed to ignore all noises coming from downstairs.
My wife had snuck out of our room way earlier (probably around 7am) and prepared the waffle batter. She called me down to make waffles because apparently she doesn’t know how to turn on a waffle iron. We make chocolate cake waffles and vanilla ice cream. Kid 2 says he wants regular waffles and hates chocolate. So I serve him a chocolate waffle with ice cream and tell him that’s all he’s getting. Suddenly he loves it. Kid 1 ends up eating four waffles. Seriously, does he not get fed? They are off to play videogames to end out the party.
11:00am on the button:
Kids are getting picked up and relief is coming over me. The house is quiet again, but needs a major cleaning. My wife kindly reminds me that tonight our 12 year old daughter is having twice as many people over for her slumber party.
I’m glad to be going to work this evening.