Friday, August 08, 2008

Exploring new territories...

This past weekend my husband and I journeyed into uncharted territory.

We wisely chose to ship our 4-year-old daughter off to relatives for adventures unknown, and faced the brave new world on our own.

Like dual Marlin Perkins (or would you call that Marlin Perki?), we explored our own animal kingdom--in the wide unexamined world of a 9-year-old boy's mind. And, my, what we learned was simply amazing!

I foolishly made some assumptions about this party, based on my own slumber party experiences growing up. What I learned was that boy sleep-over parties (which you cannot CALL slumber parties, according to my husband) are an entirely different species from the girls.

I remember back in the day, hitting a friend's house to music blaring, pizza out the wazoo, makeup and nail polish staged ready for all night "makeovers" and other fun activities. Usually, those things would be done within the first hour or two of the party, which seemed to leave the rest of the slumber party time for what always seemed to happen--sharing secret crushes on boys, silly crank calls, and then gang-ups on some poor unsuspecting girl. Perhaps this was the reason I never hosted my own slumber party.

Fortunately, I became quite adept at avoiding being "the girl" that got picked on at the slumber party. First, my insomniac ways were established at an early age, so there was no chance I'd ever fall asleep first or even early. Some nights I didn't sleep at all, actually. No hand in the warm water trick on me. No frozen bra hanging outside for all to see or stolen underwear launched up the school flag pole come Monday morning either. No, I learned to lay low and avoid the mean girls but also not be too obviously against what they were doing so as not to single myself out....unless they targeted a good friend, that is.

But, boy sleepovers are vastly different. Nailpolish and secrets are replaced by gratuitous fart sounds and references to "butts," "underwear," "nads," and other "bathroom words." This is the accepted language spoken at boy sleep-overs. As the mom, you can roll your eyes all you want, but don't try to contain this as it only makes it worse. At one point over pizza, we had an entire chorus of under-arm farts playing in sweet harmony.

I had to leave the room.

Fortunately, at boy sleepovers there's really no ganging up on one person, unless you try to hog the Playstation controller--in which case, there WILL be hell to pay for your mistake.

Also, boys seem to love battles and wars of any kind. We scored big points by having water balloon battles in the front yard, followed by soggy jumping in a moonwalk and then a massive Nerf gun war behind air mattresses which seemed to never end. (The big kid--oops I mean hubs--happily participated in--uh, I mean supervised--both battles, of course.)

Someone lead me to believe that the great thing about boy sleepovers is that boys actually DO SLEEP, unlike girls at slumber parties. So, when my son decided to have a contest to see who could stay up the longest, well I didn't worry.

At midnight, we cut off lights, got everyone's sleeping bags situated and put a movie on for the boys that we thought might help lull them to sleep. By 3:30 a.m., the movie was done and I'd made 4 trips upstairs to ask them to be more quiet, stay on their air mattresses, not change rooms, let the single sleeping boy sleep, etc.

By 5:15 a.m., I threw my hands up and woke my husband when I heard the sound of the Playstation coming on full blast. Hubs returned with confiscated PS2 controllers and several light sabers in hand. Whatever he said, must have finally worked as things quieted down by 5:30 a.m.
In the end, the one boy who fell asleep just after midnight and slept through ALL sorts of commotion, woke up and proudly proclaimed he'd stayed up the latest of all, while the other boys giggled. The boy we knew had bed-wetting issues turned into the instigator of keeping people awake all night, which we suspect was to avoid having any nighttime problems. My son and one of his good friends stayed up all night with this boy, I think, barring any 15-30 minute nap at daybreak.

The main thing I got out of the whole sleepless night? Well, no matter how many belches or bad table manners I have to correct, my 9-year-old son is really quite normal for his age--and actually may be on the polite end of the spectrum actually!

I hope our studies of boy life will educate and enlighten you all to a world most dare not explore or even visit, and few return from the same as when they left. I know I feel like I earned some kind of stripes from our expedition. And, my goodness, I hope we don't have to do this again for at LEAST a few years!

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Blogger LadyBugCrossing said...

Ahh... I think I should have been more specific on the sleeping thing.

No TV. No controllers. Just dark. Boys don't talk like girls.. eventually they run out of stuff to say and they conk.

We also put them where we couldn't hear them... :-)

Alas, girls - they giggle all night regardless, they don't sleep, and they are wicked cranky the next day.

So sorry they didn't sleep for you. Maybe next time?

8:26 AM, August 10, 2008  
Blogger Nicole said...

You are one brave woman. The most we've ever had over is two at a time and that's enough for me! Our boys stay up until midnight-ish and are still grouchy the next day...

I hope your son gave you a big thanks for hosting that!!

6:02 PM, August 10, 2008  
Blogger Carol said...

I cannot believe you did that! You have one lucky boy. Harry just turned 8 - I don't know if third grade will bring sleepovers, but so far we haven't reached that stage yet.

3:18 PM, August 11, 2008  
Anonymous Wickedly Scarlett said...

Oh God, boys are SO GROSS, lol!!

4:17 PM, August 11, 2008  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

LOL, Angela! Great comment!

We've all recovered from our eye-opening sleep-over experience.

LBC--I emailed you privately, but let me just say that without your tip on the food, we'd have been in big trouble--so I definitely OWE you one, big time!

4:57 PM, August 11, 2008  

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