Big Girls

Sometimes, I just have NO IDEA how to start a blog post. I have things I want to say, but the blank box just stares at me, and I am unable to BEGIN. So then, I decide to finally JUST START TYPING, and this is what you get.

Hi!

I have a sleep post that I’ve been working on but am afraid to post. It’s such a touchy subject! We’ll see.

I had to email the family coordinator sorta-like-a-school-counselor lady today about Kate. She’s been coming home upset about her interpersonal relationships at school. It all sounds like fairly mild and normal stuff to me (she and another girl are both vying for the “best friend” title of a third girl), and Kate is probably just as involved and just as guilty as anyone in perpetuating it all. HOWEVER, she does not handle these things well, and stews and STEWS about it, over and over. None of my suggestions are helpful (Tell them that everyone can have more than one best friend! Tell them that you don’t want to choose! Tell them that choosing favorites isn’t necessary!) She insists she’s TRIED everything I have to offer (doubtful) and that NOTHING WORKS.

So, I emailed. This woman is someone who Kate responds very positively towards, so possibly hearing (probably the same as I’ve given her) advice from someone who’s NOT MOM will be helpful?

Having an anxious kid is tricky because validating her feelings (which is how I handle it with my others) only makes her feel it MORE intensely. But downplaying it makes her amp up her anxiety so that she can PROOVE to me how bad it is. I don’t want to give her a ton of positive attention for turning little things into big things, but I don’t want her silently worrying, worrying, worrying, either.  The good news is, I *think* that she’s getting better at coping, as she’s getting older. Sure, she’s going through some anxiety right now, but it’s mild compared to, say, her 1st grade year. So I’m hopeful that she’ll keep learning how to deal with it.

Speaking of my big girls, they turned nine this week. NINE! Nine is a lot of years! If I think of myself as, say a 10 year old and then a 19 year old… whoa! Those nine years were HUGE! Even thinking of age 20 compared to age 29! So much happens in NINE years. I can’t believe that’s how long they’ve been with me. How wonderful! How mind-blowing!

Their birthday was on Monday, so their sleep-over party is this Friday. Have I shared with you how I feel about sleep-overs? I haaaaaate them! Haaaaaaaaaaaaate! The girls are at this age where very often, on a Friday night, they are invited to sleep over at a friend’s house (or they are begging to invite someone to sleep over here). This, in and of itself, would be no biggie. HOWEVER, at least at several of their friend’s homes, they don’t go to bed. The girls got home one time and said they were up until 3:30 am and then one of the girls woke everyone up again at 6am! In case you don’t have any 8-9 year old girls in your life, guess what? That ISN’T ENOUGH SLEEP. AT. ALL. for a child of this age. (Joan and Kate typically go to bed between 8:15 and 8:30 and get up at 7.)

So then they come home and are RUINED for the weekend. So crabby and touchy and screamy and stompy. Truly, they are ruined human beings for the rest of the weekend.

When they have friends stay over here, we always make them to go bed at, like, 11pm at the LATEST. I know that definitely doesn’t make us the cool parents on the block, but COME ON. These are young children we’re talking about here, and in the case of my girls, they don’t/won’t nap or sleep in, either. Even staying up until 10:30 or 11 makes them Crabby-crabby pants the next day. It’s PLENTY late.

But anyway, I will tolerate a sleep-over for their birthday. Now I’m just trying to figure out what to DO with that many girls for that many hours (THAT’S THE OTHER THING. It’s SO MANY HOURS.) They’ve each invited two girls over, so that’s six girls, plus Marin. They are coming over around 3pm (there’s no school on that day, so my girls were all “They could come over in the morning!” Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Riiiiiiight.) (NO.), and I’m thinking… let them just hang out until dinner? And then after dinner play a  movie? David has access to a projector, so he thought he’d set up a “big screen” for them.

And what to do with Marin? She’s going to want to be included, and THEY are going to want her to bug off, so…. I’ve toyed with the idea of inviting a friend over for her, just until after supper. Maybe? But do I really want to add ANOTHER child to the mix, and then have Marin and her friend wanting to do fun stuff (probably DIFFERENT fun stuff) as well?

Man, I miss the days of inviting MY friends and their kids over for dinner and cake.

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10 thoughts on “Big Girls

  1. Oh, I hate sleepovers too. Lisa just had one for her 11th birthday – I shipped the younger two off to grandma & grandpa’s. Except for the food, the girls completely entertained themselves with music, games, ‘nail salon’ and whatever else they were doing down there. There wasn’t much sleeping going on, but it was in the middle of the Christmas break, so I figured they had lots of time to sleep it off. For other sleepovers, I let Lisa know that if she doesn’t get enough sleep (and then we all pay the price), it will be her last sleepover for awhile. I think 11PM is perfectly reasonable.

    • We tell the girls that too! They always CLAIM “we’re NOT TIRED! We’re NOT CRABBY!” Mmmmm, OK. But sometimes I don’t think they see the change in their own behavior, at least not as obviously as we do.

      I think they’ll entertain themselves, too. Wii Dance, music, nails, all like you said. We’ll see how it goes!

  2. 3PM until the next morning??! OMG I’m getting hives just thinking about it. Can you ask a friend to have Marin over on a playdate for a few hours, then maybe David can take her to a movie to lessen the chance of her feeling left out. She’ll get to do her own fun, special things on her own.
    I would have Joan and Kate come up with a few fun activities (like LoriD’s nail salon above) then let them have at it. My kids are younger but I have a 10 year old neice who seems to do best when left to entertain herself.

    6 9-year olds for more than 12 hours … I need a drink just thinking about it.

  3. I am so not ready for the world of sleepovers. My kid has been asking me when she’s old enough and I always want to answer “NEVER!” A group of giggly, non-sleeping girls makes me want to mainline vodka. Best of luck to you, my friend.

  4. Ugh, my son turns 9 next month and sleepovers are one of the banes of my existence. He has been to four “sleep”over parties at which he got maybe 5 hours of sleep. Not for the parents lack of trying, but a bunch of boys just don’t sleep much when wound up and excited. He spent the Sundays following them tired, crabby, and in one case getting car sick and barfing (something he used to do when he was younger but has almost entirely grown out of except when exhausted). He asked if he could have a sleep over for his birthday. I laughed and laughed. Hell no.

    I might consider a “late over” in which the boys come until 10:00 and then we take them home. It’s not as much sleep as he needs, but it’s more than 5 hours. However, I will have to find something to do with our toddler because there is no way they are going to be quiet enough for her to go to sleep and an overtired toddler is just an unacceptable situation on top of an overtired 9 YO.

    Anyway, this is my long-winded way of saying I know exactly where you are coming from and think you get a “great mom!” award for doing a sleepover for them.

  5. This is one of the few times I’m actually grateful that my flat is so small that we CAN’T have sleepovers (my two girls already share one of our two bedrooms, and I don’t have any type of fold-up bed thing to add in). When they were smaller, I had an inflatable sleeping bag thing that was narrow enough to fit between their beds, so I HAVE done it but oh, heavens, how I loathed it… I really admire your courage!
    I think the “left to their own devices” idea is great – my 10-year-old loves doing “beauty salon” type stuff (no idea how she knows how to put make-up on so well; I NEVER wear make-up so it’s obviously not from me…). Then, after dinner, a film sounds good, or charades or something.
    And in bed by 11 sounds reasonable. When my girls are invited to someone else’s house for a sleepover, that’s about when they usually get to sleep.

  6. Pingback: Darkness « Life in Tiny Town

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