Whoever coined the word ‘sleepover’ was having a serious laugh. At what point during the 12 hours or more that you are allowing one or more children in addition to your own to ‘sleep’ in your house, does anyone actually get any sleep?
We have had more than our fair share of sleepovers over the last few years. There have been the odd one where some sleep might have occurred but on those occasions a lot less than humanly required resulting in very bad tempers the following morning. But I have to say that very few of these so-called sleepovers actually contained any sleeping.
Generally though, and the one that we had on Friday evening (hence the ranty blog post) did not involve a lot of the sleeping over. It involved a lot of noise, a lot of mess, more noise, more mess, one child who apparently played on the Xbox all night and didn’t even attempt to sleep. It involved me ramming bits of screwed up tissue into my ears to try and drown out the noise. It also involved me rampaging up to the offending bedroom looking like some sort of crazy woman in my pyjamas asking them to be quiet. Around 1:30 am the noise did die down enough for me to be able to get a few hours sleep but that was broken by the noise getting louder intermittently through the night and then bugger me if they weren’t all shouting at the Xbox by 6:30.
I was not amused.
If you search a definition for the word ‘sleepover’ in a dictionary, it is defined as ‘a night spent by children or young people at a friend’s house.’ I rest my case, even the dictionary doesn’t mention the actual act of sleeping because the person or people responsible must have experienced this unnatural occurrence and realised that to mention sleep would, in fact, be a downright lie.
The thing is, I do get it. Sleepovers are a right of passage for kids, particularly teens. They like to have mates over the stay, it is fun and exciting and when you are having a good time with your mates, you don’t want to whisper and all sit quietly reading books before having an early night (although that sounds really good to me).
Oh no. You want to fill yourself up with as much sugar as you can possibly fit in and then wind each other up into a hyperactive frenzy and then jump around, fight and shout as loudly as you can. That’s what you really want to do.
Then of course, you get the ‘sleepover comedown’. It is a bit like a hangover, where you haven’t touched a drop of alcohol. All that sugar and shouting has taken its toll, combined with the sleep deficiency, that is a lethal combination of bad mood that can last for days. Even the lucky bystanders who just happen to live in the house and weren’t invited to the sleepover, get to enjoy that too and it does not make for a happy house, let me tell you.
So personally, I think the name ‘sleepover’ sucks. It should be renamed a ‘sleepunder’, a’wakeover’ or ‘night of hyperactive kiddos staying over, wreaking havoc and not getting any sleep or letting anyone else in the house sleep either.’ I think maybe ‘wakeover’ might be a bit easier.
If you have mastered the art of the calm sleepover where everyone sleeps (without the use of sleep-inducing drugs or physical violence) please tell me your secret as I am in total awe.
Meanwhile, if you need me, I will be under a duvet somewhere catching up on my lost sleep and coming up with about five year’s worth of excuses as to why we couldn’t possibly have any more sleepovers.