Saturday, January 10, 2009

Some Call It Sleep

They call it a "sleep-over" because once you have a critical mass of pre-teen girls in your house, your chances of getting any sleep are effectively over.

Last night was Tabitha's long-delayed birthday party, and from what we can tell a good time was had by all. Eight girls (and Grandma and Grandpa) fought their way through what turned out to be a foot of powdery snow for pizza and cake. Seven stayed the night in sleeping bags spread out across the living room floor in the kind of pile-up that you normally only see after short-yardage third down plays. All of them have now gone home, and we're just sprawled about the house in various low-energy positions, waiting for the Caffeine Fairy to drop by and kick us out of our stupors.

It was a good time.

The first guests began arriving around 5pm, and the chaos began shortly thereafter. The nice thing about Tabitha turning nine, though, is that she and her friends really don't require us to entertain them anymore. You just clear them a space, make sure they don't hurt each other, and let them be. Most of the time, in fact, they were in the basement, doing whatever it is they do down there. It involved a lot of singing.

The cake was bright red - a marble cake with homemade strawberry icing. There was some debate over whether the icing tasted like Nestle's Strawberry Kwik, as Kim maintained, or Frankenberry cereal, as I felt, or whether the difference between those two things was significant enough to warrant any debate at all. There isn't much left, so if you want to do some on-site testing, you'd better hurry over.

Kim brought out the crafts afterward, and the girls just went wild for ... wait for it ... Shrinky-Dinks! Yes, the hottest cutting edge technology of the 1970s is back, and badder than ever! And they do, in fact, shrink. I do not know if they dink or not.

Eventually the evening wore late, and it was time for the girls to distribute a fine layer of popcorn throughout the house and then go to bed. There were a few hitches in this - it is astonishing how hard it is to remember to bring a toothbrush to a sleep-over, apparently - but all went surprisingly well. They were asleep by daylight.

This morning when I came downstairs they were all gathered in front of my computer, watching a movie. We fed them pancakes and bacon and then I cleared the walk of snow so as not to give any excuse for any parents to leave girls here. Seven girls overnight, seven girls out the door with parents, one to a customer, which one is up to you.

Happy birthday, Tabitha!

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