The demon trio sleepover

When I agreed to a sleepover extravaganza, I thought I was being very clever, and here is why: I offered a “regular” party with the typical dozen guests, or a sleepover with just two friends. Just two friends! I was going to get off easy!

Having just one friend sleep over didn’t seem very party-like, and the thought of having more than two other kids here for 12+ hours made me want to curl into the fetal position in the corner. But I had forgotten what happens in a group of three.

You might argue that this was fitting, seeing as how I’d also forgotten how much I dislike dealing with other people’s children, how hyper boys are when allowed to assemble in groups, and that many children normally go to bed much later than my kids.

So the plan was made, um, a while ago. And then the floods came, and maybe I should’ve sat Monkey down and said, Look, we just can’t do it right now. Maybe that would’ve made more sense. But he had his heart set on tonight. He’d been counting down the days. And it wasn’t as though we’d planned to party in the basement and were now somehow thwarted. Sure, I’m exhausted. Sure, the house was (even more) neglected (than normal). But they’re 6, and it’s only two other kids, and I sort of wanted to get it overwith.

How bad could it be, right? HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Here’s how bad it can be: It’s almost 10:00. THEY ARE STILL AWAKE. Did I mention that they are SIX? Did I mention that normal bedtime around here is 7:30? I’m about to start cracking heads.

Let me tell you why they are awake, and why you should learn from my mistake and NEVER EVER EVER allow three children to have a gathering. You can have just two, or you can have four (or more), but three is the deadliest number.

First, please meet the attendees of tonight’s soiree:

Monkey, as you already know, is highly excitable and frenetic. He’s not the best listener on the planet (particularly when he’s worked up), but he’s usually polite and rule-abiding.

Rainboy and Monkey have been on-again, off-again friends since they were three. It is Rainboy who got Monkey into Pokemon cards–both the real ones and the ones they spend hours making at school–and he can rattle off statistics about any creature with alarming accuracy. He cannot, however, tie his own shoes, lower his voice, or remember for two seconds that you just asked him to stop swinging from the bannister. Rainboy is a sweet kid, but it’s knowing him that convinced me that Monkey doesn’t have “serious issues.” Rainboy… has some issues.

Huck and Monkey have been inseparable buddies since before they were two. Next year will be the first time that they’re no longer in the same school (they live in a different district, so when the boys go public, that’s it for them) and Huck’s mom and I often bemoan the fact that they’ll no longer be together. Lately, though? I’m realizing that Huck is not as timid and quiet and easygoing as he either used to be or I just assumed he was. Huck is sneaky. Huck says please and thank you when his mother is in the room and smarts off when she’s not. Huck talks Monkey into breaking rules and then acts surprised when the shit hits the fan. Huck… is sort of a handful.

Now that you know our cast of characters, let me offer up a few sample interactions to set the scene.

Monkey: Look, I got some new Pokemon cards! Wanna see?
Rainboy: I WANT TO SEE THEM I DO I DO CAN I SEE THEM?
Huck: I only want to see them if you’re going to give me some.
[None of the boys notice the *clunk* of my jaw hitting the desk, in the next room.]
Monkey: Well I can give you a few, sure! I have lots!
Rainboy: I WANT TO SEE THEM AND IF I CAN HAVE SOME I WANT SOME AND I WANT TO SEE THEM AND WHICH ONES CAN I HAVE?
Huck: Actually, I don’t think I want to play Pokemon.
Rainboy: I WANT TO PLAY POKEMON CUZ I WANT TO PLAY POKEMON AND I LIKE POKEMON AND I WANT TO SEE AND CAN I HAVE SOME?
Monkey: Rainboy!
Rainboy: WHAT?
Monkey: Please stop yelling in my ear.
Rainboy: I’M NOT I’M JUST LOOKING OH CAN I HAVE THIS ONE? I DON’T HAVE ONE OF THIS ONE!
Monkey: Sure, you can have that one. Huck, do you see any you want?
Huck: I guess I’ll take these.
Monkey: Let me see, please, so I can make sure those are okay.
Rainboy: HE HAS MORE THAN ME HOW COME HE HAS MORE THAN ME I WANT MORE SO HUCK DOESN’T HAVE MORE THAN ME CUZ THAT WOULDN’T BE FAIR AND HOW COME HE HAS MORE?
Monkey: Oh, I only have one of this one. Can you pick another one instead, Huck?
Huck: Fine. *exaggerated sigh as he hands back the card in question* I don’t care, anyway. I want to play upstairs.
Monkey: We can play upstairs after this.
Rainboy: I WANT ONE OF THE PREHISTORIC ONES BECAUSE I LIKE THOSE AND I WANT SOME MORE AND CAN I HAVE THESE ONES AND HOW MANY CAN I HAVE AND DOES HUCK HAVE MORE THAN ME?
Huck: I’m going upstairs.
Rainboy: THANK YOU MONKEY I AM SO EXCITED TO HAVE ALL THESE CARDS AND I LIKE THESE CARDS AND OH CAN I HAVE THIS ONE TOO?
Huck: Rainboy. Let’s go play upstairs. NOW.
[Huck pulls Rainboy out of the room, and they leave.]
Me: Uhhhh… Monkey?
Monkey: Yes?
Me: Where’d your friends go?
Monkey: I dunno. I think they went upstairs.
Me: Well why don’t you go play with them?
Monkey: I’m doing this.
Me: Ooookaaaaaay… but ummm… you should probably go play with them.

Overheard later, when they were set up in their sleeping bags and supposedly watching a movie:

Monkey: Huck! Stop! Give me my puppy back!
Huck: He crawled down into my sleeping bag! HEEEELP!
Monkey: Hahahahaha give it!
Rainboy: MONKEY LOOK AT HOW FAR DOWN I PULLED MY SLEEPING BAG!
Monkey: Huuuuck, what did you do with him?
Huck: He’s tickling me! Ahhh! I’m trying to grab him!
Rainboy: MONKEY LOOK AT HOW FAR DOWN I PULLED MY SLEEPING BAG!
Monkey: What if Puppy really could do that, and then he PEED in your sleeping bag?
Huck: Ewwwwwww that’s so gross. What if he POOPED?
*howls of laughter from Monkey and Huck*
Rainboy: MONKEY LOOK AT HOW FAR DOWN I PULLED MY SLEEPING BAG!
Monkey: Puppy pee!
Huck: Puppy poop!!
Rainboy: MONKEY LOOK AT HOW FAR DOWN I PULLED MY SLEEPING BAG!
*howls of laughter from Monkey and Huck*
Rainboy: MONKEY LOOK AT HOW FAR DOWN I PULLED MY SLEEPING BAG IT IS REALLY FAR DOWN AND YOU SHOULD LOOK BECAUSE IT’S MY SLEEPING BAG REALLY FAR DOWN!

It was at this point that I shrieked in agony OH MY FUCKING GOD JUST LOOK AT HIS STUPID SLEEPING BAG FOR A MINUTE SO THAT HE WILL STOP SAYING THAT!

Sadly, that only happened in my mind.

Regardless. Two against one. Someone always gets left out. The entire evening, I don’t think there was even a nanosecond when all three boys were in harmony. It was a constant swirl of chaos with two directly tormenting one another while the third tried to break in.

So, the sleep issue. My children go to bed at 7:30 on school nights, 8:00 on the weekend. Monkey was clearly ready to collapse by 9:00. When I asked the boys what time they normally get to bed, Huck told me he stays up until around 9:30. (This is plausible; his mom works swing shift and he often comes to school late.) Rainboy insisted he doesn’t go to bed until midnight. Well, he didn’t say midnight. What he said was “SOMETIMES WHEN IT RAINS I GO TO BED AROUND TWELVE BUT THEN ON SCHOOL NIGHTS WHEN IT DOESN’T RAIN I MAYBE HAVE TO GET TO BED AROUND TWELVE-THIRTY BUT ON WEEKENDS MOSTLY I GO TO BED AROUND FOUR OR MAYBE IT’S A DIFFERENT TIME BUT I THINK ABOUT TWELVE.”

(Note to self: Think of a creative way to ask Rainboy’s mom if he was dropped on his head as a baby.)

The three were spread out in sleeping bags on the floor of the family room and Monkey would try to go to sleep. Huck would then poke Monkey in the back. Monkey would tell Huck to quit it, and this would cause Rainboy to insist that they were interrupting his concentration, because he was working on being a caterpillar.

I let this play out about half a dozen times before I came back into the room and let them know that it was final warning time; if they couldn’t be quiet and go to sleep, I would separate them. There will be plenty of time to play in the morning. But now it is time to sleep.

Monkey: But I AM trying to sleep!
Huck: What do I do if I’m the first one to wake up in the morning?
Rainboy: GUYS STOP IT I WAS ALMOST A CATERPILLAR AND YOU BROKE MY CONCENTRATION AND NOW I HAVE TO START ALL OVER AGAIN AND IT WAS REALLY HARD AND YOU NEED TO STOP.

I bade them all good night and slunk away, wondering what I would do after the requisite ten minutes if (when) they were still at it. I needn’t have worried; at 10:05 I heard a small voice at the foot of the stairs.

“Moooooooooommy!” Oh, he was a hurting unit, my boy. He hardly ever calls me Mommy. And to do so in front of his friends…? Poor kid was delirious with fatigue. “I think you need to separate us. Please separate me up to my room.” I stifled my laughter and carried him up to his bed, where he was snoring about ten seconds after his head hit the pillow.*

I headed back downstairs to Huck and Rainboy. “Monkey is going to sleep in his bed, because he is too tired to stay down here with you. Are the two of you going to go to sleep, now, or do I need to call your moms to take you home?” Huck refused to say anything, while Rainboy shouted something else about his caterpillar aspirations (it’s interesting; after a couple of hours with him, even though his declarations could shake the dishes in the cabinets, I could tune him right out). I left them, and half an hour later they, too, were asleep.

Thank God.

Now I suppose I ought to get some rest, because the best case scenario is that they’re up at the crack of dawn… and worst case, I could be calling parents in a few hours when someone wakes up all hysterical.

*Even now, scientists who are mapping the human genome are locating the Abandon Sleepover gene. Chickadee’s first sleepover was at a friend’s house where we moms also stayed over (hoping to have our own party), and she came to me around 11:00 and collapsed when the other girls wouldn’t shut up and go to sleep. We spent the night in a comfy guest bed while the other girls and moms slept on the floor. Heh.

21 Responses to “The demon trio sleepover”

  1. 1
    Amy-GO May 19, 2006 at 11:30 pm #

    HOOoooooo, boy, does that sound like fun or what? The last time Jack (8) had a sleepover we were up until 3am and up for the day at 6. Here’s hoping you get more sleep than THAT. Because killing other people’s children never seemed like such a good idea. ;)

  2. 2
    Betsy May 19, 2006 at 11:39 pm #

    I am going to impart some parental wisdom to you.

    Even numbers only for sleepovers (and parties, if possible.) If you need to rent a kid at the last minute to make that happen, do so.

    Yes, I’m serious about the rent-a-kid bit. You can probably buy one for two decks of Pokemon cards. And the peace you’ll get in return? Priceless!

  3. 3
    Erin (erin-erin-bo-berin) May 19, 2006 at 11:40 pm #

    Oh Crap. I’ve already got THREE! My girls are 7, 5 1/2, and almost three. I think of them as boys in floral prints. Maybe that’s why I’m always separating them. DAMN! You are SO smart! I hope I’m as smart as you when I grow up. Glad I stayed up to blog tonight. Thanks, Mir

  4. 4
    Mary Tsao May 19, 2006 at 11:40 pm #

    I understand why you’re calling him Rainboy.

    Oh, and you do know that Rainboy’s and Huck’s moms are having the best night they’ve had in years, right?

  5. 5
    InterstellarLass May 19, 2006 at 11:57 pm #

    Ugh. I’ve managed to avoid sleepovers this past 10 years. I have a feeling they’re about to start. I assume drinking with other people’s children in your care is out of bounds?

  6. 6
    the Mater May 20, 2006 at 8:45 am #

    You learn from your mistakes. The fact that you’ve named these two sidekicks “Rainboy” and “Huck” already tells you that they belonged in the swampy basement for the night!

    We only did one sleepover – for Jenn’s 8th or 9th birthday. Way too many guests – piled into our basement rec room (no flooding) but it got to a point that I went down the stairs with a watergun and sprayed kids in the faces to shut them up. They finally calmed down about 3am. The phone started ringing, I dashed madly for the phone so it wouldn’t wake the munchkins up and I hear heavy breathing and some obscene language. I lost it – started laughing hysterically at the perp – totally unnerved the guy – I told him: “If you think this is gonna bother me after what I just went through, you’re crazy”. Ha!

  7. 7
    marian May 20, 2006 at 9:05 am #

    Oh man, does this ever bring back memories. Good lord. The teen years are MUCH easier!

  8. 8
    Chag May 20, 2006 at 10:45 am #

    Loved the “Please separate me up to my room” line. What did Chickadee think of the demon trio?

  9. 9
    Cele May 20, 2006 at 12:19 pm #

    Oh you are so right about the three number. It is hidedous terrible – and yet they call it prime? Go figure.

  10. 10
    peek May 20, 2006 at 12:40 pm #

    I could have warned you. Been there, done that but I have to say, as far as the sleeping issue, two was really no better. I remember too many 1:00 am yells up the stairs.

  11. 11
    Character Builder May 20, 2006 at 3:38 pm #

    De-lurking to say that I feel your pain. I’m thinking that you should always stay with an even number of kids, and that even number would be 2. I’ve had four 8 and 9 year old boys over, and it’s no better–only more kids on each side when they disagree on what to do. And, of course, when you have directions from one kid’s mom to please not let them stay up too late because they have stuff going on the next day, it’s THAT kid that causes the most trouble at bedtime. Needs a drink. Others are too loud. Can’t sleep. And these were all good kids. You hate to yell at other people’s kids, but man, you just want to knock their little heads together.

    Just consider it a lesson learned.

  12. 12
    Laura May 21, 2006 at 5:38 am #

    I HATE, hate, hate sleepovers, but with three kids, I’ve had a bunch of them. My girls are like your kids. (Well, past tense for the oldest, who is long past sleepovers, thank GOD!) They’re used to getting lots of sleep, and hate being kept up till all hours by their friends. (So why do they like to go to the damn things, and beg me to host them? Damned if I know.)

  13. 13
    Jen May 21, 2006 at 2:19 pm #

    You poor thing! Here’s hoping that you survived the sleepover and the aftermath of three 6 year old boys.

  14. 14
    Suebob May 21, 2006 at 7:26 pm #

    Rainboy’s answer about when he went to bed is classic. Made me laugh my head off.

    Sorry. Hope you are getting some rest today.

  15. 15
    Aimee May 22, 2006 at 10:55 am #

    I love “Please separate me up to my room.” Poor kid. I hope it all worked out, ie, no throttled children.

  16. 16
    Jenn2 May 22, 2006 at 12:49 pm #

    See, this is the kind of valuable information I need. I had only heard the “Rule of Three” as applicable to girls. I had no idea it extended to boys. Hmmm.

    A suggestion. Instead of sleepovers as an alternative to a birthday party, I offer a friend and a trip to the movies. Only problem, it can get expensive. Still…a good night’s sleep? Priceless.

  17. 17
    badgermama May 22, 2006 at 1:18 pm #

    “It was at this point that I shrieked in agony OH MY FUCKING GOD JUST LOOK AT HIS STUPID SLEEPING BAG FOR A MINUTE SO THAT HE WILL STOP SAYING THAT!

    Sadly, that only happened in my mind.”

    TOO funny…. I am always jumping in like that!

    Our one-on-one sleepovers work out pretty well but there are always hurt feelings. Luckily they forget it in the morning and you can re-excite them by letting them pour syrup in their frosted flakes.

  18. 18
    bellabelly May 22, 2006 at 2:18 pm #

    oh, i hate to say this but I laughed so hard at this post I gave myself the hiccups. i’m sorry, i’m laughing with you, I really am.

  19. 19
    Shiz May 23, 2006 at 1:37 am #

    I was once on the other side of the wall when FOURTEEN ELEVEN YEAR OLD GIRLS were having a screamover, I mean, sleepover. Gah.

    Sounds like a handful. We plan to keep living in an apartment, though, so maybe I can keep sleepovers down to one guest until the double-digits.

  20. 20
    KayT May 24, 2006 at 1:56 pm #

    I was thinking about you in the shower today, and I decided that the problem was not the number (3) of boys over a different number (4 or 2), but that it was more than 1. Even one sounds like too many, but I think you are stuck with Monkey.

  21. 21
    Alice February 8, 2007 at 11:35 am #

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAAAA

    Seeing as i’m 13, i’ve never had that problem, the closest i’ve been is babysitting my cousins, they ASSURED me they were allowed to watch fifteens. We managed to get through ten minutes of “saw,” before tears came pouring, not to mention the bollocking i got the next day…

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