Bear rolled into being ten last week, and she celebrated over the weekend by inviting a few friends for a sleepover.  And by “a few,” I literally mean a few.  As in four.  One of whom ended up having to go home by 9:00pm anyway.

Yep.  I’m one of those lame moms with a hard limit when it comes to the number of children I can handle at birthday parties.  I’d say it’s a bummer for my kids but they’ve never known any different so I’m pretty sure they won’t end up in therapy over it.  Probably.

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At any rate, back in February T-man went to a friend’s sleepover and I tagged along for the ride. Yes, I know that sounds bizarre, but I was keeping my friend company while she hosted twelve boys overnight for her son’s party.  (TWELVE boys.  Twelve.  Yikes.)  Luckily T-man was on board with the idea.  Let’s just say it made for an interesting evening.

Back to this weekend.  Around 9:00 yesterday morning it stuck me how extraordinarily different those two sleepovers were…we’re practically talking night and day.

So here it is, the sleepover rundown, X vs. Y chromosome edition.

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Bear’s X chromosome sleepover characteristics:

  • Riotous giggling drifting down the stairs.
  • At least one pillow fight that’s lighthearted fun from start to finish.
  • The sound of five girls singing Journey (yes, seriously, JOURNEY) at the top of their lungs.
  • Running to play on the neighbor’s swing set, laughing like the fun loving kids they are.
  • The instinctive understanding that, at not quite 60 degrees, shoes were necessary outside.
  • Unfailingly polite manners – please, thank you, and smiles all around.
  • Curling up like cats on the sectional to watch a movie, passing an enormous bowl of popcorn between them.
  • Hours of free time, not a single one spent on a gaming device.
  • After the movie ended the girls moved without argument to the bonus room.  They may have stayed up another hour or so, but we didn’t hear a peep out of them.
  • After talking happily over breakfast all four girls simultaneously stood, picked up their plates, and cleared their places before heading outside to play.

I don’t mean to insinuate Bear’s sleepover wasn’t exhausting.  It was.  Being “on” for eighteen hours straight, taking responsibility for other people’s kids overnight, making sure everyone eats and hydrates and plays without significant injury…these things wear me out. But there’s something fundamentally different about a group of girls hanging out overnight, a contrast that was glaringly apparent when I looked back on T-man’s sleepover in February.

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T-man’s Y chromosome sleepover characteristics:

  • It. Was. So. LOUD.  Boomingly, relentlessly loud.  Whooping and hollering, Star Wars gun sound effects, light sabers whirring through the air…I don’t believe I heard more than sixty consecutive seconds of relative quiet the entire time.
  • At least one fight – pillow, light saber, or swords – that ends with somebody bruised or scraped.
  • Technology everywhere, most of the time.  Boys taking turns playing the Wii, kids paired up on their iPads, boys plugged into an iPod, chargers everywhere.  I’m betting my friend’s power bill tripled that night.
  • Jumping for hours on the trampoline, laughing like the fun loving kids they are.
  • Running in and out of the back, blasting the room with cold air, impervious to our cries of “Close the door!!”
  • Sprawled around the family room, sleeping bags everywhere, watching Star Wars until it was time for dessert.
  • Playing in the garage once it got too dark and cold, and the odd fact that some needed more than one reminder to put on shoes or a sweatshirt in February.
  • I lost count of the “Settle Down” prompts it took to get those boys to, in fact, settle down.
  • Dinner, ice cream cake, snacks, then breakfast – no matter the food, it all produced a royal mess.  Crumbs everywhere.  Half drunk bottles of water scattered across the counter.  Crumpled napkins, sticky drippings, chocolate ground into seat cushions.

Sleepovers, a kid’s quintessential birthday party.  The details might vary depending on the chromosomes attending, but they all have one thing in common – that feeling the next day of being slightly hung over and two steps behind everyone else.

Good times.