When we were young, we hated that popular childhood ritual known as the sleepover. That’s because we both have always shared a mutual love of sleeping.
“Pat, I really like to sleep. I’m good at it.”
“I’m the same way, Gene. I think it’s why I might be OK with death.”
But anyone who ever been involved in a sleepover knows that they really have nothing to do with sleeping.
Even our younger children have learned this.
“Mommy, can Samantha come over for an awakeover?”
For a long time, we thought it was impossible to despise sleepovers any more than we did in childhood. But then we became mothers and learned to take our hatred to a whole new level of intensity.
Don’t get us wrong; we’re not opposed to all kinds of sleepovers. In certain situations, (such as those involving us sleeping away from our homes), sleepovers are not just warranted; they’re ideal. (“Girls Night Away? We’re in!”)
We’re also staunch supporters and advocates of sleepovers that involve our children staying at other people’s houses.
“Quick Mike, let’s peel out of here before they change their minds.”
But there’s one type of sleepover we’ll always despise – those that involve other children staying at our home. That’s because our love of sleep is in direct contrast to the primary objective of sleepover attendees – to scream all night long and drive sleep-deprived parents to the brink of insanity.
As Christians and loving mothers, we’ve tried to work through our hatred, often posing a difficult question:
WWJD? What would June Cleaver Do?
Well, we can ascertain one thing. June would never, ever refuse to grant a special child a sleepover. When other kids want to play with a special child, you have no choice, but to cave. Yup, sometimes, you just have to swallow your pride (and your Paxil) and take one for the imperfect team.
But that doesn’t stop us from working our hardest to ensure we (err, we mean the children) get a fitful night of sleep.
“OK kids, who wants a Sominex Smoothie?”
“Mrs. Gallagher why do you have those whale sounds playing in Emmy’s room?”
As much as we’ve tried, none of these and other clever strategies (tranquilizer guns, Benadryl brownies, bedtime reading of our mortgage deed) seem to work. Invariably, the kids end up staying up all night, leaving us to pick up the pieces of our life, the morning after.
“OK kids, thanks for coming. Great to have you. Here’s your breakfast. Just be sure to eat your pancakes before they melt the paper bag.”