01 July 2014
You know how when you've had a bump on the head you get a bit addle-brained?
Well, that's been me lately: fuzzy-headed, slow-witted, easily confused - even more than usual. Which is saying a lot.
So when it came to Miss Fab's upcoming birthday sleepover it should be easy to see how I nearly landed myself in a whole world of pain.
It started off with a nice simple plan and a nice simple list of six school friends to invite.
Then came the drama and playground politics - which if anyone has a pre-teen girl, you'll know what I'm talking about. (The kind of schoolgirl drama that makes you lie awake at night in mortal terror of the imminent teenage years).
It begins like this: "Lulu* didn't invite me to her sleepover! I can't believe she invited Bessie and didn't invite me! I've known her way longer! If she didn't invite me, then that's it, I'm not inviting her either..."
It continues like this: Mum tries to convince the birthday girl to be the bigger person and invite Lulu anyway (they've been friends for years, she's friends with Lulu's mum, plus she's a nice quiet girl) but it's a hard sell. Birthday girl has two other friends she NEEDS to invite. Girls who invited her to their parties (we'll call them Ethel and Doris).
Finally mum says, "Look, if you invite Lulu to your sleepover even though she didn't invite you to hers, you can have an extra person on the list, and your other two friends can both come too."
Birthday girl is satisfied. She finds the grace to be a bigger person after all.
But all of a sudden the guest list has grown by two extra bodies. At a SLEEPOVER.
Anyone who has ever had a bunch of girls for a sleepover will know that is no small thing. Every extra giggling gertie makes a contribution to the noise level and pushes out the hour of sleep exponentially.
The final straw is when you sit down at the computer to print out the invitations, your guest list already bulging, your head already beginning to pound in anticipation...
At this point the emotional blackmail begins.
"Muuuuum, Susie* sits at our table and if I invite everyone else from our table and not her she's going to feel real bad. Don't you think? Can you imagine how she'll feel if she's the ONLY ONE not coming...?"
In a moment of weakness you cave. OK Susie can come. The guest list is now sitting intimidatingly at TEN.
You try to calculate in your head how this will work. The chances of anyone getting any sleep at any time looks mighty slim.
To make matters worse, the Daddy of the family will be out of town with big brother. Mum will have no backup, no help, no sheriff with the big boomy voice to stalk in and enforce quietness.
Ten girls. Sleeping over.
Mum feels physically ill.
It simply can't be done.
So this morning Mum gathered up her courage and faced down her daughter, knowing there would be tears, slammed doors and protestations of "It's not fair! but you SAID!"
Sorry Lulu (who hadn't yet been told) but we're going to have to cut back. Ruthless numbers policy must return. Lulu must leave the list after all. It's only fair. We just don't have the mental capacity to be bigger people this time.
Doris had not been informed of her inclusion on the list either, so she is culled as well, never knowing how close she came to being invited to a night of endless giggling mayhem.
And finally, Susie (that straw which broke the camel's back) is also culled. Now she's not the only one from the table not coming, she's in good company. They'll all get over it.
Sorry girls, I wish we could invite you all. If it was a regular party, not a sleepover, I'd make room for you all, somehow. As it stands, my fragile mental health would not survive ten girls at a sleepover. Without a doubt hubby would return to find me in a fetal position, hiding under the table, rocking.
We are now back to six guests, plus the birthday girl. It might be almost manageable.
The sick sense of dread has abated. I can now get on with party prep without feel a sense of impending doom.
Because really, TEN girls for a sleepover? Who would do that? What on earth was I thinking?
* Not their real names
Have you ever had the guest list dilemma/drama?