The Weekend of the Sleepover

It was the Weekend of the Sleepover, as clearly evidenced by the enormously dark, enormously LARGE circles beneath the boy’s eyes tonight.

With no school on Friday, the boy had his good buddy, Enzo spend the night with us on Thursday night. Hubs was away, racking up more Frequent Flyer Miles, as he had flown off to San Jose for a meeting. Hubs is like that — flying hither and yon these days, and I am not a big fan of it. But yes, Enzo stayed with us, and the boys decided that hosting their own Harry-Potter-inspired Potions Class at the island in our kitchen would be great fun, because creating havoc is what they do. They pulled the biggest Tupperware bowl we own out of a kitchen cabinet, and then proceeded to adorn the island top with every bit of bottled liquid we had. Think soy sauce and honey. Picture ranch dressing and vinegar. Envision barbecue sauce, mustard, lemon juice, lime juice, liquid smoke, chicken broth, Italian dressing, and milk. Add to this an assortment of spices like chili powder, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, thyme, rosemary, and sage, and you understand what was happening in our kitchen. Granted, it wasn’t dragon’s breath, eye of newt, and fairy dust, but the boys didn’t care. For an hour and a half the two of them poured and measured, stirred and mixed, until they had created a gigantic bowl full of something resembling puke. The smell of vinegar was nearly overwhelming, and it filled the kitchen, much like a smoking potion might have done at Hogwarts. In the end, the dares began…

“Enzo, I dare you to taste it!”
“Are you kidding? That stuff looks gross!!” (insert full-body shudder here)
“Fine. I’ll taste it.” (insert puffed-up, overly-brave chest here)
“No way! You’ll barf!” (insert golf-ball-sized eyeballs here)
“No I won’t. I’m going to taste it.” (insert smug look here)

And taste it the boy did. He grabbed a spoon from the drawer, filled it up, and let it hover just beside his lips for a few seconds. “Don’t do it!” Enzo shouted, but we all knew that he didn’t mean it. Enzo WANTED the boy to taste the homemade potion; he was holding his breath in eager anticipation of it happening. The boy tipped the spoon, ever so slightly, and released a small bit of liquid out of his spoon and back into the bowl, just to make the bite a wee bit smaller. And then, PLOP! Into the mouth it went.

And then he ran to the kitchen sink, and I heard my own voice yell out, “Don’t you dare throw up in my sink!” But alas, the gag reflex had been initiated, but it all stayed down. And then the boy stared at Enzo and said, “Your turn.”

My poor brave boy; he was the only one to try the stuff, which amazes me, because if a casserole looks a bit fishy to him at dinner time, he uses his “I’m-Not-Really-Hungry-Because-I-Had-A-Big-Lunch” card. The boy is not a fan of numerous ingredients piled together in the same pan.

On Friday night, the boy wound up at Enzo’s house for the evening, even though I dread back-to-back sleepovers, because they cause the boy to melt into a puddle of goo that needs to be scraped up off the floor and put into bed, kicking and screaming.

With Hubs in San Jose, at a basketball game, nonetheless, where he sat in the BOX SEAT SUITE with waitresses bringing him Cokes and nachos all night, I had the house to myself. How big and lonely a house can feel when the boys are away! I ended up calling my friend, Amy, and said, “Yeah, I’m all alone, and the house is big and scary, so do you want to come over?” And because Amy is a genuine friend, she did. And because she and I have known each other for years now, and are quite comfortable with one another, Amy came over in her slippers. We watched “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” ate popcorn, and decided that HGTV is one of the most wonderful blessings around.

I’d like to say that I was a brave soul on Friday night after Amy left, but I resorted to the behavior of a small child and left a couple of lights on. All night. For no real reason.

On Saturday, the boy’s good friend, John, who has moved two hours’ down the road, was in town, as his family was packing up their house here, so he came over and spent the day with us. The boy was wearing down at this point, and I was waiting for the Big Meltdown, but he did a fantastic job of delaying it. We high-tailed it off to Blockbuster, where the boys rented a Harry Potter video game, and this $5 expenditure kept them occupied for six hours, people! Definitely five bucks well spent. We believe in marathon game playing at our house — if an hour is good, then six consecutive hours is gold-medal-worthy. Just think of all the hand-eye coordination going on there! Envision the use of fine motor skills!

On Saturday night, Hubs made it home just in time to head out to the theater with us. I had made plans to meet our friends, Jeff and Cody and their small girl, G, at the movies to see “A Christmas Carol,” and the boy and John were most definitely jazzed to go. During the drive to the show, they kept saying, “This movie looks so cool! Those ghosts are gonna be awesome.”

Famous last words.

A professional movie-reviewer I am not, people, but I can offer you this. “A Christmas Carol” is scary! The four adults in our party ended up with three nine-year-olds on our laps, hiding their eyes. One of them chanted in a whisper, “I want to go home; I want to go home; I hate this show; I hate this show.” Oh, yes. “A Christmas Carol” is a definite buzz killer. I’m going to crawl out on a limb here and offer my reviewing advice: I’m not sure that this show is a grand idea for small children, if the behavior of our nine-year-olds was any indication. Use your own judgement. If your four-year-old likes scary ghosts that pop out and make you jump and spill your popcorn all over your lap, then, by all means, this show is golden. But, if you’re more inclined to wish for a giant power outage during ghostly movies, just to bring it to an early end, then you’d probably better stay at home with Phineas and Ferb and their televised antics.

As we left the theater, the talk between the boys was simply this: “THAT SHOW WAS AWESOME!!!”

Yes, except for that part that lasted for an hour, where you crawled up on your mama’s lap and hid your face. Yes, except for THAT part, it was awesome.

And then, with jet-lagged Hubs not feeling like driving John to his in-town house, and with John’s mom too tired from packing up their house, as they are moving two hours away from here, to drive in to get him, it was officially decided that John would simply spend the night with us.

Sleepovers are a marathon, people — they’re not a sprint. You start out slowly, and you try to make it to the end with your shoes tied.

I told the boys that they absolutely HAD to go to bed the minute we got home, and neither one of them argued. They were in bed at 9:30, and asleep at 9:30 and 18 seconds. However, they were up before the roosters this morning, back at the video games.

And now, after returning John to his mama and seeing him off, and after going to church and visiting our friends, Jeremy and Nina at their house afterwards, and after having lunch with my parents, and after spending enough time in Wal-Mart to sufficiently raise Hubs’ blood pressure and cause his eyebrows to permanently move into the “frown position,” we are wrapping the weekend up.

It’s currently 6:24 PM on a Sunday night.

And the boy is in bed, sound asleep. He reached the finish line in the Weekend of the Sleepover.

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