Gardener and writer Debbie Webber recounts moments from her chaotic and busy life as the mother of five children ranging in ages from three up to thirteen in our regular column The Fab Five...
At the risk of sounding like a Miserable Mummy I have to confess I dislike sleepovers.
For a start the name is totally misleading as sleep is the last thing on the minds of the mini host and their raucous guests.
Plus, and I know that I am also going to sound like a Selfish Mummy on top of being Miserable, but I can't wander round in my PJs, slob on the sofa or stand at the fridge scoffing leftovers.Still, it is a small price to pay for my children's happiness. However, here's the rub: that happiness lasts until the next day when they are invariably incredibly grumpy. If their eyes are open at all.
We have had a hold on sleepovers the past year or so as we try, vainly, to complete 'renovations' on the house. I say renovations, that actually makes it sound heaps posher than it is. There has been building work that has gone on. And on. And on.
Now there is light at the end of the tunnel and with it a new gleam in my older children's eyes. "Yes, we do now have a family room. Yes, it is predominantly yours. Yes, there is room for two double airbeds.....aha".
So we have launched back into the sleepover round. And as I think we must owe loads of return kips, there is nothing for it but to grin and bear it.
I shall lay down the (few) ground rules which are uniquely mine so yours may be different: No lying down eating at all. No noise after midnight.
I would also like to add mind your manners, everyone asleep by ten, no-one awake before eight, no laughing at my pyjamas and a cup of tea in the morning please, one sugar, (but I think that might be slightly unrealistic).
The first sleepover is scheduled for this weekend. Wish me luck.