When I was pregnant, I was all caught up into waiting until I delivered to know whether I was having a boy or girl. I loved the whole concept of being surprised and all that went along with it - choosing boys and girls names, listening to all my friends' bets, oohing and aahing over little clothes for boys and girls, etc.
I have a secret to tell you - with all my heart, I would have been happy and blessed to have a boy or girl that was healthy; but, I was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ecstatic to find out I had a girl!
I think as soon as I was out of recovery (I had an emergency c-section with some minor bleeding complications), I began to envision my life with my daughter. . .shopping sprees, tea parties, sparkly shoes, dress-up clothes, manis / pedis and hosting sleepovers! I don't know about you, but sleepovers were a mainstay of my childhood. I remember rotating friends' houses over most weekends and then there were the wonderful birthday party sleepover parties (remember freezing your friend's bra ??? Oh, come on, admit it you did it! I'll admit to you, someone even did it to me!) that happened at various times throughout the school year. I couldn't wait till Allie was old enough to start having sleepovers - I looked forward to being that Mom that loved to plan wonderful sleepovers!
Sleepovers are such special time for girls - they get to bond in a way that you just can't do when you aren't in your jammies and snuggling with your favorite stuffed animal!
I know, some of you are thinking, what is she talking about - isn't Allie not even 6 yet?
Guess what? Allie has been in a sleepover club since October 2007 when she was just a few months into Kindergarten and it has been such a wonderfully special addition to her life. There are 4 girls total in the Sleepover Club and they are all girls we have known for quite some time as we all have known each other since the girls were in preschool together. One of the Moms and I have known each other since before we were even pregnant!
So to start with, all the families know each other and trust the parents without question (one Mom is the director of where all the girls went to preschool, another mother is a nurse in the ICU and another mother is a nurse and her husband is a doctor - can't be in much better hands than that!).
We rotate houses each month - so each Mom hosts the sleepover 3 times during the year. We bring the girls to the host house around 4pm on Saturday and that is where the fun begins! The girls have been to the movies (once to see Enchanted and once to see Hannah Montana), they have slept in tents; they have made pillow cases, nightshirts, purses and other crafts; they have done their hair and painted their nails and they have eaten lots and lots of yummy food - but most of all, they have had amazing evenings with their friends that can't be duplicated by a 2 hour playdate . They laugh and giggle and stay up late and wake up early and they can't wait to tell their parents that they stayed up all night and never went to sleep! They get to maintain their relationships with each other that began in preschool - despite them all going to different schools for Kindergarten.
Some of my friends think I'm crazy - they say Allie is too young. Why start sleepovers so early? I don't think you can put an age requirement on it - you know it either works or doesn't work for your child and it works for Allie. Allie sleeps through the night and she is excited by the whole process - she never gets homesick for Mommy. Allie had done a few sleepovers before we started the club and they always went well - be it at another person's house or at our house. Some of my friends think everything I love about the sleepovers sound awful - the chaos of 4 girls running around screaming, chasing, giggling, crafting, jumping, painting, and sometimes bickering (you just can't avoid that when you get chicks together sometimes, regardless of the age), staying up late, getting up early, making a mess, etc.
So really what you need to look at is your child. Every child is different and only you can decide whether or not she is ready to go to a sleepover. The question may even be, are you ready for your child to go to a sleepover? Our children are usually ready for new adventures before we are ready to let them go on them.
But you know what? I love it!! I love seeing the girls and spending time with them while we are all in our jammies and I am willing to trade a bit more sleep anytime for this type of "stuff". This to me is what being a Mommy is all about and even though my daughter only got 6.5 hours of sleep while at her Sleepover Club last night (I didn't host it, but I was told my daughter was the last one to fall asleep at midnight and that is only because one of the other little girls fell asleep at 11:55 - Allie could have chatted the night away, except there was no one left for her to chat with!) I can't wait to host it next month. . .