Tuesday, May 22, 2007


"Make sure that you cook a vegetarian meal tonight Mum, because friend number one is vegetarian."

Great I think. Not only have I got a midweek sleepover. Not only are we travelling to Gloucester and back and Gloucester and back twice in one evening to take Sensible and two friends to the school disco, but I am also providing dinner for 9 people, to be ready by 6 p.m. and with a restricted menu.

Now don't get me wrong. I love having my children's friends back to "play" and I think it's great that they are so social.

But when I ask did sleepovers become "de rigeur"? Now, being a girl of the 70's growing up type, I very rarely remember sleeping over at anyone's house, until I was about 15 or 16 when I started going to parties. Perhaps it was around then that it all started? Heightened with the enthusiasm of Grease, pyjama parties suddenly became the "thing" and a whole generation of little girls growing up in the 80's wanted to look like Sandy D and friends.

Do you remember though way back when in the 70's, friends just popping over to "play"? And if it were a special occasion, they stayed for something to eat.....

Mushroom Tinkerbell, to be fair, has got it just about sussed. Being the youngest of five, her social life isn't exactly a high priority in our family. And yet, ironically, she is the one who probably has the best social life of all, because her best friends mothers happen to think like me. As such we are happy for them to play, but as far as food and bed is concerned, that bit is done at home.

The older three do of course go to schools 12 miles from home, as they opted to go to grammar schools in Gloucester, which does somewhat complicate the social spectrum. Also I know that once the house is empty (in 11 years time!), I will hate it, and feel lonely, and sad, and grumpy, and old, and will want to wear a purple hat....

But, that said, call me dull, but sometimes, just sometimes, I do quite look forward to the day when the number of teenage friends that we entertain for breakfast reduces just a little!


Lisa said...

My 7-year old daughter has now participated in two (three this weekend) sleepovers. The problem here is that our houses are so far apart it has to be planned for anything, even a simple playtime in the backyard.
I have to say, Sally, I wouldn't want to deal with teenagers 1st thing in the A.M., especially not my own!

Ignorminious said...

My aunt and uncle have turned their garage into an out house by building over it. In there is a pool table, TV, play station, sofa bed and a fully fitted bathroom. Whenever one of my teenage cousins has a sleep over it takes place in there, leaving the main house free for the family. Seems to work well.

Akelamalu said...

I can never remember 'sleeping over' until I was about 18. Then, I hate to admit it but, it was a ruse my friend and I used to go to all night parties elsewhere - she was staying with me, I was staying with her, as far as parents were concerned. My boys only ever wanted their girlfriends to stay! Hmmmm.

meredic said...

Quite right about the seventies. Home by bed time.
Sleepovers indeed!
Is the purple hat a reference to the poem by Penny Joseph Sal?
I do hope so.
Are you learning to spit?

Asha said...

LOL @ *will want to wear a purple hat....*
What an image Sally!! Like the Queen of England wore at the Kentucky Derby!!Haha!!
I was never allowed sleepovers at any age in India!;P
My kids do the sleepover often and it is hard on me when they don't sleep until past midnight!
But you are right,we will miss all that when they are gone.For me that would be in 5yrs!!:)

Sally Lomax said...

Ig - good idea!

Akelamalu - We did do the party thing too - as said. Although I do always remember a point in the party at which the various parents came in and then we talked all night. Just not a 13 though!

Meredic - Yes indeed I am referring to this

Asha - See this poem too for an explanation as to why!!

Sally Lomax said...

p.s. The poem is not by Jenny Jacobs like the website says - silly website - but by Jenny Joseph, as Meredic said! Hopefully she'll forgive us, given that we paid refernce to her brilliant poem. It's one of my favourites!

Beccy said...

I love that poem too, you'll definitely find me in a purple hat.

I love sleepovers. I had a few from the age of about 9 onwards. Dillon started them at 10 years whilst Mollie started them at 6. Ben has had one friend to stay but that was a favour to her mum, my friend. Saying that we don't have them often as I feel the children appreciate them more if they are a treat. I would never do them mid week on a school night either.

In the summer we put up a tent in the garden which means we hear nothing!

ChrisB said...

I used to have weekend sleepovers back in the late 50's and my school friends only lived about 5 miles away, but back then we didn't have a car until I was 16 so I went to school on the coach on a Fri (sally you will know from Berkeley to Dursley (was a grammar school now a Comp) stayed with friends and came home again on coach Mon evening.It was great fun and would you believe I still have (well beccy has) the weekend case I used to use.

Alice Band said...

Don't talk to me about sleepovers! Last summer Freya had one in the tent in the garden. Eleven girls aged 11 and under squealing and giggling until 2am until I went loopy, swore at them and warned that if I heard just one more squeak I would take them home - 'make no mistake' Silence until 6am when they trooped into the house squealing that they needed the loo. Then the 2 and 4 year old woke up. I was livid. This year will be a pizza and pictures affair!

Karmyn R said...

I remember sleepovers being only for Birthday parties - UNLESS it was your BEST Friend and then it was only the two of you on an occasional Friday or Saturday night.

My son was invited to a "sleep-over" last year - he was barely 5. I said, "no way". I couldn't believe it - way too young to be starting that.

Alice Band said...

Don't want to seem neurotic but why has only my comment got a dustbin under it??!!

Sally Lomax said...

alice - no problem, just the google blogger option for you to delete your own comment... ( but don't spread the word, they'll all want one!)

ED said...

fab blog ;-) x

headless chicken said...

Hi Sally
Another great blog!
Sleepovers are only bearable if limited to one extra child, especially in large families like ours! You are a saint!
My Mum has the Jenny Joseph poem on her cloakroom wall.

enidd said...

enidd only ever had a sleepover at one friend's house - she lived twenty miles away. the rest of the time it was just playing in the street.

Sally Lomax said...

Beccy - A tent is a good idea!
Chris - You were certainly avante garde!
Alice - I sympathise!!
HC - I agree! And I'm not so sure that I am a saint really!
ED - Thank you!
Enidd - Exactly..

Little Miss Moi said...

Dear sally. I didn't often sleep over at people's places because my mother had a 'throw up' experience with my older sister's friend. It put her off hosting and letting us sleep over.

BUT! A good vege meal that's quick is: cook onions, mushrooms and garlic in a frypan. Slosh with a bit of white wine (but not too much so you can drink it later).

Then boil pasta, mix through mushroom mix and add spoonfuls of pesto from a jar, mix through. Garnish with parmesan, and if there are some people who just INSIST on having meat, sprinkle theirs with cracked rashers of crispy bacon, or cook a chicken breast fillet and serve with slices that on top... Salt and pepper as required.

I hope you still have your sanity after last night.

Uncle Norman said...

Hi Sally this is the real UN.

I have had wistful moments when I think that my girls would be approaching the age of having sleep overs and that sort of stuff.

You are making memories for you & your children and no matter what happens nobody can take those away from them or you.

Eliza said...

i used to go to sleep overs in the summer holidays at my cousins' house and cry so much through the night that my dad had to come pick me up. i'd still go and try again the next week though. odd thing is, when it wasn't summer holiday i was at boarding school and never cried one bit there. curious.

ps. sally you love it really, all mums do!

Sally Lomax said...

Dear Little Miss Moi!

Thank you for the recipe! Funny about your Mum!

Uncle Norman - My heart goes out to you. And you are so right.

Eliza - Yes of course I do. Besides - it all makes good blog material!

Pamela said...

cold cereal.. (:

Alice Band said...

Bollocks, none of 'us' are up for a blog award...Have you read PA's post? Another one of those unvalidated days then...

Akelamalu said...

I just listened to your voice overs - I recognise you!

Sally Lomax said...

Pamela - Good idea!
Alice - It's an "in club" thing
Ak - As a VO, or on a more personal level?

Akelamalu said...

Oh as a VO. :)