Sleepovers – A Teenage Bonding Ritual
The Sleepover makes me laugh. What has sleep got to do with it? I reckon teenagers should rename the sleepover, The Stay Up All Nighter! The adults have to stay calm while the teenagers let loose!
What is the ‘Sleepover’ all about?
Well from a teenager’s point of view there is nothing quite like it. Where else can you eat vast quantities of pizza, garlic bread, ice cream, popcorn and sweets and stay up into the ‘wee’ hours talking to your besties? When I say talking I don’t mean hushed whispers, I mean loud giggles, screams, and lots and lots of shrieks. Oh and compulsory jumping or running about. Mustn’t forget to include those ones!
No doubt they gossip about boys, bitch about girls and rant about teachers. The sleepover is a bonding session. A way to forge those all important sisterhood ties between girls.
So why blog about this today? Well this is the morning after, the night before. Last nights sleepover went pretty well. The girls started their night by going to see A Fault in our Stars. A perfect start, lots of sobbing to draw them together in this bonding ritual. (I’m just jealous, I want to see this myself, I must go soon!!!)
Now I don’t have any sons but I expect the male sleepover ritual is probably fairly similiar except for the makeup shenanigans, and the chit-chat is probably more focused on football than fashion!
All sorts of things happen at sleepovers. Kids do sometimes fall out and end up crying in the middle of the night. Air beds get punctured. There are weird noises in the middle of the night. On one occasion I heard the sound of constant running water at 2 o’clock in the morning to find three girls trying to remove a heavy-duty face pack! There are coughing fits, even the odd bout of sickness. We even had a power cut once. So they’re always eventful, especially if they are to celebrate a birthday. Then the excitement levels hop onto a rapidly moving escalator and don’t stop! Let’s just say that there is never a dull moment when you’re a parent!
Without doubt one of the funniest memories I have is a fairly recent occasion when my husband and I went out and left the sleepovers too it. Well, they were in the capable hands of my eighteen year old daughter. She was in charge! We escaped, scooting out the door for a pub dinner promising that we wouldn’t be out too late.
There was a barbeque at the pub but we just didn’t feel in the mood for a bbq, odd really, but anyway, we had to find somewhere else to eat. So by the time we did that and had a few drinks, and mellowed into the evening, we just forgot the time. When we got back home, the house was still standing, and my youngest daughter greeted me with an amusing tale. The three sleepover girls were worried that WE were ok! We had stayed out longer than they expected and the 13/14-year-old girls thought some terrible fate had befallen us! Role reversal or what? This is interesting. Shows a depth of maturity, oh my god, my youngest is growing up!
Sleepovers are here to stay whether we like them or not. They are a fabric of teenage life. When the sleepover invitees wake up in the morning, two things can happen. They can greet you with a guilty smile and say how much they enjoyed the sleepover and thank you enthusiastically, or they can fail to do so. If they remember this part of the ritual then you know that your son or daughter has found the right friends. The ones that respect and appreciate what we as parents do for them. Luckily both my daughters have made this spectacular leap and now have friends that pass the ritual!
So, the Sleepover is challenging, but super important and that is why one just had to feature in the novel I am currently editing. Compulsory. Though this fictional sleepover is not like any you’ve ever been to. Well not unless you’ve magic powers that you’re hiding! Ok, there are elements that are the same, the chit-chat, the bonding, but this is fantasy. I just LOVE writing fantasy, and sleepovers deserve a brush with fantasy I reckon.
What do you think? Have you any funny sleepover stories you would like to share? Please do, I would love to hear them.
Photo credit – Free google pictures and http://www.pixabay.com