Nine Screaming Girls – A Sleepover Story

Parenthood

Last weekend, Ava turned Lucky 13 and wanted to have a big “welcome to your teens” sleepover. In a moment of sheer stupidity, we agreed to invite eight of her girlfriends over to our house for a frenzy of food, fun and games – and maybe a little sleep.

It was hideous.

Individually, these girls are lovely. We know each of them, and even in twos or threes, they are polite, manageable kids – some of which we’ve known since the girls were four years old. But wow, put them in a group and add a little sugar? We could power the next spaceship to the moon on that giddy, girlie hyperactivity.

I think our first mistake was timing. We started the party at 4 pm, and pick up time was not scheduled until 1 pm the following day. What were we thinking?!?!? Ava gets a lot of credit, though, because she organized a vintage movieland party theme, and a bunch of elaborate games to keep the guests entertained. We even had an old-fashioned popcorn machine on wheels like they have at the Fair.

Ava was pretty ingenious really. One of her games was called “Ugly to Pretty,” and she collected a bunch of cast-off items from the thrift store and arranged them on a table. There was an old alarm clock, a candlestick, an antique cut-glass drinking goblet, one of those frightening porcelain dolls like from an old horror flick, and some other stuff. The girls were challenged to use their phones to take an artsy picture of one of the items, making it look pretty by using lighting or filters. The results were fairly impressive – these kids know how to use their phones for sure.

That doll from the Ugly to Pretty game still haunts me from the shadows. That doll from the Ugly to Pretty game still haunts me from the shadows.

So, that whole episode took a whopping 20 minutes of party time. Only 16 hours to go. Thank god for that popcorn machine. And pizza delivery. Twice.

A sampling of actual things I said over the course of the evening:

  • “Please don’t scream help into the canyon at 11 pm at night – the neighbors are trying to sleep.”
  • “Hey, can you not keep throwing rocks into the fish pond?”
  • “No, I’m sorry we are fresh out of strawberry/pineapple juice and I cannot run to the store and get some right now.”
  • “Yes, yes they really are trying to sleep. I know the neighbors would prefer you not screaming.”
  • And my personal favorite, “Who’s bra is this hanging from the popcorn machine?”

It was a loooooooong night.

Not looking worse for the wear, these teens are actually sugar fiends. Not looking worse for the wear, these teens are actually sugar fiends.

In the morning, it’s not like they slept in either. Crack of dawn, and I heard the clomp clomp clomp of heavy feet on the hardwood floors. Creeping downstairs for my coffee, I saw them bunched together in groups, whispering.

Turns out they were wondering what was for breakfast. Man, those teens can EAT.

It’s all good though. Ava had a blast celebrating her entry into the teenage years, and it didn’t take me too long to pick that pepperoni pizza out of the family room carpet. The dogs helped.

 

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