PARENTS

Achtung Baby Or Sleepover!

13/01/2014 15:31 | Updated 22 May 2015

In my naivety, I genuinely believed I wouldn't have to suffer the nightmare that is "The Sleepover" until Finje was at least, say, fifty. With any luck I reckoned I might avoid it all together if I could convince her that other people's homes are riddled with poisonous bugs that only attack visitors under five feet tall.

It seems I am mistaken and the honest truth is, I don't want other kids sleeping here or Finje sleeping anywhere other than in the room next to mine.

Grumpy Old Woman I may be, but I have invested a lot of time and energy in programming my child to go to bed as early as possible, sleep for many, many hours and wake up an hour before kindergarten. Haven't quite mastered the weekend lie-in yet but it's a work in progress.

This, it seems, is not the norm! Other small people apparently go to bed at 8pm or even 9pm. If these "Night Owls" come here for a sleepover they are not going to be dozing into dream-land at 7pm are they? And that could spell disaster for my Finje's routine.

Finje was asked to stay over at her friend's house. Not wishing to appear churlish and unable to come up with an excuse fast enough, I was forced to agree. It was horrible without her and I berated myself the whole night for not being more assertive. What has happened to me in my old age? What happened to the woman fired from her waitressing job for dumping hot chocolate fudge cake on the head of a (very) rude customer?

Her return to the fold the next morning provided me with a glimse into the future. She schlepped into the house carrying her teddy bear rucksack which for all the world could just as well have been a bottle of vodka. Frankly she looked wasted. I tried to keep my voice light and nonchalant as I grilled the other mother. Apparently they eventually drifted off at 10pm!

I know it's not the other mother's fault. How do you get two hyperactive four year old girls to sleep in the same room?

And that is the point is it not? Four is too young.

Tucking her into her own bed the following night, I was struck by the realisation:

Does that mean I have to invite her friend to our house now?

What do you think is the right age to start sleepovers?

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