Sunday, November 21, 2010

If You Can't Beat 'em, Join 'em....

While perhaps not the best advice ever, especially if you're talking about standing tight with a conviction, I am surprised it took me so long to get to that place.

Perhaps it was because I WAS standing tight to a conviction: "You boys need to settle down and GO TO SLEEP!!"

We'd started the bedtime routine a little early - especially for "sleep over" standards - but I knew there were two that were likely going to opt to return home. May as well go ahead and get that done before their parents went to sleep. The movie had ended, and 9:30 seemed like a reasonable time to declare sleeping locations. Those two did elect to return to their parents, so I was left to corral 4 boys toward their sleeping bags.

An hour later, I wished them good night, and headed to bed myself. Honestly, I was thrilled... not bad AT ALL for a sleep over. They were chatting still, but the lights were out and they were in their own bedspaces. One had actually claimed the couch away from the others, since he was REALLY ready to sleep.

And that is where it all fell apart. Close to midnight, I heard them. They had moved from the playroom to my son's room - to play ONE LAST GAME of Beyblade. Trust me, I went back and forth between "This is a sleep over party, cut them some slack" and "GO TO SLEEP!!" I did ask them to turn down the volume of their voices so I could get back to sleep, and reminded them they needed to wind down, but didn't totally put the kabash on it.

They seemed to settle a bit. Until I heard them again - awakened nearly an hour later by peals of laughter and a "hey! don't pelt me with that". "GOOD NIGHT, BOYS!!" I called across the hall. They hushed.

Two AM, awakened by the sounds of running feet and less than muffled laughter, I thought I'd made myself clear when I stomped up the stairs, snapped off the TV and said "GO. TO. BED!!" I reminded my son and the other cub scout in the group that they would be exhausted during the Christmas parade the next day. I turned, leaving them with their blankets pulled up over their noses. I could NOT IMAGINE that this would not be the last time I had to do this. Seriously people!

I lay there for a while telling myself that "when *I* had a sleep over party, we stayed up ALLLLLL night...." (To which the angel on my other shoulder promptly reminded me that I had fallen asleep in the front row of a Christmas play I had gone to the next day with my girl scout troop.... snoring and drooling no less...) Oh yeah, and I was also thirteen!

But, the pièce de résistance occurred approximately 3:30 am, when I heard dishes clanking, followed by the unmistakable beeping of the microwave. I hollered to my son.... "WHAT are you doing?" His reply was that his friend was "starving". His "morning snack" was finished, but my son's was prepared to go INTO the microwave. "oh no...." He returned the Sloppy Joe sideshot thing to the freezer, as I'd instructed, and later informed me that they had decided to share the aforementioned previously prepared one.

I pretty much lost my mind by that point, and then wondered why I hadn't thought of this earlier. "If you can't beat 'em, Join 'em...."

I grabbed my pillow, pulled the blanket off of my daughters empty bed and climbed the stairs. As I walked into the playroom, I said "Move." to the kid closest to the door. There I lay my pillow, and then myself. As I pulled up my blanket, I said "next kid to talk gets relocated" - living room.... China.... didn't much matter to me at that point. All I could think about was how miserable the parade would be - a tired boy whining to a tired mom.... bad combo.

But, funny how it worked.... in less than seven minutes, they were snoring and *I* had relocated ... back to my bed.

AND, due to the Grace of God - nothing else could have ensured this! - there was no whining to a tired mom. (Now the mom DID gripe a bit, until she ran into a woman who assured me that I was 'making memories'.... oh yeah...)

One memory, I am writing into my 2011 planner. In November:

" ' Join them' ... sooner rather than later....."

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