Sunday, January 23, 2011


My big girls had a friend sleep over for the first time last night. Their friend, who is the daughter of one of my own longest-standing and dearest friends, is 6 1/2 - 11 months younger than my eldest, 10 months older than my middle. This makes M the "just-right" kid, straddling the age gap between my big girls with ease.

My, but they had fun. They played solidly all afternoon, inside and outside, playing with every subset of toys available, I reckon. A dinner of Nando's chicken & chips came before screening of Barbie & The Fashion Fairytale on our big screen, complete with choc top ice creams and popcorn. This was followed by "bedtime", whereupon all three big girls apparently settled down quickly, but as hubs and I were watching our own movie, I could hear (and see out of the corner of my eye) giggling, flitting girl shapes, and the fridge opening and closing. I chose to turn a blind eye to what I was delightedly informed this morning was "our midnight feast with dancing and stuff!" (It actually took place around 10pm - they were all completely oblivious by the time I headed to bed at 11).

The girls have really enjoyed having M over to sleep; I think it'll turn out to have been a highlight of their entire summer. It's the first time they've ever had a friend stay over all night (we've had other kids go to bed here then get collected later by their parents, but none stay all night). M has been an absolute delight to have and we'll definitely look for an opportunity to have her again soon.

It raised the question for me, though, whether my own girls might be readier than I thought to consider a sleepover at someone's house (other than my parents', where they already sleep over a couple nights each school holidays). I have been assuming that, at 7 1/2 and 5 1/2, they are much too young to do this, but I think I might have been misjudging them a little. Don't get me wrong, my circle of people that I would even consider allowing them to go to overnight is pretty restricted anyway - maybe 3 families that are long-standing friends of ours and whose children are close friends of the big girls. I think I (and they) would initially look for a place where they could go together rather than separating them, too, there being strength in numbers and so forth.

So to my surprise, I find myself willing to consider a sleepover for my big kids in the medium-term future. (Very possibly their first one will be at M's house!) It's another sign of how much they've grown up, I guess. Sweet, yet poignant.

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