I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville wife and mother with a passion for family travel, (mostly) healthy cooking, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries with you, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark.
January 28, 2013
Remember that time I was worried about my eight-year-old daughter’s social situation?
Once again, I’ve been reminded of the fact that I may… overthink things just a tiny bit.
Punky went home with a friend on Friday, had acting class on Saturday morning (where, incidentally, she’s made a new friend), had another friend over on Saturday afternoon (who invited herself over earlier in the week by calling us and saying, “I’m available for a playdate. When would you like me to be there?” That cracked me up), and played with a neighbor friend all day on Sunday. She already has plans for a playdate next Saturday at another friend’s house and two more of her friends are coming over that night for dinner.
Hopefully, she doesn’t feel like ‘the odd man out’ anymore!
Meanwhile, my five-year-old son went home with a friend on Friday night and had his FIRST. EVER. SLEEPOVER. This, to me, is crazy.
Crazy because I have an eight-year-old who is STILL not sure whether she’s ready to sleep at a friend’s house. She’s had a few friends sleep over here this year and will go to her first ever sleepover party in a few weeks, but I’m really not confident that she’s going to make it through the night. Neither is she.
“This is going to sound very strange,” she told me the other day, “but I think that if I’m going to spend the night at a friend’s house, I should try to not think of you and Daddy at all.” She looked at me sheepishly, as if I’d be shocked or hurt. Instead, I smiled at her.
“I think you’re right, Punky,” I said. “I would want you to have fun while you were at your friend’s house.”
“I know!” she gushed. “And if I think of you and Daddy, I’d probably start missing you and feel really sad, and then I’d have to come home. So when I sleep at a friend’s house,” she concluded, “I’ll just try to pretend like you and daddy don’t even exist. No offense.”
“None taken,” I said.
I’ve noticed that my daughter may overthink things just a tiny bit. Where on earth could that have come from?
My son, on the other hand, showed nothing but excitement about his FIRST. EVER. SLEEPOVER on Friday. But this is the same child who appears in our room at LEAST two nights a week, telling us in a pitiful voice that he needs to “cuddle up” with somebody, climbing in between us, and proceeding to kick us repeatedly as he turns in a clockwise direction until dawn.
In other words, I was not at all certain that he’d last the night at a sleepover, much as he wanted to.
After school on Friday, I stopped by the friend’s house to drop off Bruiser’s sleeping bag. My son heard my car and ran outside to greet me, and I braced for one big, long, heartbreaking hug. Because I like to pretend that I am an awesome, awesome mom and what child would EVER want to spend the night away from me?
My son, as it turns out.
He gave me the briefest, most halfhearted squeeze of all time, then ran back inside the house.
“Bye Bruiser,” I said weakly, watching him climb the stairs to his friend’s room. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Bye,” he said, not looking back.
“Tomorrow is a long time away!” I called after him. The door slammed in response.
That night was strange, I have to admit. I’m not used to my five-year-old’s bed being empty at night unless he’s, you know, busy kicking me in the head in my own big bed. I put the house phone and my cell phone on my bedside table that night, fairly certain we’d be getting a call in the wee hours of the morning.
But the phones didn’t ring.
The next morning, I was on pins and needles until the friend’s mom brought Bruiser over on her way to the gym. “How’d he do?” I asked her with a sympathetic smile, ready for stories of tears and reassurances.
“Great! Fine!” she said. As soon as we said our goodbyes, I turned and gave my son a quick once over. “Did you miss me?” I asked him.
“No,” he said. He turned and ran into the den to play.
“What the….?” I said to myself. How was it possible that my baby DIDN’T MISS ME ONE BIT?
Later that morning, Dennis and I went with Bruiser to a puppet show during Punky’s acting class, and on Sunday, he had a birthday party to attend. Between both kids, we were busy all weekend and by last night, everyone was exhausted.
“Wow, it happened just like that,” I said wearily to Dennis over supper.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“We’re out of the ‘small-kids-easy-weekends’ stage,” I said. “We’re back in the ‘big-kids-nonstop-action weekends’ stage.”
I’ve been at this point before, of course, with my stepdaughters and I know this time around to appreciate the hustle. The ‘big-kids-nonstop-action’ weekends, I’ve learned, are followed by the ‘take-them-where-they-need-to-go-and-pretend-like-you-don’t-know-them-or-they’ll-die-of-embarrassment’ weekends. And then come the weekends when both kids can drive and you don’t have to do anything, which is nice, but it also means that they don’t need you anymore and don’t particularly care about it, which is not so nice.
That was my weekend. How was yours? And what do you think about all this sleepover business, anyway? I would have thought five was too young for sleepovers until my son came along. What do you think is the right age for a sleepover?