Newsflash: first mass sleepover less trying than expected!

11 Mar

Literally like this, it wasFriday was L1’s birthday, and in a moment of intense weakness I agreed to her plan for a sleepover in our living room. Since the group of friends she invited was relatively small (something I insisted on, to her chagrin), and they’re lovely kids, it was way less painful than my imaginings had allowed for. But I was still shepherding children who were not my own offspring around the house at 1.30am which was not entirely how I planned to spend the early hours of my own birthday (I had planned to spend them asleep…).

What was really interesting was observing group dynamics from a distance. They knew I was in the house – obviously – banished from my living room to a mildly uncomfortable office chair situation in the kitchen diner –  but my presence was discreet and so they went about their business.

And what I learnt was how early they learn the art of negotation. Group discussion and debate led to group decisions and sensible compromises. They didn’t all want the pizza? Fine, but some did, so the disco had to wait till those had finished. And if they didn’t all fancy dancing that was fine too, but the ones sitting it out got the first DVD choice of the night. And DVD decision was unilateral, in the end – “It’s L1’s birthday, she should decide”.

I was left with the undeniable impression that my little girl is very lucky in her friends, and as her parents, so are we.

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